Our Department’s Research Day consists of presentations by the PGY 2, PGY-3 and PGY-4 Residents, the Ophthalmic Medical Technology (OMT) students in their final year, and the basic science students as well as the JD Allen Lecturer, an invited guest.
Each presenting resident can apply for internal funding for their Research Day project for up to $5,800 and each OMT student may apply for up to $2,000 annually from our Research Day and Department of Ophthalmology Research Fund (DORF) Committees following a set of guidelines, which were established by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and by our Department of Ophthalmology Research Day/DORF and Executive Committees. Our Department’s Executive Committee provides final approval of the funded projects.
A stepwise approach has been implemented whereby all the presenting residents and students attend an information session for the development of their protocol and for requesting Research Ethics Board (REB) approval during the month of August. They then are expected to provide at least a 1-page abstract with their project title, principal investigator (PI), co-authors, and the REB status by November of each year. The residents next meet with our Research Day and DORF Committees to present their project in a PowerPoint format, where suggestions are made to improve their presentation in preparation for the final edition. Furthermore, the residents also have a research week designated for working on their research projects which currently (2015) will occur during the week of the March break, during which they further prepare their research day project in conjunction with their staff PI and co-authors.
The OMT students similarly have a stepwise approach in conjunction with a sub-committee of the Research Day/DORF committees, currently chaired by Dr. Stuart G. Coupland, PhD.
The Research Day is held in mid-May, usually on a Wednesday, with an invited guest speaker who generally presents Grand Rounds to the Department and the J.D. Allen named lecture during the early afternoon. About 80 registered attendees, predominantly members from the Department of Ophthalmology as well as other invited guests, usually attend the Rounds and the remainder of the Research Day. The remainder of the Research Day consists of presentations of the research projects by all the above-mentioned 3 groups of presenters. During our lunch break, a buffet lunch is provided by our Department of Ophthalmology to all the registered attendees, during which those who are available to present their posters to the attendees offer a poster session. The Research Day is followed by a reception where prizes are awarded to the most highly ranked presentations, which are scored and selected by our invited guest with some feedback provided by the Staff Supervisors when this is requested and indicated.
We encourage our Research Day presenters to attempt, in conjunction with their supporting staff, to present their project at major external conferences (e.g. ARVO, COS, AAO) and to publish their project in the peer-review literature.
Furthermore, the Allen Lecturer provides a half-day of lectures, mainly to the three groups of students, usually on the Thursday morning immediately following the Research Day.