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Pooja’s story: leading a workshop as a Student Ambassador

How I led a training workshop at my university

I’m Pooja Panchal, a PhD student from Symbiosis International (Deemed University) in Pune, Maharashtra, India. In 2016, I learned about Covidence in a training session organised by the Campbell Collaboration. My eagerness to conduct systematic reviews piqued my interest in learning more about the software.

Over several years, I honed my skills in operating the software. Also, I obtained the chance to transfer my knowledge to the students of the master’s program of Nutrition and Dietetics at Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences. When I heard about the launch of the Covidence Student Ambassador Program, I was excited for the realtime exposure to the Covidence Community Managers, interacting with them and learning from their experiences. I applied to the program and was fortunate to be selected as one of the 13 ambassadors in September 2022.


I was fortunate to be accepted to the Student Ambassador Program. This coveted opportunity got me electrified yet baffled at the same time. I thought managing my current work and the program would be challenging, yet I accepted the challenge. Covidence scheduled an induction session and provided me with a detailed action plan. This support gave me the confidence to proceed with the program. At my home institution, with the support and facilitation of the community managers and staff, I started preparing for the training workshop. Prof. Kavitha Menon, my mentor Professor and Head of the Nutrition and Dietetics programme, gave me unwavering support to conduct a training session for third-semester master’s students specialising in public health and nutrition.


In total, 25 participants attended the workshop. The attendees were postgraduate students (n=20), doctoral students (n=3) and others (n=2). Collectively, 80% provided feedback and reported training as very interesting (n=17), with an easy content flow (n=15) and a good pace (n=15). Of those, 58% of the students look forward to participating as an ambassador during future sessions.


Conducting a training workshop takes meticulous planning before the session. It starts with obtaining the necessary permissions  from the head of the institution. An important consideration was the timing of the workshop and ensuring the availability of attendees, who adjusted their regular schedule to facilitate my delivery of the session within a stipulated time frame. Also, it was imperative to convey all the important aspects of the Covidence platform while offering a hands-on session. Hence, attendees had the chance to try it for themselves.


Planning and delivering a training workshop for the first time was a commendable learning and organising experience for me. I felt proud to have conducted it for such a large group within just a few weeks. I feel grateful to the Covidence community for believing in me and allowing me to conduct a successful training session at my institution.

Photo: Pooja (front row, centre) and the attendees at her workshop

Are you interested in becoming a Covidence Student Ambassador? Contact our Community Team ( for more information. 



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