How I Chose the RANZCP Scholarly Project (The Practical Aspects) – Dr Doug Blomeley

Posted on: January 26, 2019
Last Updated: August 23, 2020

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.

Author Quotes

The key area that you need to justify within your project, is how is this going to contribute to the field of psychiatry and to our knowledge.

Sticking within your perimeters is really important, because you are working with a relatively small word limit.

If you can’t think of anything you need to be thinking harder, because there’s a myriad of possibilities.

This is the other big mystery I think across the 2012 program in general, the junior consultants’ standards; it’s become a bit clearer with some elements of the program but with regards to the scholarly projects, what’s the difference between an advanced training and a junior consultant standard when it comes to research? We don’t really know.Reading through some of the reviews, the debates and the editorials in our college journals are a really good start for a framework if you’re not too sure how to go about this.

To give yourself the best chance of success and enjoyment from this [scholarly project], it’s got to be something you’re particularly passionate about.

Summary and slides

In this segment, Dr. Blomeley describes how he chose his scholarly project.

He suggests that when choosing a topic, consider how the project will contribute to psychiatry.

He discusses the difficulties in delivering scholarly projects within the word limit. He suggests writing a skeleton which estimates the number of words per section and referring to the RANZCP guidelines throughout writing to ensure the marking criteria are being satisfied.

He moves on to discuss when is a good time to start the project. The audience is invited to participate in a discussion of topic ideas. He suggests that clinical directors might be a good source of audit and quality control projects.

Dr. Blomeley discusses trends in registrars starting the scholarly project. He suggests that the difference between advanced training and the junior consultants’ standards, relating to research, is unknown.

He recommends that candidates aim to produce a project of sufficient quality to be publishable in a reputable peer-reviewed journal. He suggests reading reviews, debates, and editorials in RANZCP journals for inspiration and shows an example.


He re-iterates the importance of thinking about the scholarly project early and choosing a topic of interest. He suggests keeping in close communication with supervisors and taking feedback onboard. He then runs through the remainder of the take-home points.

Take-home Messages:

  • If early ideas for scholarly projects appear to be too broad, consider changing to something more manageable.
  • Consider how to project ideas that will contribute to the knowledge base within the field of psychiatry.
  • Clinical directors often have ideas for audits and quality control projects that they would be happy for candidates to undertake.
  • Candidates should aim to produce a project of high enough quality to be published in a reputable peer-reviewed journal.
  • Some journals will publish scholarly projects.
  • Start scholarly projects early and use marking criteria to cross-check that domains are being met frequently during writing.


Learn more

  1. Choosing a Topic for the RANZCP Scholarly Project – Dr. Doug Blomeley
  2. Introduction to the RANZCP Scholarly Project – Dr. Doug Blomeley