Left to right: Yuliana Gatsolaeva and Lieve Van den Block
One of the most well-known and respected events in palliative care is the annual EAPC congress that hosts scientists, practitioners, policymakers and other experts from across the world. The EAPC Researcher Awards are a main highlight, presenting outstanding scientific and clinical contributors to palliative care research. The 16thEAPC World Congress in Berlin in May 2019 is your chance to nominate yourself or a colleague for the 2019 Awards!
EAPC researcher prizes are awarded in three categories:
- Early Researcher Award: The candidate should be at the early stage of a research career and hold a higher degree, PhD or equivalent.
- Post-doctoral Award: The candidate should hold a PhD or equivalent, have performed independent research and have a substantial publication list.
- Clinical Impact Award: The candidate should hold a clinical/academic qualification or equivalent, and be involved in clinical research and practice.
So what is stopping you from applying?
This year, we decided to look at what motivates people to apply and the struggles they face that discourage them from applying. We asked young researchers working in palliative care about their main misconceptions and ‘high hopes’ relating to the EAPC Early Research Award and to this type of nomination.
Most researchers cited the concept of ‘nominating yourself’ as one of the main reasons that discouraged them from applying. When thinking about self-nomination, most of them struggle with not being good enough or not qualified enough for this award (no matter how solid their background or how impressive their scientific portfolio may be).
So, we think it’s down to the supervisors, promoters or senior colleagues to become a source of encouragement to early researchers. Supervisors should either nominate the researchers or assure them that their work is worth self-nomination for the award.
Some researchers (wrongly) assume that the nomination puts them in competition with other nominees who might be more experienced and better known in the field, or that more senior colleagues may not have applied, or been nominated, for the award. Also, some young professionals may not have a clear view about their future area of expertise. Thus, the assumption of not being competent enough to compete with the acknowledged experts or senior colleagues is very present.
So what would motivate researchers or clinicians to apply for these awards?
To better understand such benefits, take a look at the stories of previous winnerspublished on this blog. Their stories are very inspiring and definitely worth reading.
What does the EAPC Researcher Award mean to the applicants and winners?
- Acknowledgement of your work by colleagues and experts in the field;
- Impressive addition to your CV;
- Visibility (in the scientific and clinical fields, with organisations involved in palliative care and public health);
- Networking opportunities – widening your list of contacts; opening doors and conversations with experts in the field;
- Opportunities to improve your research – increased information from experts you meet thanks to the award; sharing information and ideas between scientific and clinical domains;
- Confidence in your abilities and, as a result, becoming an inspiring example to others who may have doubts about self-nominating.
Dr Lara Pivodic winner of the 2017 EAPC Early Researcher Award, said:
“… besides recognizing me personally as a researcher, this award shines a light on the insights that my colleagues and I have gained from studying end-of-life care in different European countries”.
And finally some helpful tips from Anna Collins winner of the 2018 EAPC Early Researcher Award:
“My biggest tip to other young researchers is to find a generous mentor that is willing to support your career development. … A research career doesn’t come without hard work, but being connected with a productive team and mentor means you will likely be presented with more opportunities to develop your ideas and skills. And, it’s certainly more fun! …be willing to put yourself out there, say yes to things that come your way, and learn to trust your colleagues enough to send your work for review before it’s perfect. It’s easy to find yourself ’stuck’ and the most efficient way to move forward is to look to your peers to input their ideas or challenge you.”
So take a look and think again. Isn’t it worth trying?
Nominate yourself or your colleague for the EAPC Researcher Award – you still have time before November 30, 2018! Check the website here.
Good luck and see you at the EAPC World Congress in Berlin!
- Click here to find out more about the EAPC Researcher Awards and how to apply.
- Click here to see all previous winners 2018 to 2009).
- EAPC 2019: Global Palliative Care – Shaping The Future takes place in Berlin, Germany, 23 to 25 May 2019. Visit the congress website to view the preliminary programme and register. Follow us at #EAPC2019.