Public Health Research
Public health - Play as Sarah:
"I’m Sarah, and I work in public health. Public health promotes and protects the health of people and their communities. Working in public health is about helping people to live healthy and fulfilling lives, and research in this area informs and improves public health policy and practice.”.
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?
Option 1 - Provide better care and improve people’s lives
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
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 collected a key! You're on your way to unlocking your career in research. Continue game]
[Level Up! Continue Game]
Question four: What do you want to learn more about today?
Option 1 - See how public health research is already helping people and communities
NIHR Evidence provides plain English summaries of a huge range of public health research. You can find out more by visiting NIHR Evidence and filtering by Public Health. For example, there is research on how an advertising ban was linked to lower purchases of unhealthy food and drink, and how better pathways promote physical activity and can decrease health inequalities. Browse our collection of public health evidence.
Option 2 - Learn more about how public health research is being delivered. The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between nine leading academic centres with excellence in applied public health research in England. The school is committed to building research capacity in public health through training and development opportunities. Learn more about the NIHR School for Public Health Research.
Option 3 - Learn more about research training and career development opportunities in public health. NIHR works closely with local authorities to develop research that improves health and wellbeing, supports independence and reduces health inequalities. We fund a range of professional development opportunities to help further the careers of public health practitioners.
Through our NIHR Local Authority Academic Fellowship Programme and associated opportunities, we offer funded short placements/taster opportunities for individuals to move between local authorities and NIHR settings. We also fund Masters level training, fully funded PhDs and support individuals to develop academically and professionally whilst retaining their existing employment and salary. Learn more about training and development opportunities.
[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.