Getting Started

There are many different ways to start out in research and it is easier to begin with a small project and work up. Examples of starting out small include:
  • Audit
  • Evaluation
  • Pilot study
  • Part of someone else's project
  • Collaboration with similarly interested people
  • Literature review/dissertation
The North West AHP research network has developed 'top tips' advice to help with considering how to get started in research by outlining key aspects and key contacts.

It is advisable that you speak with your R&D unit manager. For such meetings, it is helpful to write a one page proposal to focus your thoughts and submit this to the manager so that he/she can consider your plans before meeting with you and then advise on the best ways to take the research further.

A variety of skills are required when undertaking research:

For any research project (and for ethics plus funding requests) a protocol is required of your proposed research which provides information on background to your research idea, aim and objectives, target population, inclusion and exclusion criteria, methods and measurements, analysis plan, data and dissemination.

For more detailed information on what should be included in a protocol, please download the Research Proposal.

Good Clinical Practice – this is mandatory for large studies and trials that are adopted by UK research networks. Training is accessible online or through training courses that your R&D manager can advise on.

A literature search is required for any research project as it informs on whether the research is required based on the knowledge of what has been done previously.

Ethics and Trust R&D approvals are essential for research involving patients and the public.

The Research Design Service (RDS) offers invaluable support and frequently advise that individuals interested in taking forward a research idea, contact them in the very early 'idea' stage for help throughout the entire research process.

The North West RDS website contains information on support and contacts within the region.