EGPRN Fellowship Interview with Kristien Coteur

The EGPRN offers fellowship program for primary care researchers who are early in their research careers, and who would like to be mentoring during a Zoom-based practical course on research skills.

Here is the interview with one of the current fellows, Kristien Coteur. We hope the interview gives inspiration and encourages those who plan to apply to the program.

- How has your experience been on the EGPRN fellowship programme? 

It was a wonderful experience which made me reflect on my research skills and knowledge by returning to the basics. It has helped me to identify and fill in some gaps in my research experience. Furthermore, it was a great way to learn about research practices in other countries and get to know like-minded colleagues. The program was well-filled, and meetings were usually in the evening, but most of the time they did not feel like additional work. The preparation was also very limited. And of course, Michael’s very kind mentorship always provided the sense of a warm welcome, which helped build rapport in the team.

- How has the fellowship supported your professional growth?

It challenged me to work in a team and slow down now and then to properly reflect on the decisions at hand, which is very useful for someone who is highly focused on efficiency. As Michael obtained a grant from EGPRN to actually conduct the project that we created, it also provided an opportunity for us to manage a European project with eight participating countries. We expect to publish the results this year, so that is an accomplishment to be proud of, especially as a group of junior researchers.

- What has been particularly memorable?

Our first in-person meeting is a memory to be cherished. Together with the presentation of our study protocol and questionnaire. I particularly remember that we finalised the PPT at the meeting altogether, and the next day we presented the project with the four of us, and our mentor Michael sitting in the front row. It was much fun to be there as a team, and obtain participant feedback.

- What would be your message to future EGPRN fellows?

Just do it! It will help you improve your research and your networking skills. And afterwards, you have a great overview of research methods, written by Michael himself. I am already looking forward to hearing about the next fellowship project(s)!