NIHR CAHPR AHP Research Champions met in Birmingham on 9 April 2019 to share learning from the first six months of their voluntary role.
During the initial phase of the scheme Research Champions have been establishing relationships with local research networks and key individuals. They have publicised their new role at local events and through professional bodies. They are also working together to develop research career case studies and evaluate the scheme.
Research Champions are planning a wide range of activities in 2019. These include:
- creating films, podcasts, webinars and case studies
- running or participating in local events
- surveying local research capacity and culture
- establishing networks including through virtual communities.
Further details will be available soon.
The role is a good opportunity to bring together Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRN) and other networks. AHPs in research are often working in parallel worlds.
The role has helped to give AHPs a voice locally, e.g. one champion now has a place on as the only AHP on a research and development committee.
Positive relationships with CAHPR hubs and LCRNs are helpful and these can take time to build.
Need to realistic about time available. Volunteers with 12 days a year available cannot do everything at once.
It takes time to sort out the practicalities in a new role.
There was no prescriptive definition of the role so it has taken effort to define the role and understand what the offer should be.
Challenging to make contacts outside own profession and home organisation.
Key to produce resources for the future as this is a time-limited role.
"Everyone has made progress and the workshop was a good opportunity to meet up and share in person",
Richard Collings, one of two AHP Research Champions in the South West
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