NI Clinical Research Network Team Host Diabetes Research Café in RVH, Belfast

February 8, 2024


Our BHSCT Diabetes Research team organised a Diabetes Research Café morning on Thursday 1st February, at the Regional Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Royal Victoria Hospital.


The Research café was extremely well attended by diabetes clinical staff, consultants, specialist nurses, department staff, medical secretaries and administration support. Diabetes Research nurse Charlotte said,

“It was wonderful to meet so many colleagues.  The morning was bustling with chat in a friendly, café style environment with tea and coffee and an opportunity to promote the NICRN diabetes research portfolio”.


Pictured (L-R) Diabetes Clinical Research Nurses Lynsey and Charlotte, BHSCT


The research team showcased the NI Clinical Research Network’s current and upcoming clinical trials, provided information on research published to date for the TOPAZ study and displayed posters from National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) on the benefits of research for patients and society.


There were lots of free goodies available from sponsors of the event such as NI Clinical Research Network, Royal College Nursing (RCN) and NIHR. Attendees were given free merchandise including notebooks, pens, water bottles, and lanyards.


Our Diabetes clinical research nurses also organised a fun mock trial aimed to demonstrate how our patients are recruited and randomised to different study arms.  14 clinical colleagues took part in the mock research trial which researched individual taste perceptions of dark chocolate.


Mock Trial Results






The team found that participants randomised to taste chocolate at 60% and 70% cocoa were more likely to accurately guess the cocoa percentage.  Those randomised to more than 80% cocoa chocolate were less likely to guess the percentage.


Interestingly, most participants said they preferred milk chocolate before the mock trial, however after the taste test of higher percentage cocoa chocolate, the majority of participants said they would purchase the higher percentage cocoa chocolate given to them during randomisation in the mock trial.


What a fab and engaging morning, thank you to all our clinical colleagues for attending and supporting the event.  Our feedback sheets showed that colleagues found the event extremely helpful and we look forward to more events in the future and working alongside our clinical team for current and future clinical trials.


By Emma Byrne