2017 Research Proposal Workshop in Stockholm
Facilitators: Andreas Charalambous, Wendy Oldenmenger, Lena Sharp, Kristina Olausson
The 5th EONS Research Proposal Workshop took place from 10 to 12 May 2017 at the Regionalt Cancercentrum, Stockholm, Sweden. In total 12 delegates took part in the Workshop, coming from 7 countries. Here, EONS Board Member Andreas Charalambous reports:
The essence of the Research Proposal Workshop is to give the participants the opportunity to discuss their research ideas with their peers and the faculty. These ideas are often generated within the clinical context and reflect gaps in current practices. Through their presentations, the delegates received constructive comments on how to further develop their ideas. It also allowed the members of the faculty to gain some insight into the proposed projects in terms of feasibility and contribution to knowledge. There was a wide variety of topics that were identified by the delegates including integration between acute oncology and palliative care, exploring the perspectives of LGBT people within the cancer care setting, supporting patients with cachexia, using VR environments (Virtual Reality) to facilitate patients coping with body image changes induced by cancer and its treatments, and implementing eHealth applications to improve adherence to treatment, to mention a few.
A lecture by Professor Carol Tishelman was then followed by a discussion. This included highlighting the good research practices required when undertaking quantitative and qualitative research.
The facilitators introduced various research methods and practices that reflected the interests of the participants. The emphasis was on examples drawn from the facilitators’ own studies as well as seminal research in relevant topics. The RECaN phase I systematic review, currently undertaken by EONS, was presented to the participants as an example of doing a systematic review on complex and challenging topics. The delegates were encouraged to work in small groups with the facilitators’ guidance, trying to formulate their research question and background to their proposed projects.
As part of the Research Proposal Workshop the delegates attended at a lecture by Dr Mona Ridderheim working at the Regionalt Cancercentrum. Dr Ridderheim elaborated on the Swedish Cancer and Quality Registries and the possibilities that arise for undertaking research using register data.
Part of doing a research study involves the acquisition of ethical approval and funding. Participants received detail information on how to write a funding proposal as well as the available agencies and bodies that provide competitive funding schemes. By drawing on empirical examples the delegates were introduced to the ethical aspects they need to consider throughout every stage of their projects. Throughout the three days, several small-group discussions on delegates’ projects were held, in an effort to identify any potential problems in their suggested design and appropriately address these.
An extensive presentation on doing a Mixed Methods study was presented by Dr Ulrika Ostlund.
As part of the research workshop, the delegates provided an anonymous evaluation with the aim of improving future research events. The participants provided positive feedback about the workshop, particularly appreciating the critical evaluations of their research proposal and the safe and highly learning environment in which the workshop took place. EONS President-Elect Lena Sharp said: “They all had very interesting and important research plans – and the workshop gave them the guidance and support they need to continue and develop their work even further.”
These pictures illustrate the activities taking place at the workshop.
The workshop group
Learning from each other
Andreas Charalambous explains key points