The youngESTRO committee is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to participate in a focus group discussion.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, most researchers within radiation oncology were forced to work part- or full-time from home. At the same time, those still working on location had to adjust to a new working environment implementing COVID-19 safety regulations. While crucial to control the pandemic, social isolation, remote working and other measures have had a significant impact on both productivity and mental health [1].

Following this first study, youngESTRO is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to participate in an online focus group discussion. A focus group discussion (FGD) is a form of qualitative research where questions are asked about perceptions, attitudes, beliefs or ideas. In a FGD, discussion with other participants is encouraged, since it leads to new and in-depth insights.

You will help us understand the specific challenges young researchers in radiation oncology faced during the pandemic and what constitutes helpful support. The aim of the study is to produce guidelines on how to implement remote working with minimal negative impact on mental health and investigate the potential benefit of flexible working arrangements. The results of the study will be submitted for publication in a scientific journal and guide further action from the youngESTRO committee in the context of a broader goal to improve working conditions for young researchers.

We are looking for:
- Researchers from European institutions (research institutes, hospitals, universities)
- With less than 10 years of research experience
- Participation in the survey from [1] is not required

Dr. Carina Pittens
Athena institute, Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Date / Time
Selected candidates will participate in an online FGD from 4 to 6:30 PM CEST (including a 15 min break) on one of the following dates:
- 28th of October
- 4th of November
- 5th of November
- 6th of November

Please register as a possible* participant by completing the survey following the link:

*Note that we strive for balanced characteristics within each FGD and you might not be included despite your application. Notifications will be sent out before the 20th of October.

Thank you for your interest and we are looking forward to conducting this study with your help.

The youngESTRO team

[1] Dhont J, Di Tella M, Dubois L, et al. Conducting research in Radiation Oncology remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic: Coping with isolation. Clin Transl Radiat Oncol. 2020;24:53-9.