Develop your own Research

The key to starting a research career is to develop the skills and networks in research and build knowledge around your area of interest. There is no one path that fits all and many experience changes of direction along the journey. Chapter 1 in this section provides guidance on writing a research protocol. Information and the process for applying for the requisite approvals and permissions for the study, attributing costs for the study and applying for funding are detailed in Chapter 2. The final chapter on training and development outlines the NIHR clinical research academic pathways and programmes available for researchers. A link to the mentorship registry is provided in this section.

Chapter 1

Journey from idea to writing a research protocol

Research ideas generally come from previous experience and knowledge or identified gaps within services or care. Being inquisitive, challenging accepted practice, reviewing existing literature are all ways in which ideas are formed. Once you have your research idea it is important to identify your research question, initially this may be very broad and will require some shaping. Often beginning at the end, the conclusion you hope to achieve is a good way to start to shape your idea. You will find discussing your ideas with colleagues and gaining support from a mentor who has been through this process already valuable in helping you navigate your way through the process. It is equally important to recognise that this is a lengthy process and each stage will take time to develop.