Training School

The training school took place between November 23 and 25, 2016.


Pictured above: Training school organising committee Dr. Maria Carmen Collado, Dr. Maria J Pueyo,  Ass. Prof. Jean Calleja Agius, Prof. Soo Downe, Prof. Mechthild Gross, Dr. Ramon Escuriet, Dr. Izaskun Garcia-Mantrana

(more photos at the bottom of this page)

Soo Downe’s slideshow from the training school is available to download as a pdf. It’s called Childbirth Cultures, Concerns and Consequences and Birth: Lessons from two EU COST networks.  You can download it here.


A second presentation by Soo Downe – Which Horses for Which Courses?: RCT’s and cohort studies – is available to download here.

Training school preview:

TITLE: BEYOND BIRTH COHORTS: from study design to data management

An International Training School funded by the EU ISCH COST Action IS1405 in Building Intrapartum Research Through Health – an interdisciplinary whole system approach to understanding and contextualising physiological labour and birth (BIRTH) will be held on 23rd till 25th November 2016 organised by Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology-National Research Council (IATA-CSIC) and held in Valencia, Spain. The course will aim to facilitate implementation of research capacity and exchange knowledge in longitudinal cohort studies in maternity care. Through local and international collaborations, information about ethical aspects to be considered in a longitudinal cohort from pre-conception to the long-term neonatal outcome will be provided, as well as introducing the basic concepts in biostatistics, sample collection and management of protocols.

There are 40 places available for those are interested in the general aspects of the programme.

The 25 top-rated applicants will receive a bursary of 500 euros as a partial payment towards the cost of travel and accommodation in accordance with COST regulations.  Details on how to apply can be found in the training school section at: The criteria for assessing applications is given below.

This workshop is ideal for people who:

  • are currently involved or will be shortly involved in carrying out birth cohort studies
  • can clearly demonstrate how to apply the skills gained in this Training School in order to carry out a birth cohort study on a local and/or international level
  • are be able to combine intensive classroom learning with the application of the principles and practices of evidence-based health care within the work place
  • are interested in promoting normal birth, tissue sampling, time to event analysis
  • have professional work experience in the health service or a health-related field

Participants are encouraged to bring along data sets in order to be able to apply the skills covered during this Training School, but this will not be an essential criterion for acceptance onto the programme.

Location: Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Valencia (Spain)


Dates: 23rd -25th November 2016

The general topics to be covered by the programme:

  • Development of Birth Cohort Projects
  • Ethical issues
  • Flow-chart and protocol development
  • Standardized Protocols (SOPs) to harmonize cohorts
  • Sampling: time-points, type of samples; storage and processing
  • Biobank: access and/or deposit and/or storage biological samples
  • Tools for data management; -Omics tools, methodology and system biology to combine methodologies. Bioinformatics introduction
  • H2020 European calls and other funding opportunities

Organising committee: Jean Calleja-Agius (Malta), Mechthild Gross (Germany), Soo Downe (UK), Marie Clare Balaam (UK)

Local committee: Maria Carmen Collado and Izaskun Garcia-Mantrana  (Spain).

Download the pdf here.

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