Becoming Research Active is a short course programme by CLAHRC North Thames Academy. The goal of the programme is to raise levels of research awareness across CLAHRC North Thames, particularly amongst staff in their partner health care and public health organisations. To date we have provided training to almost 500 frontline staff from 60 organisations including Trusts, CCGs and Local Authorities within and beyond the region. During the CLAHRC award, the researchers have developed several one day workshops aimed at giving individuals the necessary research skills to answer their practice based problems (Introduction to Economic Evaluation; Introduction to Evaluation; Introduction to Demand, Capacity and Flow). This year the CLAHRC showcased a brand new one day short course Becoming Research Active, aimed at individuals who are keen to become involved in research, and acting as a prequel to other courses. The course ran in October 2017, and was oversubscribed, and positively received: “Very informative. Very professional. Motivates me to want to be more research active”.
The practical workshop provides an introduction to the research process to enable NHS and local government staff to engage in research activity. The course is run together with the Research Design Service London (east London arm) and Clinical Research Network North Thames. This introductory level course is a first step on the journey towards becoming “research active”, where individuals either develop their own small project or get involved in other ways e.g. collaborating on research studies, assisting clients/ patients to take part in research, being a (critical) research ‘consumer’ or helping to shape research priorities, design and delivery. The course contributes to capacity and skills building among NHS and public health staff and supports the translation of research into practice.
Contribution of CLAHRC North Thames
The short course programme is organised by CLAHRC training lead and Academy Director, Dr Nora Pashayan, Deputy Director, Dr Helen Barratt, and Teaching Fellow, Dr Silvie Cooper, with administrative support. The Becoming Research Active course was developed by CLAHRC Academy Lecturer, Dr Victoria Newton, to reach staff who are new to research or would like to be involved.
The course is delivered with contributions from CLAHRC NT's PPI Officer, early career researchers and CLAHRC HEE NCL Fellows, as well as more senior members of the CLAHRC. Providing staff with teaching opportunities is an important part of the CLAHRC's training programme.
What happened next?
The Becoming Research Active course was oversubscribed, and due to demand, the course will be run twice during the next reporting period. This will provide approximately 60 additional healthcare and public health staff with the skills to: develop an understanding of the research process and the different roles within a research team; be able to apply criteria to judge the potential value and feasibility of a research project idea; have a basic understanding of research governance and ethics requirements; know how to involve patients and the public in every stage of research; and know how to access relevant research resources and help available across North Thames.