Play as Ameena
“I’m Ameena, and I work in the health sector. I work on the frontline delivering health services to patients, service users, carers and the public. Research in health aims to improve treatment and care for everyone."
Question one: How much do you know about a career in research?
Option 1 - Nothing.
Making research part of your career can give you a new opportunity for further learning in your area, increasing your ability to offer the best for patients, service users, carers and the public. It can enable you to build a career around areas you are interested in and challenge yourself in new ways. Find out about our campaign to promote career opportunities in research.
Option 2: A little.
Better research leads to better services for everyone, and maintaining and improving the quality of the research we fund is vital. We need expert people to help prioritise research topics to ensure we fund the best applications. Find out how you can influence our research.
[Level up! Continue game]
Question two: What do you want to achieve by adding research to your career?
Health and care research provides those working in the NHS, public health and social care with the evidence they need to better support the public and anyone who needs care. Discoveries made through research enable new or improved care, treatments, diagnostics, technologies and services.
By supporting patients, service users, carers and the public to be part of research, you can help change lives. It is through research that we develop better treatments, prevention, care and quality of life for everyone. Not only that, but the research they take part in will have a lasting impact, going on to shape health and care that will help future generations.
To find out how research is improving health and care, read our Making a Difference stories.
Option 2 - Help to shape research in your area of work
By getting involved with research, not only will you gain extra skills and qualifications for your own career, but you will also be empowered to share vital expertise to ensure that studies are optimised to meet the needs of patients, service users, carers and the public. The research you make possible will have a lasting impact, going on to shape policy that will help future generations.
To find out how researchers, social care, public health and health professionals are improving health and care, read our collection of blog posts.
Option 3: Get better at what you do and open up opportunities in your career
Adding research to your career can:
- give you an opportunity for further learning in your area to benefit the public, patients, carers and service users
- enable you to build a career around areas you are passionate about and explore new areas of interest to you
- provide you with extra skills and qualifications which can benefit your future career prospects
- add variety in your career to boost job satisfaction
[You've earned a power up! By adding research to your career, you can help improve health and care for all. Continue game]
Question three: What kind of support would be most useful to you?
Option 1 - Talking to people about what a career in research is like
There are lots of different ways you can learn about a career in research:
- Find out what research is happening in your organisation by attending an NIHR event or initiative
- If you work in public health, you may want to contact the NIHR School for Public Health Research
- If you work in social care, you may want to contact the NIHR School for Social Care Research
- If you work in the health sector, you may want to contact your local NHS Research and Development forum
- Finally, you could always ask people in your network if they have experience of research - you might be surprised how many of your colleagues will!
Option 2 - Finding out more about career development opportunities
NIHR offers a wide range of training and career development awards at different levels which are suitable to different professions, backgrounds and research interests.
Some of these can be applied for directly, or through a host institution. Find out about career development opportunities.
Option 3 - Joining a community of researchers
NIHR Incubators address areas where there is a need to increase the number of people doing research at a national level. They aim to encourage early career interest in target areas including public health and social care to build communities through networking and offering training and development support. Find out about current NIHR Incubators.
[You've earned an apple! Including research in your career can help you learn and progress in your field. Continue game]
[Level Up! Continue Game]
Question four: What do you want to learn more about today?
Option 1 - See how health research is already helping people and communities
NIHR Evidence provides plain English summaries of a huge range of health research. You can find out more by visiting NIHR Evidence and filtering by topics that interest you. For example, there is research around the impact of ethnicity and risk of diabetes, and how research can help us tackle the global challenge of Long Covid. Browse our collection of health evidence.
Option 2 - Take part in ‘on the job’ training: the Associate PI Scheme
The Associate Principal Investigator (PI) Scheme is a six month in-work training opportunity, providing practical experience for healthcare professionals starting their research career. People who would not normally have the opportunity to take part in clinical research in their day to day role have the chance to experience what it means to work on and deliver an NIHR portfolio trial under the mentorship of an enthusiastic Local PI. Participating healthcare professionals receive formal recognition of engagement in NIHR Portfolio research studies through the certification of Associate PI status, endorsed by the NIHR and Royal Colleges. Learn more about the Associate Principal Investigator Scheme.
Option 3 - Learn more about how research improves healthcare by taking an online course
Take part in a four week online course to find out how medical treatments are discovered, tested and evaluated to improve healthcare for all, and learn more about how you can support the delivery of vital research. This course runs regularly throughout the year. Learn more and register for this online course.
[Congratulations, you’ve completed the Your Path in Research game! You are on your way to adding research to your career and unlocking your potential.]
Remember to bookmark the webpage links that you clicked on during the game, and to find out more about a career in research, head to the Your Path in Research webpage.