Published: 04 October 2020
When faced with a busy day in the NHS, you might not be thinking about how research shapes the care you are providing, but we know that all current treatments and best practice care comes from testing which treatment or care options work best. In the NHS, we call that research.
James Lind conducted the first ever clinical trial in 1747 to find a cure for scurvy, and to mark his birthday, the NIHR is relaunching its signature campaign ‘Your Path in Research’. The campaign aims to inspire and support health and care professionals across all hospital and community settings to get more involved in research.
This campaign will give health and care professionals an opportunity to learn more about research that’s taking place around them and highlights a range of ways they can take their first or next step in their research career.
One of the NIHR’s overall aims is for research to be an integral part of providing best patient care in all specialties. The NIHR’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought clinical and research professionals together in a way not seen before; working together to support patients and families to take part in research. This unique collaboration is helping find the evidence to provide treatments and knowledge into a new disease.
Professor Robert Peveler, Clinical Director for NHS Engagement at NIHR Clinical Research Network said:
“NHS staff across all areas of the profession have pulled together in recent months to help combat COVID-19 and are looking to research to provide the answers in helping to find the right treatments for this disease that affects all areas of society. It’s really highlighted that with the right tools and support, everyone can play a part in supporting research and that integrating it into our routine work is good for patients.
“This campaign highlights the wide range of options available to our NHS colleagues which enables them to easily explore what might be right for them. I would really encourage them to look at what is on offer and think about how they might take their first steps onto a research pathway or further develop their career for those that are already involved in research.”
Dr Damian Roland, an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow and Honorary Associate Professor in Paediatric Emergency Medicine in Leicester, explained the benefits of a research career to him and the NHS:
“I enjoyed three years as a Doctoral Fellow fully funded by the NIHR. This opportunity allowed me to keep up clinical skills and develop a wide range of academic competencies, many leadership based, which have stood me in good stead for leading research grants now.
“After completing my 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.”
You can read more about Damian’s path in research as part of the campaign.
If you are a healthcare professional interested in starting or continuing your path in research, visit our campaign pages or speak to research colleagues locally.