The I TRY IT programme is an initiative of the ISBT Academy and is led by members of the Transfusion-Transmitted Infectious Disease (TTID) and Clinical Transfusion (CT) Working Parties.


There are 4 main objectives for the I TRY IT programme: 

  1. To complete a research protocol for a study designed to be conducted in your country or where your work.
  2. To learn the components of research protocols/proposals and specific study designs used in transfusion medicine.
  3. To learn how to provide and to receive constructive criticism of scientific research
  4. To help you plan for and conduct the research project you designed as part of the programme, and approaches for analyzing the data to answer your research question.

The most challenging part is conducting the study and analyzing the data. However, these are easier if you begin with a solid foundation - the research protocol is that foundation.
There are many ‘bright ideas’ or research discoveries in the field of transfusion medicine that are waiting for young investigators.

So jump in, say “I TRY IT“, and send us your applications for I TRY IT 2022 programme.


About the programme

I TRY IT is a two-part programme:

  • Part 1 Training in Study Design and Protocol Development
  • Part 2 Training in Analysing Data and Manuscript Preparation

The two parts of the programme are offered in different years. The focus of the programme in 2022 will be Study Design and Protocol Development which teaches participants how to write research protocols while developing a research project that will answer a specific research question.


Online live lectures:

Participants and instructors are located all over the world. The preferred approach is for you to participate during the live lectures online. Alternately, each lecture will become available to be downloaded via ISBT Education so that you can access the content at times that works best for you or if your internet connection speed requires you to download the material.
Attending the live lectures is the most certain way for you to learn the content and be able to ask questions to improve your depth of knowledge. We will be using Zoom™ for course lectures.

To participate, you will be invited to each online lecture and then will have to join the lecture via the URL provided in each invitation. Lecture recordings will be posted on ISBT Education. Each of you will have a specific login and password to access the content. 

Homework is assigned that is focused on writing the sections of a research protocol. As part of the programme you will write a real research protocol that can be implemented in your setting. You will also be involved in reviewing project proposals by others to experience peer-review as both a reviewer and reviewee.

In addition, you are expected to attend the Transfusion-Transmitted Infectious Disease (TTID) or Clinical Transfusion (CP) Working Party meetings as part of your training experience. 

Research Grant

To facilitate conducting research, the Study Design and Protocol Development programme concludes with the opportunity for you to apply for a small research grant to conduct your study. These research grants are competitive and awarded to the best protocols as judged by expert reviewers from the ISBT Working Parties.

Applicants and Application

Deadlines for applications will be given in a separate timetable for each year, published on the ISBT website. The application for 2022 is already closed. 

To apply, please provide the following:
1. A current version of your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume. (list any scientific publications)
2. A preliminary research idea or research question description.This must not exceed a one-sided single page, describing the transfusion related study you would like to conduct.

Expenses Covered

Registration is provided for a virtual or face to face ISBT Congress. Travel and accommodation expenses to attend the ISBT Congress will be covered where the meeting is held face to face. ISBT Central Office will work with you to arrange international travel. You are responsible for securing any required travel documents such as passports or visas. ISBT will assist you by providing letters of invitation, but you will have to apply and pay applicable fees yourself.
You must become a member of ISBT. ISBT membership fees are not covered by the I TRY IT programme.

Click this button for more information on ISBT membership.

Required Reading

Designing Clinical Research, 4th Edition, 2013
By Stephen B Hulley, Steven R Cummings, Warren S Browner, Deborah G Grady, Thomas B Newman.

Copies of this book are sent to the participants. 
Additional online reference material that accompanies the text book is available at:


We gratefully acknowledge Dr. Steven Hulley of UCSF who developed the original UCSF Training in Clinical Research (TICR) course from which the I TRY IT programme has been adapted. We also gratefully acknowledge Dr. Edward Murphy of UCSF/ BSRI who developed the short-course format and Dr. Willi Mc-Farland from the San Francisco Department of Public Health/UCSF, each has led multiple versions of courses similar to this in
many different countries.
Without these predecessors this initiative would not have been possible.

Lecture Topics

 The below scheme was prepared for 2021. 

  1. Conceiving the research question and study hypothesis
  2. Background and significance section, Literature search and references
  3. Basics of Measurement: Variable Types, Precision and Accuracy
  4. Estimating Sample Size & Power
  5. Study Design Part 1 Overview of study designs: Observational & Randomized designs
  6. Study Design Part 2 Designing studies of medical tests, including sensitivity and specificity, Large data bases & “Big Data”
  7. Data Validity, Cause and Effect, Issues of Bias
  8. Data management, preparation for analysis & introduction to statistical analyses
  9. Developing research questionnaires and data collection instruments
  10. Research ethics, budget & Who will review Who
  11. Review process & Who will review Who
  12. Review Meeting

I TRY IT Mentors

Marion Vermeulen

Marion Vermeulen

Individual Member Representative at the ISBT TTID WP, Executive, Transfusion Medicine and Technical Services, South African National Blood Service (SANBS)

Brian Custer

Brian Custer

TTID Working Party Chair, Director , Epidemiology and Policy Science VP of Research and Scientific Programs, Vitalant, San Francisco, US

Lilian Castilho

Lilian Castilho

Professor, University of Campinas in Brazil

Karin van den Berg

Karin van den Berg

Medical Director, South African National Blood Service, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Leo van de Watering

Leo van de Watering

Senior scientist, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands

Arwa Al Riyami

Arwa Al Riyami

Clinical Transfusion Working Party Chair, Senior Consultant Hematopathologist, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Muscat, Oman


Recordings of the I TRY IT 2021 and 2022 Lectures

These recordings will only be available for I TRY IT 2022 Participants. If you are an I TRY IT 2022 participant, please make sure you are logged in to the website.