Posts tagged: OPTIMAX

5th international research summer school is a success

5th international research summer school is a success

Some of the student participants and tutors at OPTIMAX 2017

This year OPTIMAX, a 3 week residential summer school, was hosted by Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway, during July and August 2017. This was the 5th rendition of OPTIMAX and to date 189 students and 65 tutors from 12 countries have participated in it.

The purpose of OPTIMAX is to give radiography students a chance to participate in multinational team-based research. This is consistent with providing a near to real life experience, because quality research is often conducted in multinational teams. Each OPTIMAX team comprises students and tutors and they work together on an equal basis; tutor-student contact is extremely high and tutors spend around 40 hours per week working within their research team. This has significant benefit to the student learning experience as they receive constant feedback and support throughout the entire research process. OPTIMAX commences with the development of effective [research] teams; it then progresses rapidly to doing research about medical imaging. The latter includes formulating and testing methods, gathering and analysing data and finally producing outputs (draft journal paper, physical conference poster and also a PowerPoint presentation which is delivered on the final day in a formal conference). Beyond the conference a book is published in which the research articles become chapters; the abstracts are always submitted to the European Congress of Radiology (Vienna, Austria) and normally they are accepted for presentation. All student participants become authors, which is an important first step in establishing a professional CV. So far 3 books and 14 journal papers have been published and also 29 conference presentations have been delivered (see Appendix I). Another book and 4 conference presentations are planned to arise from this year’s summer school. read more


OPTIMAX Summer School

By Rob Thompson, University College London

Now in its fourth year of running is the well-regarded three-week summer school, OPTIMAX. It comprises of team-based research to investigate real world research questions within medical imaging, giving students from all over the world the chance to try their hand at research with hands-on expert support throughout. The students and tutors come with completely varying professional backgrounds, including Computer Science, Physics, Medicine, Radiography, Occupational Therapy and Engineering.

This year we have 59 participants, coming from Brazil, South Africa, Iraq, Portugal, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, The UK, The Netherlands, Vietnam and Sweden. This year, OPTIMAX is being held in the University of Salford, but it has also been in Lisbon and Groningen. Below are the thoughts of some of this year’s participants on their time at the summer school.


OPTIMAX 2016

The OPTIMAX 3 week residential research summer school started in 2013 at the University of Salford with Erasmus IP funding. Five countries participated and these were its founder members (Portugal, Switzerland, Norway, UK and the Netherlands). In 2016 OPTIMAX returned to the University of Salford, after being hosted in Lisbon and Groningen in 2014 and 2015. This year we have 60 participants from 12 countries – South Africa, Iraq, UK, Norway, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Brazil, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Outputs from successive OPTIMAX summer schools have been immense, and include over 40 international conference presentations, 11 articles and 1 editorial in peer reviewed journals and two books. The latter are published as open source within USIR:

This year we anticipate that another book will be published as open source, with the chapters being reports of the research which is conducted in the summer school. As always we intend to submit the abstracts to the European Congress of Radiology, to be held in Vienna, March 2017.


European Congress of Radiology, Vienna, March 2016

Throughout August 2015 the third research summer school for optimising radiation dose and image quality (‘OPTIMAX 2015’) was held in Groningen, The Netherlands.

Fifty three people participated, including PhD, MSc, BSc students and tutors from physics, radiography and nuclear medicine. Throughout the summer school five empirical pieces of research were conducted in multinational teams and these will be presented at the European Congress of Radiology, Vienna, Austria in March 2016.

Aside this important outcome was the production of an open source book (OPTIMAX 2015, Multicultural team-based research in radiography, a holistic educational approach) which can be downloaded for free (http://usir.salford.ac.uk/38008/). The book contains 11 chapters. These chapters include the five empirical pieces of research and also five review chapters. The review chapters are based upon information sessions delivered as group work and lectures during the first summer school week.

The next OPTIMAX summer school will be held throughout August 2016 at the University of Salford.