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How to Critically Evaluate a Research Paper

Live Training

Learn how to get an in-depth look at scientific papers and the tools used to evaluate them

Sharpen your skills when evaluating and discussing research papers with KOLs

Being able to critically evaluate a research paper is one of THE most important skills an MSL needs to be successful. Unfortunately, many MSLs do not receive the proper training on how to evaluate, critique and discuss clinical papers. This training provides the skills necessary to confidently discuss any research paper with any KOL.

Do you know how to critically evaluate a research paper?

Do you struggle with extracting the facts from a single or multiple research papers?

Do you know how to assess the value of a research paper?

Do you know how to add value to a KOL discussion using information from a research paper?

We will address all these questions and much more during this unique live training program!


Dr. Samuel Dyer

Dr. Samuel Dyer

CEO - MSL Society

Linda Traylor, PhD

Linda Traylor, PhD

Vice President, Clinical Development & Medical Affairs - Biodesix

Coming Soon

Dates & Pricing

Dates: TBD

Raleigh, NC

$895 MSL Society Member

$995 Non-Member

Interested in a Customized Training at your company?

Contact Me

Program Overview:


This one and a half day workshop is designed specifically with the needs of MSLs in mind and offers participants an in-depth look at scientific papers and the tools used to evaluate them. Covering everything from the types of scientific literature to comparing clinical trials, this workshop will help MSLs engage with scientific papers and extract the information they need to discuss evidence-based medicine with KOLs and physicians.

Facilitators will present background information and important strategies for gathering, organizing, and evaluating information from papers. A variety of challenging activities will activate this knowledge and promote thoughtful and critical discussion. The participants will have the opportunity to work with papers to practice the critical thinking skills necessary for giving KOLs and physicians information that is relevant, useful, and accurate.

Workshop Topics include:

  • Types of scientific literature
  • Structure of scientific papers
  • Clinical trial design
  • Evaluating study results
  • Assessing the value of a scientific paper
  • Comparing clinical trials



Day 1

 9:00 – 9:15               Welcome, Objectives, and Introductions

 9:15 – 10:00             Presentation: Clinically relevant literature

10:00 – 10:45           Activity: Anatomy of a clinical trial papers                                  

10:45 – 11:00           Coffee Break and Networking                                      

11:00 – 11:45           Presentation: Crash course in clinical trials

11:45 – 12:30           Activity: Clinical Trials from the ground up

12:30 – 1:30             Lunch

1:30 – 2:15           Presentation: Dissecting a clinical trial paper 

2:15 – 3:00               Activity: Extract the facts

3:00 – 3:15              Coffee Break and Networking                                      

3:15 – 4:00              Presentation & Activities: Statistics and data visualization 101    

4:00 – 4:45              Presentation: Assessing the value of a paper

4:45 – 5:00              Wrap Up


Day 2

9:00 – 9:15               Activity: From papers to practice

9:15 – 10:30            Presentation: The problem of comparing clinical trials  

10:30 – 10:45              Coffee Break and Networking                                       

10:45- 11:30               Activity: Exploring the pitfalls of comparing clinical trials

11:30 – 12:00             Summary and final discussion    


Learning Outcomes:


One of the unique aspects of this training is the ability for you to receive multiple tools to help you critically evaluate papers. 


After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:


  1. Identify the type of paper they need to read to get the information they are looking for

  2. Extract the most important information from a paper

  3. Assess the reliability of results

  4. Distinguish facts from interpretation

  5. Spot potential weaknesses in study design

  6. Critique papers with confidence

  7. Judge the clinical significance of a paper

  8. Each participant will receive  a work booklet with worksheets for analyzing and evaluating clinical trial papers

  9. Each participant will receive templates for extracting the most important information from a paper to create a map of a clinical trial in order to prepare for talks with physicians

  10. Each participant will receive presentations used to present background information on clinical trials, scientific literature, data visualization and statistics, and evaluating papers accessible to participants on the MSLS website after the workshop


 Who Should Attend?

This program is open to any MSL or MSL leader interested in gaining new skills and a foundational understanding of how to critically evaluate research papers.

  • Recently hired MSLs
  • Experienced MSLs interested in additional training
  • MSL Managers
  • MSL Trainers
  • Those interested in understanding the different types of scientific papers and the tools used to evaluate them
  • Those who want to be successful in engaging with scientific papers and extracting the information they need to discuss evidence-based medicine with KOLs and physicians


Date & Location

Raleigh, NC

Dates: TBD

This program will take place at the Raleigh Marriot City Center, which is located 20 minutes from Raleigh- Durham International Airport.  


Address: 500 Fayetteville Street – Raleigh, North Carolina 27601 US




The hotel is just a 20-minute taxi ride from the RDU (Raleigh/Durham) airport. We also recommend using Uber as it is very easy to get from the airport (they have a pick up spot) – is hassle free and less expensive.



  • Special Hotel Discount Rate of $199 per night 
  • You will receive a hotel reservation link in your registration confirmation email




Shortly after completing the initial registration and payment, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions to reserve your hotel room and other details about the program.


Cancellation Policies:


Training Event Schedules

The How to Critically Evaluate a Research Paper One Day Live program is subject to change without notice based on minimum attendance requirements. Please check session’s schedules frequently. The MSL Society may cancel scheduled classes up to three (3) days prior to the scheduled start of the event if certain attendance minimums aren’t met.

Refund Policy

A cancellation or postponement of a scheduled online training date made within five (5) days prior to the scheduled training will be refunded 100% of the registration fee. If a cancellation is requested less than 5 days prior to the scheduled training, we can transfer your registration to a future session, however, no refund will be issued.



This training is like a behind the scenes understanding on what is going on by those reviewing your application, it’s insightful and will help you develop a competitive advantage in your career pursuit…

This is the type of training and information that all new MSL candidates should have before they apply to a position. As an MSL recruiter, so many of the candidates I review have many of the skill set pieces that they need to successfully go after a MSL position but they do not know how to construct a persuasive overall case for their candidacy. This webinar helps them understand the key skills they need to become an MSL (scientific/therapeutic, and presentation/collaboration)and how to build upon areas they may need to upskill. Lastly, how to network, where to network and why you are networking is critical to the process and Dr. Dyer and his outside contributors from industry round out an insightful understanding how to compete for these highly sought after positions. This training is like a behind the scenes understanding on what is going on by those reviewing your application, its insightful and will help you develop a competitive advantage to your career pursuit. 

Ken Kupersmith

Nationally Recognized Executive Recruiter, Smith Hanley Associates

I attended the MSL training virtual course ‘How to become an MSL’ on July 31st. This was a great presentation and provided extremely helpful advice and real examples; information I can apply in succeeding in my own MSL role. I especially liked how ALL participants questions were answered by one of the experts and Samuel did a fantastic job of grouping the questions and also facilitating the session. Thank you for the insights, I look forward to reading Samuel’s book!

Aislin Spencer

Medical Science Liaison, GSK

After listening to three MSL trainers and managers from different companies talk about what they like in candidates, I can now approach my search efforts with more clarity and confidence. Thank you Sam for facilitating the Become a MSL webinar. Thank you to everyone at MSLS for providing this great resource. This an easy way to learn more about the MSL role!

Vishal Barnela

Licensed Pharmacist

This online training session was very informative for aspiring MSL candidates. It was presented well and was direct in terms of what MSL hiring managers look for in a successful candidate during the hiring process. All of the speakers were MSL hiring managers at one point in their career and shared their expertise in the field. They gave very thoughtful and direct advice on how to break into the MSL field. I would recommend this training session to anyone who is interested in a career as an MSL. 

Iftikhar Bhuiyan, M.D., MBA

Physician, R1 RCM

Online training on how to become a medical science liaison was very helpful. During the training you get recommendations from hiring managers who have been in the MSL field and have been hiring MSLs for many years. The training also lays out how the CV should be and what kind of questions can be expected during an interview process, all this in the comfort of your own home. Thank you Dr. Dyer and the rest of the hiring managers for your valuable input.

Nithin Stephen, Pharm.D

Project Manager - Research and Development

Very informative and practical advise from hiring managers and Dr. Dyer ! I would highly recommend this training session to aspiring MSLs. The program covers all essential topics along with a very useful Q and A. Questions from participants were answered with multiple standpoints. Thank you Dr. Samuel Dyer and MSL Society !

Sudhirkumar Yanpallewar

Staff Scientist, National Cancer Institute

I would recommend this training session to any one who is interested in MSL as a carrier path. The program covered essential topics along with Q and A simultaneously. All my specific questions were answered from multiple standpoints. At the end of the workshop you will be able to self evaluate your strengths and weaknesses along with guidance/ resources to overcome hurdles. Appreciate your efforts !

Asitha Silva MS, PhD

Cardiovascular Scientist | Science Educator | Business Development and Strategy |

Great webinar with lots of tips on how to break into the MSL field. Samuel Dyer and Linda Traylor, PhD were especially helpful in directly addressing questions from participants. Would recommend to all who are considering a career as an MSL.

Kumiko Percival

Analyst, LegitScript

Very informative webinar! I encourage others who are looking to break into their first MSL role, especially those who do not have any clinical background, to sign up for this webinar. Special thanks to Dr. Samuel Dyer, Dr. Linda Traylor, and Dr. Elizabeth Kupferer for their time and insights.

Edugie Ekuase, PhD

Assistant Professor

The training session was very helpful. The information Dr Dyer, Dr Kupferer and Dr Traylor share is invaluable. The session was really insightful, informative and dynamic. I highly recommend taking it! Thanks again to all of those involved for organizing it!

Cristina Chauvet

Biomedical Researcher

The on-line MSL introductory course was insightful with key speakers full of information and guidance. All my questions were addressed and followed up. The course provides you with the necessary resources and contacts to start your transition into becoming a MSL. Great audio-visual presentations and key slides summarised important aspects of the MSL “mind-set”. Many thanks to Dr Dyer, Dr Williams, Dr Kupferer and Dr Traylor for an invaluable session.

Carlos Carrasco MBChB, PhD

Ob Gyn Doctor, Oxford

The online webinar was well organized and packed a lot of information in those 4 hours. Drs. Samuel Dyer, Michael Milane, Jennifer Williams and Linda Traylor, PhD, went through the process of getting the first MSL position. I was initially hesitant to take this course but I’m really glad I did as it clarified/provided useful information. This webinar moves at a fast pace but they still had time to answer all my questions. I can’t wait to receive the copy of Dr. Dyer’s book and put into practice what I learned. That was very helpful. 

Junaid Abdulghani, MD, PhD

Translational Medicine I Cancer Research I Hematology Oncology I Clinical Research I Medical Affairs

I would like to thank Sam and his team for the training session and congratulate them as well for such wonderful training. It was very illustrative and clarifying for me and the quality and rhythm of the presentation was impeccable. Sam, I thank you in advance as well for your book, I’m sure it will be a great and useful reading too and I look forward to network through this and other forums with my “virtual” classmates from Saturday and other MSL professionals and be able to have discussion and share our comments experiences and professional experiences. Feel free to contact me and you can access my email and phone through my profile page in the MSL site. Thanks again!!!

German Roges

Medical, Regulatory & Scientific Consultant, Cresswell Advisors

I just completed the online session “Become a Medical Science Liaison” and found it extremely informative and helpful. This session is a must for anyone who is considering a transition into the medical science liaison field. It provides many concrete steps that one must take in order to become successful. Thank you Drs. Dyer, Kupferer, Milane and Williams for your time and expertise. 

Mary Schultheis

Medical Director, UnitedHealthcare

Shannon Matricardi

Manager, Clinical Communications, Intact Vascular

Rodolphe Lopez, Pharm.D / Ph.D

Postdoctorate, Oncology Specialist

George L. Kumar, PhD, MBA

Vice President of Marketing and Scientific Affairs (Alliance Management, Medical Education), Targos Inc

Ramakumar Tummala, PhD

Molecular Oncologist; Translational Scientist; Pre-clinical drug Development

Himanshu Vashistha, PhD

Renal Research

I found this training an excellent introduction to the MSL role. With several highly experienced panelists, participants learned about the key competencies of an MSL as well as great tips on how to break into the industry.

Sarah Lorenzen, PhD

Medical Science Liaison, Salix Pharmaceuticals

Robert Merker

Associate Medical Publications Manager, Excerpta Medica BV - Adelphi Group

The online training is a great learning experience for aspiring MSL candidates. The four highly regarded MSL hiring managers present topics from unique perspectives to help educate and inform candidates about the MSL role. This is a well-balanced opportunity to learn more about the position and I highly recommend taking full advantage of this program.

Paul Deichmann, Pharm.D.

Doctor of Pharmacy

David Arndt, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow - Committee on Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics

Direct, insightful, practical. It was the perfect refresher/supplement to the 3-day live training. And I enjoyed hearing everybody’s voices – it was like an encouraging reunion with four dedicated MSL mentors. Thank you for making yet another invaluable resource available online!

Eileen Sneeden, PhD

Medical Biophysicist | Clinical Research

Daniela B Divlianska, PhD

Medical Science Liaison

Sunayana B. Banerjee, Ph.D.

Medical Science Liaison, Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Bastien Fricker

Medical Science Liaison, Bayer

Kaoru Miyazaki

Research Assistant Professor, Northwestern University - The Feinberg School of Medicine

I read the MSL career guide some time ago and found it very insightful! Today’s webinar was exciting, helpful, incentive and extremely direct and clear. The speakers enjoyed sharing advice and went on patiently answering ALL of the participants questions. I really appreciated their passion and will to help aspiring MSLs detangle their way to Pharma! Highly recommendable! Special thanks to Samuel Dyer, Cherie Hyder, Douglas Yau, Ph.D, MBA, and Jeff Kraemer Keep up the good job!

Alexandra Kataropoulou, PharmD, PhD

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Pharmacist, Parafarmacia Farmasan Srl

I enjoyed participating in the “How to become an MSL Online Training”. It was very informative and the speakers answered all of the participants questions. A great educational tool for aspiring MSLs!

Juliana Campos, PhD

Diagnostic Radiologist, Teleradiology

I am finishing up my PhD in neuroscience, which I started 4 years ago. During this period I gained a vague understanding that there is possibility for me to marry my love of hard core science with being a communicator in a section of the pharmaceutical industry called Medical Affairs. One day I was lucky enough to come upon the “Medical Science Liaison Career Guide” book (an amazon best seller) and through that I was introduced to the Medical Science Liaison Society (MSLS), as well as its resources. This included the “Become a MSL” webinar training session and the “MSL Candidate Presentation and Communication Skills Certificate Program”. I recently attended the “ Become a  Medical Science Liaison” webinar training and it was fruitful for me!

Mohammad Ebrahimzadeh

Graduate Trainee, CAN-BIND Depression Network

I was pleasantly surprised with the level of detail about MSL role and the tools  provided to become successful. In a few words-valuable guidance, concise answers, excellent presentation, an”eye-opener” for the aspiring MSLs. I feel more confident to continue my job search and how to present myself.  I highly recommend the online class!

Violeta Vartic,MD

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

This is a great program for aspiring MSLs as it provides invaluable insights about the field. Not only one can gain a basic information about MSL position, there is also an opportunity to learn what hiring managers are looking for in prospective candidates. 
Irina Shevel, MD

Clinical Assistant and Office Manager, Neurology and Sleep Medicine

The online training program by MSLS is just the spark I needed to jumpstart  my resolve and get me working towards the goal of landing my first MSL role.

Mahesh (Satyamaheshwar) Peddibhotla, MSc., PhD

Senior Scientist, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute