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Four ways research can benefit your career

Published: 05 November 2019

More information on our Your Path in Research campaign is available on the NIHR website.

We explore four key ways research can benefit your career, featuring testimonies from healthcare professionals who encourage others to follow in their footsteps and take their next step in their research career.

1. Gives you an opportunity for further learning in your healthcare specialism to benefit your patients

  • “Clinical research is a very dynamic and exciting specialism and the benefits for patients can be absolutely fantastic. When you see some of those patients respond well to an experimental treatment on a clinical trial it really is phenomenal, you can’t put that feeling into words.” Hear more from Michelle Davies, Advanced Nurse Practitioner about how research has become part of her nursing career.

  • “There are great opportunities to be had in research, both for your own personal development, as well as for patient benefit.” Hear more from Imogen Skene, Senior Clinical Research Nurse about developing a research career as a clinical academic nurse.

  • “Healthcare research is fundamentally about questioning, and creating evidence to change practice, for the benefit of patients and their carers.” Hear more from Caroline Nicholson, Professor of Palliative Care and Aging about how she's kept patients at the heart of her research career.


2. Enables you to build a career around healthcare areas you are passionate about and explore new areas of interest to you

3. Provides you with extra skills and qualifications which can benefit your future career prospects

  • “Research has certainly made me a better doctor and a better trainer, and I was very fortunate to have that opportunity.” Professor Cheng-Hock Toh, Academic Vice President, Royal College of Physicians

  • “After completing training I was appointed as consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine in a job containing academic time. This was an NHS, rather than a University appointment and my employers felt my fellowship and academic experience would benefit our department.” Damian Roland, Honorary Associate Professor in Paediatric Emergency Medicine

  • “The career options for nurses and other allied health professionals in clinical research are really exciting with so many different opportunities available now...The NIHR has fantastic opportunities and has great resources to help people with their education and to support involvement in research either working directly in clinical research or by becoming a researcher in your own right.” Michelle Davies

  • “I began a full-time Doctoral Fellowship - a fantastic experience. I worked with some inspirational peers and deliberately focussed my research and career on the needs of older generations.” Caroline Nicholson


4. Adds variety in your career to boost job satisfaction

  • “What really keeps me interested in research, and clinical practice, is that my work is relevant to both. I’m not in the labs growing cells which have nothing to do with the patients I see during my shifts. Some of the research I’ve conducted I use day-in, day-out in my job in the Emergency Department. This combination, and protected time in each, prevents burn-out and keeps me constantly engaged.” Damian Roland

  • “I get the best of both worlds. I’m part of an amazing team caring for patients and their families at some of the most difficult points of their lives.  At the same time, I am also progressing my research career and supporting and teaching others.” Caroline Nicholson

  • “There is a great degree of flexibility within the fellowships with an opportunity to study part-time or full-time depending on your study design, personal circumstances or clinical commitments.” Lesley Katchburian, Lead Clinical Physiotherapist in Neurodisability

  • “Research is fun and at the end of the day you know you will be helping to reduce uncertainties that will benefit our NHS patients in the future.” Professor Hywel Williams, Director of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme

The healthcare professionals providing their insights above have shared their stories as part of the NIHR’s Your Path in Research campaign. Read more about their journeys in research by visiting the 'enhance your career' section on the campaign page. You can also find out more about how you can take the next step in your career by on the campaign homepage.

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