Research Committee Policy Document
One of the main objectives of the SSAI is to promote cooperation and networking between the five Nordic countries in the scientific field. To lead this work, the SSAI has appointed a chairman for a Research Committee (RC) that includes members elected by the respective national boards in the Scandinavian countries and also the Editor-in-Chief of Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica, i.e. six persons in total. However, the purpose of the RC is to facilitate research rather than to drive or initiate specific projects.
The RC will handle applications for research grants and will also when appropriate and possible provide non-financial help and advice.
The RC will attempt to support projects from all branches of our speciality: Anaesthesia, Intensive Care, Pain and Emergency Medicine.
The RC will give priority to
1. Projects involving more than one of the Nordic countries, preferably all five.
2. Clinical, epidemiological, and educational projects, placed in an early phase of planning, where SSAI support would make a significant difference.
This is based on the fact that our countries have a uniform, high quality of care and follow the same therapeutic standards. This development is further strengthened through our common SSAI educational courses.
Only members of the SSAI can apply for research grants from the SSAI.
The SSAI board, in collaboration with the Acta Foundation, will provide a working budget for the RC.
Applications to SSAI Research committee
Application forms will be provided here, when application is possible.
These applications are first sent to the chairman of the RC who subsequently will forward them to the members of the RC for evaluation. The applications are multi-graded according to the principles for grading written on the SSAI home page (see below).
The evaluations are sent to the chairman of the RC, who summarizes the grading, calculates a median grade for each application. Members of the RC are then informed of the results.
The results of the grading process, i.e. the median values, will be sent back to the General Secretary or the President of the SSAI.
At the next board meeting, the results of the evaluation process are presented by the chairman of the RC. A member of the board with a conflict of interest cannot participate in the final decision.
The board decides which amount of money should be given to each of the applicants.
Conflict of interest
The chairman of the RC is not allowed to apply for grants but the other members of the RC and members of the board can apply. However, in order to avoid any conflict of interest, SSAI has established strict internal guidelines. We also seek to prevent less obvious conflicts of interest. It is incumbent on all members of the RC (and the board in a later phase) to report conflicts of interest in connection with the applications they are called upon to scrutinize. In order to prevent conflicts of interest, we at the RC need to be constantly aware of how different relationships can influence the capacity to deal with a matter impartially. It is therefore difficult to formulate exhaustive and practicable guidelines which capture all situations of conflict of interest. The RC’s work is thus organized so that we not only guard against conflicts of interest in the strict sense but also against unclear and delicate situations. Even if it is incumbent on the individual member to report a conflict of interest, the whole RC and the board of SSAI need also to be on their guard. Examples of conflicts of interest could be where a member of the RC works at the same institute as an applicant, or has recently collaborated closely with an applicant. A conflict of interest can also arise from antagonism or competition between a RC member and the person being assessed. A list of all applicants is sent to the RC and each member of the RC ‘states if they have a conflict of interest or not according to the guidelines mentioned above. These statements will be transparent to all of the SSAI members upon request. In cases where a conflict of interest arises, the RC member will not evaluate applications and this individual will be replaced during the process with either a member of the editorial board of the Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica or a member of the SSAI Board.
Timing of applications
The grants are open for application every second year, the year preceding the SSAI Congress. It will be announced during May on the home pages of SSAI and the national societies. The deadline for the applications is on the 30th of September the same year. The RC will then review and prepare recommendations for submitted applications in time for the SSAI board meeting in January. The RC will make their recommendations based on the criteria shown below. The final decision will be made by the SSAI board and the Chairman of the RC will inform all applicants about the result. Recipients of the SSAI grants will be announced and awarded at the SSAI Congress. The recipient should provide an account at the hospital or university where the financial transaction will be reviewed. Projects supported with SSAI grants will be presented by the recipients during the SSAI Congress. A written report must be sent to the Acta Foundation Board at the latest two year after receiving the grant on how the money has been used.
The responsibility and ownership of endorsed projects remain with the applicant(s) asking for RC support. The RC will advance collaborative initiatives when appropriate with other societies such as ESA, ESICM. The basis, however, will remain on Scandinavian activities.
Any ideas for projects within the framework outlined here can be discussed with the RC national representative or any member of the RC who might have an expressed research interest most relevant for the proposed project.
Professor Michael Haney
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine
University Hospital of Umeå
E-mail: michael.haney [at] anestesi.umu.se
Associate Professor Sigurbergur Karason
Dept of Anaesth and Intensive Care
Landspitali University Hospital
IS-108 Reykjavik, Iceland
skarason [at] landspitali.is
Professor Arvi Yli-Hankala
Dept of Anaesthesiology
Tampere University Hospital,
arvi.yli-hankala [at] pshp.fi
MD, PhD Lars Jörgen Rygh
Dept of Anaesthesiology
Haukeland University Hospital
N-5021 Bergen, Norway
lars.joergen.rygh [at] helse-bergen.no
MD, PhD Jesper Brøndum Poulsen
Dept. of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine
Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet
DK-2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark
jpoulsen [at] dadlnet.dk
Professor Sven-Erik Ricksten
Dept cardiothoracic anaesthesia and intensive care
Sahlgrenska University Hospital
41345 Göteborg, Sweden.