Workshop Guide

Structure and guidelines for workshops at SSM ASM

Should be concise and give a good indication of the content of the workshop.

Workshop Leader & other facilitators / convenors:
Priority will be given to multi-departmental & multidisciplinary teams to facilitate joint working.

Subject – does it fit into the aims and scope of SSM?
Topicality – is the topic of particular relevance now?
Likelihood of provoking discussion – will there be points for particular discussion?
What is the rationale for the workshop?

What is expected to be achieved overall by the end of the workshop?

Educational objectives:
What will the participants gain / learn from this? How will it alter their research design / conduct / interpretation / dissemination? It is important that this is more than a presentation of findings, and participants should ideally learn from the experience in some way.

Please give details of the structure. Workshops are intended to be interactive, and presentations should be limited only to those required to set the scene (guideline not more than a third of the time). If possible, give details of what will be presented. The discussions should be structured & time should be provided for feedback – information should be given for likely content of discussions. Remember that workshops can advance knowledge simply through in-depth discussion. Small group exercises / discussions are strongly supported to encourage participation of all those attending.
Example schedule: (1) Opening remarks & aims – 10 mins; (2) Short pre-planned presentations on relevant areas – 20 mins; (3) Small group discussions – 30 mins; (4) Reports from groups – 20 mins; (5) Closing remarks – 10 mins.

Target Group:
Who is likely to want to participate in the workshop? Background / prior knowledge / level of expertise.

No. of Participants:
State the minimum no of people needed to run the workshop successfully and the maximum who could feasibly participate.

Room size and layout / visual aids (OHP / PowerPoint / flipchart)

Workshop length:
1 ½ hours?

Suggestions for useful types of workshops:

  • Part of a consensus process, e.g. to standardise / agree definitions of exposure / disease.
  • Discussion of merits / uses of a new methodological technique / data source etc.
  • Discussion on addressing / dealing with a new / topical issue.
  • Discussions on what research in a particular area has led to and where it should go from now.

Workshops should not:

  • Be used to promote or further research from one department.
  • Simply group together a disparate selection of presentations.
  • Present a large amount of information not yet in the public domain – most of the ‘scene-setting’ presentations would usually be based on published work.

Note: Some workshops may lead directly or indirectly to publications, but this would be the responsibility of the authors and / or participants. It may be possible to disseminate some of the findings of workshops in the SSM newsletter or on the SSM website. No funding will be available to support attendance at workshops – presenters and participants are expected to register for the conference at their own expense.