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Research Harmonisation Award

The purpose of Research Harmonisation Groups (RHG) is to produce methods for sharing and/or comparing data across countries to increase the creative drive of schizophrenia research internationally.

Each year a new topic will be chosen and for 2020 the research topic was epidemiology. The 2020 RHG was awarded to the conveners Wim Veling, M.D., Ph.D. and Craig Morgan, Ph.D. If you have questions about the 2020 RHG awardee deliberations, please contact Wim Veling at w.veling@umcg.nl.

SUBMISSIONS CLOSED: Stay tuned for the 2021 Call for Proposals in May 2021.

*Only members of SIRS are eligible to apply.

About

The purpose of Research Harmonisation Groups (RHG) is to produce methods for sharing and/or comparing data across countries to increase the creative drive of schizophrenia research internationally. Each Research Harmonisation Group is expected to turn research ideas into funded studies for harmonising measurement techniques or data sharing that will boost the outcomes of schizophrenia research. The groups are not set up to define the questions to be answered through data harmonisation but to agree what measures could be collected across different sites or discuss how to share data. All discussions of measures must account for cross-cultural differences and participant burden so they can be shared among all countries. Research harmonisation has been carried out in specific areas of research, e.g. high risk groups, which has resulted in step changes in our research. Each year a new topic will be chosen and for 2020 the research topic is epidemiology.

Group Membership

Membership of each group must have the following:
Academic input - Research Harmonisation Groups may consist of from five to twenty senior researchers who have a research track record in the topic covered by the Group. At least half the members should be early career researchers (post docs, first time lecturers) who are nurtured by senior members of the group. The Society recognizes early career researchers as individuals who are less than 40 years of age or within five years post-doc of their terminal degree taking into account career breaks.

The group should include people with lived experience. They may also include industry representatives, if appropriate.

Convener - A Convenor will accept responsibility for organising Research Harmonisation Group meetings and for liaising with the Society.  Convenors can be based in any country and must have the academic credibility to draw together academics who can produce fundable research. The Covener must be a SIRS member.

Inclusive - Research Harmonisation Groups are open to all members of the Society and should be as inclusive as possible. The proposal should involve individuals from at least five countries.

Consumer involvement - Research Harmonisation Groups should demonstrate that they have input from consumers who have shown an interest in research in the topic covered by the group but are not necessarily members of SIRS. This is to ensure groups take account of issues that might interfere with the process of data sharing and that the measures adopted account of participant burden. This process is achieved through involvement at the beginning, the end and throughout the existence of the Research Harmonisation Group. This inclusion can be through groups representing consumers but should take into account cross cultural differences.

Application

Application proforma draft
1. Need for the Research Harmonisation Group
Please describe the topic covered, whether this is about building data sharing or developing harmonised research methods or measures, and the specific remit of the group. It is also important to be specific about the involvement of the consumer groups in the development of the group and the topic chosen.
Maximum 250 words
2. Specific aims
Please be clear about the aims and how you intend to complete them. You should include the overall outcome as well as the interim outcomes (6, 12, 18 months). Include any funding proposals or publications planned as part of this process.
Maximum 600 words
3. Group Membership
Describe the convener and their expertise for completing the task (100 words maximum). Include all the members (including the consumer group or individuals with lived experience), their expertise (maximum 50 words per person) and provide information on the number of countries, early career researchers and the diversity represented in the group.

The RHG may consist of from five to twenty senior researchers who have a research track record in the topic covered by the Group (the 2020 the research topic is epidemiology). At least half the members should be early career researchers (post docs, first time lecturers) who are nurtured by senior members of the group.  The senior researchers and early career researchers must be SIRS members. The Society recognizes early career researchers as individuals who are less than 40 years of age or within five years post-doc of their terminal degree taking into account career breaks.

*The overall application is expected to be less than three pages

Selection Process

Selection Process
Application for Research Harmonisation Groups will be advertised annually. One group will be chosen each year. The application process will require applicants to address:

  • the need for such a group in the topic area, including what measurement techniques or data sharing gaps need to be addressed
  • the specific aims of the group including the expected outcomes
  • the personnel, including the name of the convener and senior group members, with brief information on their expertise, and other information on the group including the number of countries represented, the gender diversity, and the number of early career researchers, as well as the extent of consumer and, if appropriate, industry involvement

Applications will be short – limited to two pages plus the membership information - and will be peer reviewed through the Awards committee and approved by the SIRS Executive (see proforma below). Membership is governed by the convener but they will be encouraged to consider expanding membership from the other unsuccessful applicants

Responsibilities and Reporting

Responsibilities and Reporting
Each Research Harmonisation Group is expected to convene one or two fairly large meetings either in person or remotely to set the scene for the group. From these initial meetings, it is anticipated that a number of much smaller Writing Groups will emerge, whose purpose will be to work on one or more issues on behalf of the group. Following receipt of the resources the group will:

Within 6 months the RHG will provide SIRS with at least two Titles.  A Title is an intention to develop a specific problem for schizophrenia research and will contain: a statement of the question, the study method, and the membership of the Writing Group.

Within 12 months the RHG will have submitted a report to SIRS on the progress made by the group.

Within 18 months, the RHG will be expected to have clear outcomes for at least two data sharing protocols.  An RHG will also be expected to demonstrate how it is continuing to liaise with SIRS members who are active in the area covered by the group.

The Convenor will also be responsible for submitting a final report for inclusion on the SIRS webpages and communications.

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements
Any publication or grant proposal based on the findings of the group should also name SIRS and acknowledge its support for the Research Harmonisation Group.

Support Provided

Support Provided to Research Harmonisation Groups
A total of $5,000 is available to support an RHG over the two-year period. The convener is responsible for all administration of the RHG during the term of the RHG including all meeting organisation and report writing.

Duration

Duration
RHGs are funded for a fixed term of 2 years.  This 2-year cycle allows Groups to re-evaluate the research environment and reconvene as appropriate to continuously address cutting edge research priorities.

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