One of the biggest barriers to clinical participation in research in the NHS is perceived lack of skills, according to the findings from the recent RCP research survey. Yet three-quarters of respondents also see being involved in research as a way to develop a wider set of skills.
As part of the RCP research strategy, this online resource will support you to find out more about research and how to develop your research skills, wherever you are in your career.
This page explores research from the perspective of doctors by offering first-hand experience and guidance from those who have engaged in research, useful resources and practical guidance about how to go about conducting research for the first time. It is an updated version of the 'Research engagement toolkit', developed in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research.
Why get involved in research?
- Recognising research: how research improves patient care – views from health research leaders
- Key voices from the health sector, including Dame Sally Davies, discuss their views on the importance of research
How to get involved
There are many different routes to research via an academic pathway or starting at any point in your career. Find out about how Dr Elena Nikiphorou took a flexible pathway into clinical research or learn about the flexible portfolio training initiative. The following links will give you more information on academic routes to research:
- Medical Research Council careers page or interactive careers framework
- Academy of Medical Sciences
- National Institute for Health Research
- Wellcome Trust
Integrated academic training pathways offer formal training in research alongside clinical training. The UK Foundation Programme or NIHR Integrated Academic Training Programme and NIHR Academy provide further information. In Wales you can follow the Wales Clinical Academic Track or if you are based in Northern Ireland you can find out more from the NI Medical and Dental Training Agency and in Scotland, the Scottish Medical Training website.
To get involved in quality improvement and audit research you can view a collection of resources from the RCP or take an RCP course.
Useful resources from across the research sector
- The Academy of Medical Sciences has a highly successful mentoring scheme, as well as specific support for female researchers.
- A Health Research Authority resource to determine if your research needs ethics approval.
- If you are returning to research, the Daphne Jackson Trust or Wellcome Trust offer support, including funding for re-entry.
- Research and development departments are a great way to find out about local research or you can contact your Local Clinical Research Network.
- To further your career in research and establish yourself as a principal investigator, our guidance on Advancing your career in research will be helpful.