Empowering Research for Better Healthcare (EMBRACE) Workshop

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PILAR Research and Education, in collaboration with the Clinical Epidemiology Department at University of the Philippines Manila organized the Empowering Research for Better Healthcare (EMBRACE) Workshop last August 10, 2017. This event took place in Hotel Kimberly, Manila, Philippines. The workshop gave an overview of how modern day health research and data analysis can provide evidence to ensure best practice of healthcare. The workshop combined fundamentals of research data analysis in non-communicable disease, an overview of modern methodological techniques, as well as in-depth discussions about practical issues and feasibility of conducting research in the Philippines. There were over 70 attendees in the workshop, with a mix of lectures, interactive sessions and practical demonstrations of statistical analysis with discussions. Some participants were also able to have one-on-one discussions with our key speakers to discuss their own research projects. The workshop was opened by Dr. Marissa M. Alejandria from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology, College of Medicine and Dr. Johnathan Watkins, Director of PILAR Research & Education. The workshop proper started with Dr. Carlo Irwin A. Panelo giving a lecture on Trends in non-communicable disease in the Philippines and the role of research. Dr. Panelo is an Associate Professor at the Department of Clinical Epidemiology of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. One of the guest speakers from Loyola University, US, Professor Timothy O’Brien, followed right after and gave an Overview of data analysis. His second presentation that morning was on Design and analysis of experimental research. Professor Timothy is a Graduate Program Director (Statistics) from Loyola University, Chicago, USA. Dr. Paul Ferdinand M. Reganit, a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Section of Cardiology from the UP-Philippine General Hospital discussed the Design and analysis of observational research: experience from a community-based cohort study in the Philippines. Dr. Watkins ended the last session in the morning and gave a lecture on Projecting the rates of chronic disease outcomes. The afternoon sessions were a little more hands on with the attendees required to stay in their designated groups for the small group activity on Planning a health research analysis. Attendees were spread out so they can mingle and learn from other attendees from other industries. After the interactive group activities, Professor Timothy presented on Dealing with complex data: modern practice and practical considerations. That was the last presentation before the final closing. Overall, the event was very successful. Pilar Research & Education is looking forward to collaborating with the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at University of the Philippines Manila for more events and collaboration.

Academic Networking for Researchers: Why is it important?

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Doing research on a topic only few can relate to may have its downside. Apart from the challenges in conducting scientific research or the difficulties in attaining research funding, there may be times you will feel isolated because you spend so much time working alone in a library or in a laboratory. Maybe sometimes, it gets easier to lose track and prioritize other things when you don’t have a support person or team. Or maybe you end up mingling in the same group of people that are helping you succeed in your research circle and don’t take time to expand out from that. Being the best in academics is not the only way to create the best research material. Apart from performance and productivity, it is important to have good network relations to ensure better results in your studies and post research career. Here are some tips which can help you enhance your academic life while completing a research: Start with your supervisor or research mentor. Your supervisor may be the person who understands the goal of your research paper. They may have been in the industry longer than you and can link you with the right people in the field. You may be able to tap on your supervisor or research mentor’s existing network of contacts. Find a professional group. There are many professional groups, and most of them already have an online presence where you can inquire about membership or just generally joining in to get information and exchange ideas. You can search through directories for local associations or groups where you can join and mingle with other like-minded researchers, or you can have a look online in platforms such as Linkedin or Meet-Up to discuss ideas and hear about frequently asked questions. The only downside to joining too many associations or groups is the overwhelming amount of information that you can get from them. So it is important to find the right groups or associations and vet them based on the members and the amount of dedication required from you to join. Attend seminars and conferences. Face-to-face interactions are always one of the best and fastest ways to expand your network of contacts. Meeting people in person is also more memorable compared to speaking to someone over the phone or sending them an e-mail. Seminars and conferences may be minimal in one city, so opening up your options to travel to other seminars and conferences in other cities should also be in your agenda. Some of these meetings also provide funding to contribute towards your travel. Read our members’ stories about getting travel grants to attend conferences in South Korea and the UK. Talk to other professionals. It’s important to network outside your academic circle. Not only will this give you the opportunity to pick the brains of individuals coming from the commercial and public sector, but it can also open our mind and possibly gain more connections which may be beneficial for your research study or …