Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice belongs to established institutions of education and science not only in Slovakia but also in Europe. The University has five faculties which prepare physicians and dentists, experts in natural sciences, mathematics and informatics, teachers, lawyers, specialists for public administration and specialists for psychology, philosophy and theory of communication. The Department of Health Psychology and Research Methodology (DHP&RM) is a theoretical department at the Faculty of Medicine. It engages not only in research and development activities in the field of health psychology and social epidemiology, but also in knowledge transfer into practice. The DHP&RM staff consists of researchers, as well as expert practitioners with various levels of qualification and professional experience from a range of different fields (social psychology, health psychology, medical anthropology, economy, public health, and social work). This multidisciplinary nature of the DHP&RM research team enables transfer of findings and experience across fields and generations, contributes to establishment of more flexible research capacities, improvement of human potential and serves as an assurance of a long-term sustainability of the DHP&RM.
DHP&RM concentrates especially on socially and health disadvantaged populations. Particular emphasis is being put on adolescents and inhabitants of marginalized Roma communities. Moreover, DHP&RM focuses on another groups of population who receive special attention, such as migrants, ethnic minorities, groups at risk of poverty and school-aged children with special conditions.
DHP&RM also develops its activities through long-lasting cooperation with the prestigious University Medical Center at the University of Groningen, National University of Ireland in Galway, World Health Organization, Palacky University in Olomouc, Masaryk University in Brno, and Charles University in Prague. However, above all it is regular conduct of the international Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study and long-term co-editing of the prestigious International Journal of Public Health, which makes DHP&RM an active part of the extensive network of excellent European Universities. DHP&RM solid international position in the recent years will become even more solid after launching the cooperation with the Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and Tufts University, Boston, USA. The research collaboration with several external researchers and institutions outside the faculty resulted in establishment of the research hub entitled Community Health Research Network (CoHeRenT, https://coherentsite.com/).
The DHP&RM research team has been taking part in numerous projects of the Slovak research agencies (APVV, VEGA), European projects (DG Sanco, FP7) and projects from the structural funds (CEMIO, CEEPM, VIPPA, SODEZZ) and also in preparation of the Horizon2020 projects.
At the faculty, the DHP&RM researchers participate in teaching of psychological and socio-epidemiological themes and methodology. They also supervise several graduation or dissertation theses. Furthermore, DHP&RM partakes in development of research capacities of PhD students and employees from other faculty departments by means of courses or individual consultations (in particular regarding methodology, statistical methods, scientific communication and publishing activities).
In the field of knowledge transfer into practice, DHP&RM acts as an expert advisory body to the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic (e.g. proposal of the health monitoring system in marginalized Roma communities), Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for Roma Communities (e.g. revision of the Slovak National Strategy for Integration of Roma population in the field of health), national mediation project entitled Healthy Communities (e.g. proposal of evaluation of the project efficiency), but also to the WHO Regional Office for Europe (e.g. transfer of the WHO methods into development of national policies for reduction of health inequalities), International Organization for Migration (consultations with regard to reviewing procedures in Slovakia), and private operators of healthcare facilities in Slovakia (e.g. consultations regarding methods to assess and improve efficiency of their operations). SPORTS UNION OF SLOVENIA, Ljubljana, Slovenia