An introduction to SIGs

As part of its strategic goal to enhance impact through collaborative action, SAPC supports a number of Special Interest Groups.

The SIGs programme was established to support areas of work and topics that are core to primary care, but may be traditionally difficult to find support and funding for elsewhere.  For example, SIGs address the basic science / blue sky topics in our discipline. Ideas for SIGs come from the membership.

What is a SIG?

A ‘Special Interest Group’ (SIG) is a community with an interest in advancing a specific area of knowledge, learning or technology where members co-operate to affect or to produce solutions within their particular field, and may communicate, meet, and organise conferences. They may at times also advocate or lobby on a particular issue or on a range of issues but are generally distinct from advocacy groups and pressure groups which are normally set up for the specific political aim the distinction is not firm however and some organizations can adapt and change their focus over time.

SAPC established its SIGs to enable members with similar interests to identify each other, share information and ideas, and potentially work up collaborations around teaching and research.

What do SAPC SIGs do?

Each of our SIGs agrees its own plan of activity with its members. You can find out more about the activities of each individual group on our website.

Most SIGs hold meetings at the Annual Scientific Meeting, and sometimes at regional meetings too.

We ask each SIG to send us an annual report of their activities, which is posted on their webpage.

What does SAPC do to support its SIGs?

SAPC supports the activities of SIGs through providing a web presence for the group, a meeting slot at the Annual conference, and access to a bursary of up to £500 per year to support additional activities of the group.

I am interested in setting up a SIG, what do I need to do?

If you have an idea for a SIG, you need to submit an application form to SAPC Executive. The proposal must come from an SAPC member. Your application should detail why the topic is relevant to primary care/academic primary care, and why establishing a SIG would be supportive/necessary to take the work forward.

Completed application forms should be sent to Sue Stewart. Applications are reviewed by the SIG lead (currently Dr Jo Protheroe) before being presented for approval at the next SAPC Executive meeting.

Established SIGs will be required to submit an annual report on their activities by April each year.  Reports will be posted on to the individual SIG webpage.

Groups will only be eligible to apply for an annual bursary once they have been established for a year/submitted one annual report.

SIG £5k funding competition

When funds are available, SAPC runs a £5k funding competition open to all our SIGs. To date, we have run two competitions.

In 2011, the prize went to the Educational Research SIG  for a project titled: What influences medical students in deciding for or against a career in general practice?

In 2013, the prize went to the Dermatology SIG  for their project: Acne Research Priority Setting Partnership.

Details of future calls will be posted on the website.