A guide to starting out in clinical academic research

Last year, we received a small grant from UK Research and Innovation to develop a free resource with advice and tips for clinicians on engaging in research and how to start out on a journey towards becoming a clinical academic. Although there is a lot of information available, it can be a whole new world of funding bodies, acronyms, and systems to navigate, and tricky knowing where to start!

Working with a team of researchers, clinical academics, patient representatives and a media expert, we produced ten short films in a package lasting 70 minutes. It includes animations and ‘talking heads’ from a range of allied health professionals, as they share their stories from the inception of their research idea, how to form a team, find a mentor, work with service-users and patient partners, through to thinking about intellectual property and enterprise, writing a grant application and securing funding.

At the end of the project, the films were evaluated with 30 clinical academics ranging from pre-doctoral to senior academic level. On a scale where 1=very poor; 2=poor; 3=fair; 4=good; and 5=very good, the mean content was rated as 4.6/5, the delivery 4.3, and the overall package scored 4.6. Although the final film does include some links in the Wessex region (as per the scope of this project), there are generic ideas and links too.

We hope you find it useful and please do tell us what you think and if / how you used it.

Contact: Lisa Roberts, Clinical Professor of Musculoskeletal Health & Consultant Physiotherapist.
Email: L.C.Roberts@soton.ac.uk
Twitter: @LPhysioprof

The team
Lisa Roberts (1,2), Jamie Stevenson (3), Catherine Bowen (1,3), Kay Mitchell (1,2), with central support from Jennifer McHugh (4)

1 University of Southampton, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
2 University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Therapy Services Department
3 National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration, Wessex
4 University of Southampton, Research and Innovation Services