How do you organise your research network?


Our collaborative consists of a central committee, local committee representatives at each site and our membership base. The central committee is currently made up of six trainee members and five consultant mentors whose interests cover Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine, Acute / Chronic Pain and Clinical Research. At each site we have a Local Trust Trainee Lead and a Local Trust Consultant Mentor in both Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. The trainee positions on the committee are Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, IT Lead, ST 3/4 Lead and CT 1/2 Lead. The positions of Chairman, Treasurer and IT Lead are currently filled by trainees who expressed interest and enthusiasm at the start of the collaborative, whilst the Secretary, ST 3/4 Lead and CT 1/2 Lead are trainees who were appointed to the committee. Job adverts for these positions were publicised across our network and the trainees then chosen by the committee based upon their application forms and previous involvement in SWARM. The positions of Chairman, Treasurer and IT Lead will be chosen in this manner when they are replaced. The consultant committee mentors were invited to join SWARM based upon their support for the idea and research expertise. The Local Trust Leads are year long positions and these individuals are chosen for their enthusiasm and previous involvement in SWARM. As SWARM grows and more individuals wish to compete for these positions we may move towards a more democratic model where the SWARM membership votes in trainees to the committee. To date success has predominantly been due to trainee enthusiasm (and this is therefore the main criteria for position appointment) and the dedication of our Local Trust Trainee Leads. These individuals have been our 'first followers' and were those responsible for selling the idea at a local level and driving the high recruitment rates seen in all three of our initial projects.

The regional project lead has the main responsibility of collating data, analysing this data, writing a project summary to submit to the committee and submitting the data as an abstract or article for presentation / publication. However, we have very much encouraged a model where more junior trainees or local leads who have worked hard on a project (for example, the local lead who achieves the highest recruitment rate) have the opportunity to present data at either a local or national meeting. When there is a meeting that the regional project lead can't attend, the need for a replacement is advertised to the group and a willing volunteer selected.

As outlined above, our authorship rules are a cornerstone of our model. All presentations / publications are under the authorship of SWARM. No individual names are published as we wish to provide a united, collaborative front. The names of individuals involved in the project as well as those involved in abstract / poster / manuscript preparation are then advertised on our website so that the hard work of these trainees is acknowledged. We believe that this model is key for success; by authoring our work under the title of 'SWARM' we have tried to remove the feeling amongst involved trainees that they are working hard for others to get named credit. We wish to provide a united front at all times.


We have set up our first committee, initially as a group of like-minded individuals who just wanted to get on with it. As we become more established we'll most likely adopt a more democratic system. We have three committees within the West Midlands; Birmingham, Stoke and Warwick, and have a regional 'chief executive officer' who oversees everyone. Each school group has a chair, secretary, treasurer, education and training lead and project coordinators for anaesthesia and intensive care studies. Each hospital has a trainee trust lead. In addition, we are very lucky to have some fantastic consultant support; from our presidents to our school directors and local consultant trust leads. We've approached those we knew were interested in research and, as people have heard about us, we've also had volunteers for posts. At the moment we're taking a pragmatic first come first served approach so we can move forward; if the network becomes popular in the future we may have to become selective.

Responsibility for write up and presentation lies with the regional project lead, usually the individual who has proposed the project and written the protocol. As a collaborative though, we'd actively encourage all those involved to help out with all stages, in order to gain experience and confidence to run their own project in the future.

Yes we do. These are clearly laid out in our constitution. In essence, we publish under the network name, with the contributors listed at the end. All contributors will be listed on PubMed; we hope to provide people with increased opportunities to publish in high quality journals and be credited for their involvement.