2015 Research Proposal Workshop in Amsterdam

2015 Research Proposal Workshop

Facilitators: Dr Andreas Charalambous, Dr Theresa Wiseman, Dr Ulrika Ostlund

The 4th EONS Research Proposal Workshop took place from 20 to 22 May 2015. It was held at Singel 80, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Participants: hear what they thought

Watch these three short videos of people who took part in the 2015 workshop and hear what they thought of it in their own words.


Ioanna Tsatsou from Athens, Greece


Iveta Nohavova from the Czech Republic


Danielle Zweers from Utrecht, the Netherlands

Report by Dr Andreas Charalambous

Day 1

Participants were given the opportunity to present their research ideas in terms of the practice problem they were planning to explore. This gave all participants the opportunity to comment critically on each other’s proposals. It also allowed facilitators to gain some insight into the proposed projects in terms of feasibility and contribution to knowledge. The participants planned proposals in various clinical fields including intensive care, translational research, epidemiology, surgical oncology, paediatric oncology and symptom management. This variation of fields of interest was matched by a variation in methodological approaches; however, most participants favoured quantitative and mixed methods.

Day 1 of the three-day workshop
Day 1 of the three-day workshop.

Day 2

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. This year the facilitators encouraged the participants to work in pairs trying to formulate their research question and to distinguish between primary and secondary outcomes. The effort was to form research questions that were concise, feasible and, most importantly, realistic. Their work was then presented to the facilitators, who made critical comments towards refining these research questions.

Day 2: facilitator Dr Theresa Wiseman gives a presentation on how to conduct a successful literature review.
Day 2: facilitator Dr Theresa Wiseman gives a presentation on how to conduct a successful literature review.

Constructive criticism from facilitators helped participants to shape their proposals.
Constructive criticism from facilitators helped participants to shape their proposals.

Day 3

Participants received information on how to fund their studies and the ethical aspects they need to consider throughout planning and executing their projects. We held several small-group discussions on participants’ projects, in an effort to think through the details of the problem at hand and ensure the proposals reflect these. As part of the research workshop, the participants had to provide an anonymous evaluation. The evaluation is important as it sheds light on the ways that future workshops can be improved. The participants provided positive feedback about the workshop, particularly appreciating the formulation and refinement of their research proposal and the safe environment in which the workshop took place.

Participants at the Research Proposal Workshop.
Participants at the Research Proposal Workshop.


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