News from European GP Research Network (EGPRN)
Quo Vadis* EGPRN?
*Where are you going?
A core project initiated in May 2012, for the European General Practice Research Network (EGPRN), has been a reflective process on the network’s future, and of research in general practice, in Europe in general. Quo Vadis
The process started with questionnaires sent to EGPRN National Representatives, which informed subsequent focus group discussions. Many issues were tackled, including membership, finances, organisation and meeting structure, and vision for the future, together with ideas on how we could better meet and network. Specific issues which emerged during discussions with our members included the optimal number of meetings per year, the best ways to support individual researchers, ways to support effective development of international research collaboration and the relationships with National Representatives, national Colleges and WONCA.
EGPRN has been doing well in providing a safe and friendly meeting for discussing research work, in selecting good quality research presentations with good discussions at the meeting, in fostering good personal contacts between family doctor researchers, and in supporting strong collaboration and networking.
Specific proposals for improvement included starting, or getting involved in, funded international collaborative projects, having two meetings with different focus each year, whilst balancing a careful mixture of past qualities and future roles, and trying to get more work done between meetings. The priority shall be on introducing new structures to better support international collaborative research projects, and a re-organisation of the meeting programme and structure to better support new research ideas.
What is EGPRN?
EGPRN is the Network organization of general practitioners/family doctors and other health professionals involved in research in primary care and family medicine in Europe.
EGPRN offers members a chance to meet researcher colleagues by organising meetings twice annually, prompting local and international research collaboration amongst researchers in family medicine. At such meetings research papers are presented and discussed at length, in order to allow participants showcase and improve their research projects.
a. Key EGPRN activities include: conferences twice annually, research courses, database of past abstracts on website, the European research agenda reference document, regular reports from national representatives, position papers on the theme of the conferences published in European journals to summarise each conference proceedings.
b. Services to members: mentoring of researchers, networking of like-minded researchers, fora for research discussion, methodology workshops, publication of research abstracts in European Journal of General Practice, EJGP articles on-line access
c. EGPRN reference materials: materials on website, including research agenda and database of abstracts
The University of Maastricht, offers support as the central administrative office for the activities of EGPRN through the EGPRN Co-ordination Centre which is located in the department of General Practice.
EGPRN is open to individual and institutional membership, via online registration on our website
It is inexpensive to become a member of EGPRN and to attend meetings. The accessible membership and conference fees make it attractive to all European primary care researchers
Official meetings are in spring: every second full weekend in May and in autumn: every third full weekend in October. Different volunteer countries, hosted by the national representatives, take care of the local organisation. The meetings include oral sessions on a predetermined conference theme as well as free standing papers, "one-slide/five-minutes" presentations and "guided-poster sessions".
EGPRN meetings maintain a "workshop format" which although offers constructive criticism, in a friendly and safe environment. EGPRN meetings are popular with both senior and junior researchers.
Selected abstracts of the meetings are published twice a year in The European Journal of General Practice.
EGPRN, national colleges and academic bodies, organizes "International Courses on Research Methodology in PHC", offering the expertise of an international teaching staff.
In addition to already established activities EGPRN has several plans for its future development:
a) More cooperation with other WE networks in common projects.
b) Work on how to be a partner in EU projects
c) More networking with institutional members
For more information
Please visit the EGPRN website
Jean Karl Soler (Chair)