EGPRN meetings are held twice yearly (spring and autumn) in different European countries, providing a forum to present and discuss research relevant to general practice/family medicine. Meetings are hosted by National Representatives, assisted by an organisational committee. They last from Thursday (pre-conference-workshops, executive and council meetings, welcome reception) to Sunday (committee meetings), with Friday and Saturday being the main conference days. Attendance is free for members; non-members can either become members or pay a conference fee.
The main objectives of these meetings are:
EGPRN welcomes the presentation of completed research projects as well as research ideas or work in progress. Ample time is provided for the discussion of each presentation. There are four formats for presentation as detailed below. Authors are invited to indicate their choice of format when submitting their abstract, however the final decision is taken by the planning committee of each conference.
At each meeting, time is allocated to papers on a specific theme. The theme is suggested by the RSC, the EGPRN Council or by the country hosting the Meeting and approved by the EGPRN Council. Theme papers are preferably presented in plenary sessions and are allocated 30 minutes each, of which 15 minutes is for the presentation and 15 minutes for discussion.
These are presentations not related to the theme. They may be presented in parallel sessions, and are allocated 30 minutes each, of which 15 minutes is for the presentation and 15 minutes for discussion.
One slide/five minutes presentations are appropriate for researchers who want to suggest an idea for future research, raise a question concerning a research problem or want to invite others to participate in a planned study. Five minutes are allocated for each presentation, using a single slide (with no or very few animations). Five minutes is then allocated for discussion.
EGPRN posters are displayed throughout the conference. One session is allocated for discussion of all the posters. Each poster is presented by a person appointed by the session's chair, and discussed with the author and audience. Poster presenters are encouraged to attend the whole conference, but they must be present for the poster discussion session. Posters must have a portrait format and measure 1.75(h) x 1.00(w) m or less.
Approximately 5 months before each EGPRN conference, a call for abstracts is published on the EGPRN website and emailed to all EGPRN members. Abstracts must be structured (background, research question, method, results, conclusions, if applicable relevance/questions to EGPRN) and not exceed 300 words. Tables or references should not be included. Abstracts should be submitted online. Authors should indicate if they wish to receive feedback on reasons for rejection or presentations skills. Submitted abstracts are scored by 4 experienced researchers, usually two from the host country and two international ones. In the first instance, scorers are blinded to author's identities. A structured approach is used, with individual criteria being scored in each abstracts.
Additional points can be given for special merits or difficulties, i.e. particularly interesting methodology or a project conducted in difficult circumstances. Scoring accounts for abstracts presenting project ideas or work in progress where no results or conclusions are available yet.
Acceptance or rejection of abstracts is then decided based on overall sum scores of all 4 reviewers, depending on the space available in the program.
EGPRN offers the possibility to receive feedback on reasons why an abstract was rejected, in order to help the authors to improve their work. Recently, a structured checklist was developed to facilitate this feedback, which is increasingly demanded.
EGPRN provides guidelines on how to prepare and present an oral presentation or a poster. Presenters have the possibility to receive structured, individual feedback on their presentation skills (see Education for Research through EGPRN above)
In addition to feedback on presentations at workshops, EGPRN offers the opportunity of mentoring relationships. A presenter who is interested is appointed a mentor willing to accompany a project or publication to help the researcher/author to achieve his/her aims. Mentors offer advice and constructive feedback, thus helping to improve a paper or project, or help establishing (international) contacts. EGPRN has a database of experienced researchers who are willing to be mentors.
At EGPRN meetings, highly interactive one-on-one and small group sessions are organised for half a day, targeted to local primary researchers and EGPRN members. The focus is on research skills (e.g. designing a proposal, searching the literature, writing a paper, presenting orally, writing an abstract, organising a focus group, organising fieldwork etc.). Topics are chosen in agreement with the needs of the host country. The teachers are researchers with expertise in the subjects addressed as well as educational experience, with a combination of local and internationally acknowledged researchers.
During the meeting there is an opportunity for project groups to meet, and for individual researchers to exchange information and communicate with potential research collaborators. If you wish to have a special interest group meeting please contact the EPGRN office well in advance of the conference.