Research workshop at EMSSA
Choosing your topic: Finding Dory with Colleen Saunders.
- Starting with something that you’re interested in and something that you are intrinsically passionate about.
- Read around the topic. Get familiar with what is already out there and look for the gaps.
- Find issues that are relevant to your personal practice. Have a curious mind about what you do day to day. If you feel you need a solution then that might be a way forward to a research program.
- Strategically you might want to work with particular people. Look at what they have done before and see where their gaps are and suggest that you might want to do that.
- Similarly you could be strategic in looking at a career pathway. Look for known gaps in research e.g. JLA and ECP in SA. Take these to particular units or career pathways to get involved.
- Exploratory – Identify the boundaries and factors of the problem. This also includes qualititive as well here as that might be a separate arm of research that may be more familiar to non-physicians.
- Descriptive – observe and describe factors
- Experimental/Explanatory – identify casual links between factors
- Evaluative – reviewing other research.
- Use of the Broselow tape in malnourished children.
- ED or Ortho manipulation of fractures.
- What’s the neurological outcome in paedaitric drowning cases
Finding the perfect supervisor: Fantastic beasts and where to find them.
- Research supervision is different beast to undergraduate work. The topic and the thesis is the work of the candidate and not the supervisor. This is encapsulated in a quote from Kevin Mackway-Jones (who supervised two of Simon’s postgrad degrees) ‘I have always told my doctoral students right at the beginning that a doctorate is a grown up degree and that their effort and insight is the key to success, not mine. I also make it clear early on that by the end of it (and quite often much earlier!) they will, quite rightly, know more about the subject than I do.’
- Personal characteristics are important. They need to be someone you can work with, who will actually help, who is accessible and useful. Accessibility is interesting in that you might need more at the beginning and end of a research project but in the middle months and years you may well be largely self directed (see point 1 above).
- Domain knowledge is important, they need to be able to understand what you are doing but realise that about 2/3 of the way into a project you will hopefully know more than they do. You need someone who can accept and hepl promote this.
- A research supervisor should not be someone who tells you what to do and when, nor one that always tells you what is good or bad. Their role should be to challenge your ideas and thoughts. A great supervisor is a critical friend more than a process dicatotor.
- Track record is important too. A supervisor who has good evidence of helping students through to completion – and to future careers – is probably going to be a good one. That said, a junior supervisor may be more accessible and enthusiastic about your personal project. Some would say that a more junior supervisor who is attached to a very well established research group may be a good idea (as junior supervisors may get advice and mentoring from senior supervisors in such settings).
Finding funding with Michael McCaul: The Wolf of Wall Street.
- Find out where the good places to fish are. Look for funding grants.
- Collaborate. Much easier of you fish together, particularly when you need a methodological expert, Groups applications may be more successful.
- Aim at an appropriate level. Don’t go for a massive grant if you have no track record. Aim for smaller grants. Consider combining smaller grants into one greater project. You can also apply for top up funding in some cases to help develop small projects.
- Don’t always go for the big fish. Track record is really important. Start small and then work from there.
- Be a good captain by not forgetting the importance of admin. Get advice on your plans, budgets, language and structure of the proposal. Again, don’t forget the budget issue. The budget…. get the idea…..the budget is really important.
- Budgets. Salaries, travel, publication, test materials, admin support, statistical support, software, printing, computers, etc. Don’t forget indirect costs to support infrastructure. Bottom line is don’t get this wrong and makes sure that you seek expert financial help. This is one of those areas where your supervisor can help guide you through the red tape. For example if applying in a different country you might have to make sure you are protected against changes to currency exchange rates.
Revenge of the Nerds: Taking the leap into publication with Stevan Bruijns
- A high volume of publications (author centre)
- A high volume of views (reader centred)
- A high volume of citations (researcher centred)
- Within the specialized area and my region of my interest.
What did we get from the day?
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Posted by Simon Carley
Professor Simon Carley MB ChB, PGDip, DipIMC (RCS Ed), FRCS (Ed)(1998), FHEA, FAcadMed, FRCEM, MPhil, MD, PhD is Creator, Webmaster, owner and Editor in Chief of the St Emlyn’s blog and podcast. He is Professor of Emergency Medicine at Manchester Metropolitan University and a Consultant in adult and paediatric Emergency Medicine at Manchester Foundation Trust. He is co-founder of BestBets, St.Emlyns and the MSc in emergency medicine at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an Education Associate with the General Medical Council and is an Associate Editor for the Emergency Medicine Journal. His research interests include diagnostics, MedEd, Major incidents & Evidence based Emergency Medicine. He is verified on twitter as @EMManchester