SIRS Awards the 2022 Research Harmonisation Award
The Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) has awarded the 2022 Research Harmonisation Award (RHA) to the co-conveners Amy Pinkham, Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas, Tim Ziermans, Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam, and Michal Hajdúk, Ph.D. from Comenius University in Bratislava.
The purpose of an RHA is to produce methods that will allow sharing and/or comparing data across countries to accelerate schizophrenia research internationally. The RHA is expected to harmonise measurement techniques or data sharing that will support funded studies that will boost research outcomes. Each year a new topic will be chosen and for 2022 the research topic was social cognition.
A Message from Professor Amy Pinkham
Along with my co-conveners, Tim Ziermans and Michal Hajdúk, and on behalf of the Social Cognition SIRS RHA group, we are tremendously honored to receive this award. Social cognition is highly relevant for day-to-day functioning and is widely studied. However, harmonization is significantly limited by current measurement approaches, which often ignore the potential influence of culture and utilize a wide variety of tasks, many of which may not be psychometrically sound across cultures. With this award, we hope to develop a unified, cross-culturally valid approach to social cognitive research that will facilitate comparison of results across studies and ultimately contribute to treatment development and evaluation. We have assembled a large group of experts in social cognitive research that is highly diverse in gender, race, ethnicity, career stage, and lived experience and that represents more than seven countries. To advance cross-cultural social cognitive research, we will first conduct a wide-ranging expert survey to gather nominations for novel tasks of social cognition that are well-suited to cross-cultural and transdiagnostic use. We will then use the Delphi Method within the RHA group to identify a consensus set of social cognitive measures that we will recommend for use in future data collection efforts. Finally, we will leverage the expertise of the RHA group to develop a protocol for international and transdiagnostic social cognitive data collection and develop infrastructure to share data. We hope that this work will provide a foundation for future awards that will support large-scale, cross-cultural data collection, and we are excited to get started!
A Message from Professor Kim Do, SIRS Awards Committee Chair
The Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) has awarded its Research Harmonisation Award (RHA) 2022 to a consortium headed by Professor Amy Pinkham, which includes members from at least seven countries on three continents as well as individuals with lived experience. Their project will address the need for harmonization of social cognitive research, especially the issue of the cross-cultural validity of social cognitive tasks. Testing the effectiveness of treatments targeting social cognition without having large-scale standard measures highly limits the possibility to delineate treatment efficacy and to compare results. The specific aims are notably to conduct a wide-ranging expert survey to gather nominations for novel tasks of social cognition that may be well-suited to cross-cultural and transdiagnostic use, to apply the Delphi Method to identify a consensus set of social cognition measures as well as to leverage the expertise of the group to develop a protocol for international and transdiagnostic data collection, and to set up an infrastructure to share these data. This will be of great use for testing the effectiveness of treatments targeting social cognition based on standard measures having international validity.
To learn more about the SIRS RHA award, please click here.