Module 1 - 30 September & 1 October 2024 (Online)
Module 2 - 21 & 22 November 2024 (In-person)

Course details

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Research is a core principle of the NHS. Research activity improves patient care yet is complex to carry out and requires a wide range of skills. This course is designed to introduce some of the core skills required to carry out research successfully.

This is a short course and it is not designed to cover everything. It is no replacement for a Masters level degree, but provides an excellent grounding prior to undertaking such a course. It is also suitable for clinicians who want to improve their understanding of research. Some of the critical underpinning skills required for performing high quality research have been selected to get you started.  Other knowledge, such as research methodology, is not covered in any detail, primarily because this can be learnt from text books and requires less guidance from a tutor. Equally issues such as recruitment, data collection, management and analysis are all better tackled when you are ready to undertake them. 

The course is offered in two 2 day modules - Module 1 will be run online and Module 2 will be run in-person.  The gap between the modules is intended to allow you time to use and develop the skills taught during days 1 and 2, and to spend time developing a research question and start to formulate a proposal.

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Course aims

The course aims to enable participants to:

Module 1

  • Search the literature comprehensively, in order to research the published literature prior to developing research or audit projects.  Also to enable participants to find appropriate papers for journal club review.
  • Understand the commonly used terms and statistical techniques, and to interpret statistics used in quantitative research.
  • Critically evaluate research papers so they can assess the value of the available evidence, and ensure it is incorporated into practice.
  • Understand the processes required to set up a research project in clinical practice and appreciate why governance is required and what ethics committees look for in applications.
  • Describe the stages involved in developing and completing a research project successfully, and describe the purpose and content of a research protocol/proposal.
  • Understand the value of involving the patients and public in the research process.

Module 2

  • Apply an evidence-based approach to the selection of outcome measures which are psychometrically robust and clinically practical.  
  • Begin to understand qualitative research designs and methods of analysis.
  • Describe the stages involved in preparing a grant application and appreciate some of the challenges faced.
  • Understand the relevance of assessing the impact of research.
  • Identify strategies to disseminate research results and findings, and to prepare successful conference presentations and papers for submission to peer review journals. 

Who should attend?

The workshops have been designed specifically for healthcare staff.  Anyone interested in research and preparing to develop a research project will find them helpful.  All the workshops are designed to give basic skills and assume little prior knowledge.

Course structure

The topics covered include:

Module 1 (30 Sept & 1 Oct 2024 - Online)

  • Searching the literature
  • Understanding statistics in quantitative research
  • Critical appraisal
  • Writing your research protocol
  • The setting up of a project
  • Patient and public involvement in research

Module 2 (21 & 22 Nov 2024 - In-person)

  • Selecting robust outcome measures
  • Qualitative research methods
  • Assessing the impact of research
  • Getting research funding
  • Disseminating your research 

Course methods & delivery

All sessions incorporate mixed learning methods remotely and in-person, including lectures, discussion and practical exercises.  The searching the literature session is hands-on, giving you the opportunity to use the databases and undertake a small search during the workshop. The statistics session is very practical and apart from basic maths you would learn at school, makes no assumptions about prior statistical knowledge. 

For Module 1 you will need a reliable internet connection and a desktop computer or laptop. Further details will be sent to registered participants nearer the time of each module.

Bursary funded places (Imperial College AHSC staff)

A number of bursary funded places are available for NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists) working in the Imperial College AHSC (Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and The Institute of Cancer Research).

To find out more and apply for a bursary funded place, potential applicants should visit the CATO website or contact CATO for further information.

Comments from past participants

"The understanding statistics was massively useful and I’m not daunted or scared any more!"

"Excellent workshop; group exercises were very good and helped to apply knowledge."

"It was all presented in an easy to understand format."