This research can improve health care, expand research capacity and generate a ‘fire in the belly’ to do better. We also know that training, coaching and ongoing reinforcement of research principles can make this happen. We already have experience in training, and coaching through MicroResearch’s work elsewhere. We want to bring this experience back to Nova Scotia and provide opportunities for research to develop a self-sustaining Nova Scotia health research model for other provinces to follow.
HOW IT WORKS
MICRORESEARCH, 5850 UNIVERSITY AVENUE, HALIFAX, NS, B3K 6R8, CANADA MICRORESEARCHNS@DAL.CA
MicroResearch training volunteers work with local clinician leaders to teach two-week (half-days) workshops with interdisciplinary participants from medicine, nursing, social work, education, agriculture etc. To ensure success, local collaborators participate as teachers. The half-day workshop format allows participants to still attend to their duties during the workshop weeks- a must in developing countries.
• During the 2-week workshop, 20 to 30 participants are
taught practical research skills in daily seminars. Small
groups transform the group’s research idea into a “rough”
research project with a knowledge translation plan under
the guidance of a local coach.
• After the workshop, participants receive access to a web-
based clinical research curriculum adapted for Nova
Scotia based upon a very successful MicroResearch -
International clinician scientist training program.
• Over the following months, the groups fine-tune their
research proposal with the help of coaches.
Coaches are Nova Scotia researchers who act as volunteers for each MicroResearch team. Teams will connect to local coaches, in person or via the internet. These coaches will provide input on local issues such as community context, culture, ethics and knowledge translation. Content experts will also be available to provide specialized research expertise and skills.
MicroResearch can help us live better in our community - it fits well with the Colchester East Hants Health Centre Foundation theme of "living better in your community - loving your community".
— Sharon Crowe, Director CEHHC Foundation, Truro NS
MicroResearch teams carry out their study; write up the work for peer review as well as develop a report where appropriate. The leaders of successful groups will be invited to NSHA and IWK events as well as Dalhousie or other local Universities to present the results of their work; this will be a time to share ideas and nurture research collaboration in Nova Scotia.
Bureaucracy in MicroResearch is kept to a minimum. The major focus is on the local outcomes: community directed research capacity enhancement, answering local health questions and improving health by application of research findings. A simple evaluation framework will be used to assess these parameters locally over time. Face-to-face coaching during the workshop, or afterward via the internet or phone will help to establish a relationship between participants at the local site and others in Nova Scotia. MicroResearch spin-offs are starting slowly but with time will increase in significance, and reach areas of the world where the need is greatest.