Starting out in research - an introductory course
24 - 25 July & 1 - 2 November 2017
Research is a core part of the NHS. In order to provide better healthcare we need to do research. Yet research is complex to carry out and requires a wide range of skills. This course is designed to introduce some of the core skills required to carry out research successfully.
This is a short course and it is not designed to cover everything. It is no replacement for a masters level degree in research (MRes), but provides an excellent grounding prior to undertaking such a course. Some of the critical underpinning skills required for performing high quality research have been selected to get you started. Other knowledge, such as research methodology, is not covered in any detail, primarily because this can be learnt from text books and requires less guidance from a tutor. Equally issues such as recruitment, data collection, management and analysis are all better tackled when you are ready to undertake them. These issues are included in the text book provided with this course: Research Handbook for Healthcare Professionals.
The course is offered in two 2 day modules. The gap between the modules is intended to allow you time to use and develop the skills taught during days 1 and 2, and to spend time developing a research question and start to formulate a proposal.
The course aims to enable participants to:
- Search the literature comprehensively, in order to research the published literature prior to developing research or audit projects. Also to enable participants to find appropriate papers for journal club review.
- Understand the commonly used terms and statistical techniques, and to interpret statistics used in research.
- Critically evaluate research papers so they can assess the value of the available evidence, and ensure it is incorporated into practice.
- Understand the ethical approval process and appreciate why such approval is required and what ethics committees look for in applications.
- Describe the stages involved in developing and completing a research project successfully, and describe the purpose and content of a research protocol/proposal.
- Apply an evidence-based approach to the selection of outcome measures which are psychometrically robust and clinically practical.
- Understand when to use questionnaires, identify what makes a good questionnaire, design and critically appraise a questionnaire, and plan a study involving questionnaires.
- Describe the stages involved in preparing a grant application and appreciate some of the challenges faced.
- Identify strategies to disseminate research results and findings, and to prepare successful conference presentations and papers for submission to peer review journals.
Who should attend?
The workshops have been designed specifically for healthcare staff. Anyone interested in research and preparing to develop a research project will find them helpful. All the workshops are designed to give basic skills and assume little prior knowledge.
The topics covered include:
Module 1 (24-25 July 2017)
- Searching the literature
- Understanding statistics
- Critical appraisal
- Obtaining ethical approval
- Writing your research protocol
Module 2 (1-2 November 2017)
- Selecting robust outcome measures
- Using and developing a questionnaire
- Getting research funding
- Disseminating your research
All sessions incorporate mixed learning methods, including lectures, discussion and practical exercises. The searching the literature session is hands-on using computers, giving you the opportunity to use the databases and undertake a small search during the workshop. The statistics session is very practical and apart from basic maths you would learn at school, makes no assumptions about prior statistical knowledge.
FREE - Research Handbook for Health Care Professionals
A free copy of this valuable handbook will be provided for all attendees.
The handbook is the essential guide to the entire research process for students and practitioners alike. From conceiving an idea for a project to writing up the findings for publication, the book offers an overview of each stage plus hints and tips, recommendations for further reading and examples spanning a wide range of health professions.
The book comprises three sections: Getting Started, Doing Your Research and Writing Up and Dissemination, and includes chapters on key topics such as formulating your research question, writing the initial research protocol, application for ethical approval, research governance, collecting your data, research methods and preparing a poster for a conference.
The course also includes access to an e-learning module on basic critical appraisal skills. To get the most out of the course, you will need to complete this e-learning before attending module 1. It will take approximately 2.5-3 hours. You will be sent access information once fees are paid.
Comments from past participants
"The understanding statistics was massively useful and I’m not daunted or scared any more!"
"Excellent workshop; group exercises were very good and helped to apply knowledge."
"It was all presented in an easy to understand format."