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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
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Friday, June 19 • 9:30am - 10:15am
CON11.11 - Learn to use the Delphi method to harmonize program competencies

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Graduate students in chemical sciences at our institution may apply to participate in one of several NSERC CREATE programs that provide additional career-related training experiences. We have facilitated the designation of competencies relating to interdisciplinary research skills, knowledge, and attitudes to guide the program and to allow for formative and summative program and trainee evaluation. Determining competencies in this setting was challenging for two reasons: 1) a lack of literature on interdisciplinary research competencies, and 2) the need to harmonize a wide range of expert viewpoints, since stakeholders include research faculty and also industry and government professionals. We used a modified Delphi process based on the work of Gebbie et al. (2002), who designated competencies for health science programs. The Delphi method, frequently used in forecasting and policy making, is a method of communication for consensus building (Adler & Ziglio, 1996). The method is a two-stage process involving exploration and evaluation. The advantages of this method include the ability to build consensus within a group of people separated by geography and/or time. In this interactive session, we will discuss the range of possible contexts that may benefit from a Delphi study. Attendees will then participate in a mock Delphi process, using a hypothetical degree program as the sample context. At the end of the session, participants will decide whether a Delphi process may be useful in their own context and determine what adjustments to the process they would like to make to better suit their needs.


Adler, M., & Ziglio, E. (Eds.). (1996). Gazing into the oracle: The Delphi method and its application to social policy and public health. London, U.K: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Gebbie, K., Merrill, J., Hwang, I., Gupta, M., Btoush, R., & Wagner, M. (2002). Identifying individual competency in emerging areas of practice: An applied approach. Qualitative Health Research, 12(7), 990-999.

Friday June 19, 2015 9:30am - 10:15am PDT
Salon 3

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