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Starting a Special Interest Group

Special Interest Groups (SIG's) are a great way for people to share experiences, challenges and inspiration. If you are interested in creating a new SIG, please complete the form below.

This form is for those wanting to start a new Special Interest Group (SIG), it should be completed by the groups convenor(s).

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers for this form just yet, the purpose of this form is to encourage you to have all the resources you’ll need from day one. Please contact the SIG support team if you have any questions or need support.

This form comes in three parts:

  1. The Special Interest Group — all the basic data for the creation of the SIG: theme, name, description.
  2. The Special Interest Group’s convenors and allies — your details, and your potential first allies to help get the group started.
  3. Commitment and Expectations — your plans for the first few months of the group and the support you’d like from the Q team.

Starting a Special Interest Group

(Section 1 of 3)
Try to keep the name short and catchy rather than precise.
Include details of what the group is about, what value new members might find from joining and, if you already have an idea, what ways new members can engage and interact. This description will be used on your SIG page and it can be changed at any time.
A learning question is a question that points at what the group is trying to explore. It's a way to invite new members to a shared knowledge journey.
This doesn't need to be too specific - try to provide key phrases to describe your ideas. This information will help the Q team understand your themes and help you to find speakers specific to your needs.
Providing an image is optional, but recommended. This image will be used on your SIG page.
Max. file size: 100 MB.
Including a welcome email is optional, but recommended.

The SIG's convenors and allies

(Section 2 of 3) Tip: all SIGs start off quietly, it's only natural as you're still inviting your first few members. Start with small conversations and actions that will interest yourself and your allies first. And don't forget to tag your co-convenors and allies when posting in your SIG space.
Will you be the sole convenor or, if not, who are the others?(required)
Who are your first allies?(required)
We recommend that you have a list of 2-4 people that are onboard with your idea and agree to give you some support in your first 4-6 months. Think of people you know personally and who are interested in the theme you're proposing. While convenors make most of the SIG decisions, allies help them become a reality.

Commitment and Expectations

(Section 3 of 3) A crucial part of our work is to help you adjust both the time and attention you'll put into your SIG and also how quickly you'll have direct results from it. Convening can give you all sorts of resources: access to knowledge, prestige within your field, friends, access to funding, opportunities to find like-minded professionals, among many other things. But know that those things take time, don't invest too much time at the beginning: make it manageable and sustainable. Start simple by gathering your first allies, see how your SIG can grow step by step before committing too much. Time is a crucial ingredient.
Choose 3 things the convenors are excited to host/experience themselves, rather than something they'd be doing for a hypothetical audience. For now the main audience is the convenors and allies themselves.
Examples: setting up zooms, promoting events, sourcing a Health Foundation speaker, strategizing your SIG's next steps etc. Also feel free to ask for new kinds of support.

The Q team is here to help you in every step of your SIG journey, we want to empower you and give you all the tools you'll need to be a leader in the field you chose to explore. You can always talk to us, and also explore the convening toolbox we prepared for you: https://q.health.org.uk/community/special-interest-groups/q-special-interest-groupscommunities-practice-support-toolkit/
This is usually the best approach to promote a brand new SIG. If you mark 'yes', the Q communications team will contact you to set up a date for the interview. One of the easiest ways to start your promotion is by filling out a 'My Improvement Journey’ blog post, which you can find examples of on our website.
As a convenor, you gain access in multiple Q funding streams. If you mark 'yes', the Q funding team will contact you with further information.