In collaboration with the Malaysian Pharmacy Student Association (MyPSA), the 5th National Pharmacy Research Competition (NPRC) was held from the 26th to 27th of March 2022 by Taylor’s University Pharmacy Students’ Society (TuPSS) via the application, Zoom. However, this event was only eligible to pharmacy undergraduates who had completed their final year projects. The theme of this year’s NPRC was “Reinventing Research Resilience” which involved participants from 20 pharmacy schools in Malaysia. This event provided a platform for students from different backgrounds to showcase their knowledge and exchange thoughts on pharmacy-related research.
This competition consisted of three categories. The first two categories had two subtopics. Category 1 consisted of subtopics of ‘Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice’ and ‘Pharmacy Education and Pharmacoeconomics’. On the other hand, category 2 included subtopics of ‘Pharmacology’ and ‘Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmaceutics’. Within each combined category, the respective subtopics will be competing with each other. Category 3 is the proposal category, which had lab-based and non-lab-based research proposals. The subtopics were judged separately.
For the webinar and forum session, the organiser invited experienced speakers from different universities. Among them were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Shaun Lee, who is an educator at Monash University Malaysia, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yeong Chai Hong from Taylor’s University, Malaysia as well as Dr. Wong Jia Woei, a senior lecturer with the School of Pharmacy, Taylor’s University. This session provided a greater insight for pharmacy students to broaden their knowledge.
One of the participants, Muhammad Rasydan bin Buchek, shared his experience when participating in this competition. There were two sessions of the presentation, which were Poster and Slide presentations. Firstly, the participants were required to pass the poster presentation. Then, the top 5 participants would join the slide presentation. Both of the sessions would have examiners to judge. He commented that the questions asked by the examiner opened participants’ minds in terms of how others think about the research, especially among non-Muslim examiners. His hard work paid off as he managed to achieve a 3rd place achievement in the ‘Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice’ category.
Sharmela A/P Sivamoorthy, another participant commented that she felt blessed for participating. She learned how to present research projects more concisely and attractively by joining the webinar. Through this competition, she felt that NPRC is not only a good showcase to present research projects, yet it is also one of the best platforms to gain new insights from the panel judges and other participants as well. It also helped her to build confidence when presenting to the honourable judges. She got the 1st place in category 1 of ‘Pharmacy Education and Pharmacoeconomics’. She was grateful enough to take part in this competition, which can aid her in many ways for the future.
In short, the event was a success as participants can not only upgrade themselves in the field of pharmacy, but they can also exchange thoughts among their peers and bring glory to their respective universities.
Written by: Rita Tiong Ming Xuan