Choosing a Topic for the RANZCP Scholarly Project – Dr Doug Blomeley
Dr Doug Blomeley, BMBS, BN, MPSYCH is a clinical lecturer at the Deakin University School of Medicine. After graduating from medical school, Dr Blomeley was awarded the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Prize in Clinical Medicine. He is also an honorary research associate with St Vincent’s Mental Health Service.
Is your project something that’s broad enough to enable a rich and stimulating project without being far too difficult to contain within a 5000-word limit?
View this as something that you’re not doing only for the college and your own learning, but with a view to publication; it helps you search for meaning in your motivation and helps pull you through the project a little bit.
If you’re coming into your last year of training and you haven’t submitted a proposal, it’s a good time to get your skates on and get moving.
Summary and slides
Dr Blomeley begins this segment by discussing other considerations for the scholarly project, such as whether the topic chosen might help with other areas of training or assessments to be undertaken, in terms of knowledge and skills gained.
He moves on to discuss ways to narrow the scope of the project to ensure it can be delivered within the word limit. He suggests assigning at least 6 months to complete the project due to other ongoing training requirements.
He also suggests factoring in the wait to receive results and the potential that the project may require re-submitting.
He recommends candidates submit their project proposal as soon as they are happy with their idea. He points out that if a project needs ethics approval, then this could delay the project starting. He suggests upskilling before commencing the project and gives some suggestions on how to do this.
He shows an example of a proposal form and the required domains that must be satisfied for a project to be approved and suggests completing this with the project supervisor.
He concludes this segment by describing how he went about finding a supervisor and suggests candidates are assertive in doing this.
Take Home Messages:
- Consider choosing a topic that will help with other areas of training or evaluation, due to knowledge and skills gained.
- When choosing a topic, ensure it is broad enough to be stimulating but not so broad it cannot be contained within the word limit.
- Consider that you may be able to publish research findings.