Grow your research expertise
There are lots of ways to get involved. Find what works best for you by exploring our top tips.
3 Expertise available in your workplace
Talking to someone in your own organisation can help discover what research is taking place, ways to get involved, and what training and funding is on offer.
For people working in the NHS, a great place to start is contacting your employing research and development office or research lead.
Useful email contacts for local trust R&D department:
- County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
- Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
- Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
- North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
- North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
- North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
- Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
- Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
- The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
For those who work outside of the NHS in public health, local authority or social care settings, the National Institute for Health and Care Research has been working closely with staff and stakeholders to engage them in research activity, regardless of how experienced they are in the field!
To find out who to contact with regards to public health and social care, visit our Getting Connected section.
If you work within a care home and want to develop your research expertise, contact Louise Jones, lead community research nurse and lead for enabling research in care homes for the North East and North Cumbria.
There is also a huge amount of expertise and support available in our local universities.
4 What next?
Explore 4 actions to get more involved!
The value of research is widely recognised and you can evidence this in your appraisal and job planning. Here is a selection of quotes from professional bodies and organisations you may wish to use when talking about the value of research with your own organisation.
Chief allied health professionals officer for England says:
“Research and innovation is key to ensuring safe evidenced based practice to support the people who access our services. It enables us to make a difference, whether that is creating new knowledge, enhancing services, improving outcomes or developing our people".
National Institute of Health and Care Research says:
"Social care is a strategic priority for NIHR. Social care aims to help people remain independent, retain their dignity and achieve a better quality of life. The research we support works to find ways to improve people’s lives and help them live well"
Chief social worker for adults (England) says:
"One of my long- standing priorities since taking up my post as chief social worker has been to encourage the development and use of research and evidence to improve social work practice and outcomes for the people we serve. Understanding the approaches and interventions which work best and why, is essential if we are to work effectively with people to ensure they and their carers experience high quality care and support, centred on their needs and aspirations"
This site has been developed as a guide to staff so help discover "what's out there". We understand knowing the "what, how and where" of getting involved in research can be a challenge for most people.
Try and find a mentor who can help and support you think through your next steps and potentially offer shadowing opportunities. Indeed, a key step in getting more involved is linking up with like-minded people who have a research track record who can help give you that "lift up" to find your own route to research.
Think about what your goals and career aims may look like and where you would like to be in the future.
Appraisal is about reflecting on your goals and aspirations for the future and how to get there.
Try and map out and rehearse a professional development plan. Where possible set some SMART goals. It can take time and patience but linking up with more research active colleagues is a great way to start.
A SMART goal is:
- specific – a very clear statement of what you are trying to achieve
- measurable – has a numerical target that can be measured
- achievable – is realistic and attainable in the time allowed
- relevant – is linked to the strategic aims of your organisation and relates to patient/client outcomes
- time-bound (sometimes referred to as timely, time-sensitive, time-based) – has a clearly defined timeframe within which the aim should be achieved
Many organisations offer specific roles that give staff members the opportunity to promote research within their organisation and beyond. Get in touch with your R&D department to find out if this is something that you could do for your area of work.
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