• To be able to demonstrate the multiple impacts of research educational initiatives to the organisation funding them
• To appreciate why changes in culture are needed in the health professions to support an evidence-base to better serve our populations
• To understand how to build research capacity and show the benefit of investing in training opportunities
Background There is increasing emphasis in the UK on developing a nurse, midwife and allied health professional (NMAHP) workforce that conducts research. Training for clinical academic careers is provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). However, the low number of successful applicants suggested there were barriers to achieving this. The Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Led Research (CNMR) launched a fellowship programme in 2016 to backfill two days a week of NMAHPs’ time for up to a year, to give them time to make competitive applications to the NIHR.
Aim To report a study evaluating the CNMR fellowship programme.
Discussion The making Visible the ImpaCT Of Research (VICTOR) tool (Cooke et al 2019) was developed to describe the organisational impact of research. The 2016-17 CNMR fellows completed VICTOR and their responses were analysed using a framework approach. The analysis found the main benefits of participating in the programme were protected time for research, opportunities to develop collaborations, increasing intra- and inter-professional awareness of NMAHPs’ research, peer-reviewed publications, and conference presentations. Challenges included a lack of support from line managers, limited value placed on NMAHPs’ research and failure to backfill posts.
Conclusion There were some challenges with the fellowship programme, but all recipients found it to be a positive experience and undertook significant scholarly activity.
Implications for practice A contractual agreement must be established to foster committed partnerships between higher education institutions (HEIs) and the NHS. HEIs and the NHS should conduct frank discussions of the challenges encountered in fellowship programmes. Positive initiatives and outcomes in tertiary education and clinical settings should be shared to improve fellows’ experiences and enhance partnerships between HEIs and the NHS. Job descriptions should include time allocation to review fellowship candidates’ applications regardless of outcome. The showcasing of research successes and the benefits of NMAHP research must evolve to secure organisational ‘buy in’, which is the precursor to widening access to clinical academic pathways.
Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2023.e1864Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Spring C, Hogg J, Holliday J et al (2023) Using the making Visible the ImpaCT Of Research (VICTOR) questionnaire to evaluate the benefits of a fellowship programme for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2023.e1864Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank the previous directors of the Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Led Research: Kaye Mitchell and Lesley Baillie. Funding for the fellowship programme was gratefully received from UCLH Charity, National Brain Appeal and UCL Midwifery Legacy Fund. The CNMAR is funded by UCLH Charity and the views expressed in this article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of UCLH Charity or the National Brain Appeal.
Published online: 05 October 2023
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