2014 Research Proposal Workshop in Limassol

3rd EONS Research Proposal Workshop

29-30 May 2014
Curium Palace Hotel, Limassol, Cyprus
Facilitators: Prof. Daniel Kelly, Dr. Andreas Charalambous and Dr. Theresa Wiseman.

Participants at the EONS Research Proposal Workshop 2014

The workshop venue was situated in the centre of Limassol, allowing participants to sight-see and catch a glimpse of the Mediterranean. There were eight participants from six countries: Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Germany, UK and Ireland.

Following the necessary ice-breaking exercises, we gave participants an opportunity to present their ideas to each other by discussing the practice problem they were thinking of exploring through a research proposal. This allowed participants to comment critically on each other’s proposals. Proposals varied in nature, covering the fields of Clinical Oncology, Haematology, Education and Management. Methodological approaches also varied, though most participants favoured a quantitative approach.

During the workshop, the facilitators introduced a blend of presentations on research methods and practices that reflected the interests of the participants. Therefore, details were given on several methodological approaches with examples given from the facilitators’ own studies. Dr Charalambous gave a presentation on qualitative methodological approaches with emphasis on hermeneutics and hermeneutic phenomenology. Several small group discussions on the participants’ projects were held in an effort to think through the details of the problem at hand and reflect these on their proposals. Emphasis was given on how to form a research question that is concise, feasible and most importantly realistic.

The workshop, although short in length, allowed for some free time for the participants. On the second evening, the participants and the facilitators ate together at a traditional Cypriot restaurant in the Old Castle area which dates back to the Venetian period. The participants were indulged by a mixture of tastes that characterizes the Cypriot cuisine accompanied by the world renowned red wine. This time gave the opportunity for people to discuss in a relaxed environment and exchange their experiences of living and working in other European countries.

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 majority of the participants provided positive feedback in terms of the workshop. However, many said that they would appreciate an extra day for the workshop and more group discussions. Some comments from participants, in their own words:

“The workshop gave me the opportunity to refine my research question.”
“It is clearer to me now what I need to do.”
“The facilitators were very competent and supportive throughout the workshop.”

Since the workshop finished, participants have been encouraged to work closely with their mentors to further develop their research projects. The outcomes of this research workshop are expected to increase over time.

Research as a fundamental pillar of EONS CARE strategy will continue to hold a prominent place in our plans. As a result EONS is paying particular attention to infusing the research culture into its membership through a variety of ways including the Research workshop. Research is the gate to new knowledge, better clinical practice and better care for the patients and that is why we call all our members to take the step towards crossing this gate.

Report by Dr Andreas Charalambous, EONS Executive Board Member