The previous post focused on what it means, within the EPIC model for emergent health researchers, to promote research, specifically exploring why it’s especially important to promote the opportunity to participate in research to service users.
This post will expand upon this by considering how you can use the promotion of research to increase your engagement with the research community within your organisation and how it will contribute to the development of your research skills and expertise.
Promotion is defined as to:
Give publicity to a product or venture so as to increase public awareness.
This requires you therefore to firstly take responsibility for increasing your awareness of the research that is being undertaken currently within your clinical area and secondly to actively promote it to service users.
To revisit a question posed in the previous post how much do you really know about the research being undertaken by your clinical colleagues at the moment? It’s worth reflecting on this for a moment, especially if your answer is “not a lot”.
As with all of the components of the EPIC model promoting other peoples’ research will require you to play an active role in the research process and increase your confidence in talking about research. Talking with patients about research is a skill that all researchers have to learn and there is no better time to start learning this one than now.
Many Trusts are developing innovative and engaging ways to promote opportunities to participate in research which move beyond the usual leaflets and posters. Here are a few examples to explore from Nottingham University Hospitals , The Walton Centre, which is designed to play on monitors in outpatient departments, and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics which is aimed at young people. If you are interested in how organisations are also working together to promote research to potential participants another project worth exploring further is Citizen Science Salford . Each of the links will give you an insight into some of the ways in which opportunities to engage in research are being promoted currently.
How does this help to develop your skills and expertise as an emergent researcher? As with the previous post on Explore I’ll locate the answer to this question within the four domains of the Vitae researcher development framework.
1.Knowledge and intellectual abilities
You will learn more about research in general and specifically the studies that you are promoting; you will need to take the information you have been given from colleagues and synthesise it and communicate it to a different audience; you will need to explain, in broad terms, why the research is being undertaken and why it is important.
2. Research governance and organisation
As you talk more with research active colleagues you will increase your understanding of how research is managed, funded and resourced; you will increase your skills and confidence in approaching and talking with potential participants in a professional and appropriate manner; you will gain an insight into how the recruitment process of research is managed.
2. Personal effectiveness
Your interest in promoting research will be an outward indication of your interest in and enthusiasm for research; your discussions will increase your self-confidence in engaging with researchers and potential participant alongside increasing your networks and your reputation as someone who is keen to become more involved in research.
One of the reasons given for not informing patients about potential research is that it often gets forgotten within a busy clinical session. There is a skill to working out how and when to provide people with information during a clinical session. Before you promote research to someone you will need to familiarise yourself with the information you are giving and think about what you are going to say to ensure that the information is passed on effectively.
Research is a team endeavour and requires different input at different stages of the process. Supporting recruitment to studies makes you a valuable part of the team. As you talk with colleagues about their research, show an interest and actively provide information to potential participants you are moving from a passive role of ‘being interested’ into a more active role of supporting recruitment.
Applied health research cannot take place without the involvement of patients, we have already explore how important it is to patients to be informed about research they may be interested in taking part in, we have explored how, as a healthcare professional it is something we are committed to doing through the NHS constitution and we have now explored how promoting research can support your development if you are an emergent researcher.
The next post will be the final post linked to the promotion of research and will explore how you can move forward into action in this component of the EPIC model.