Short courses


Becoming Research Active (Healthcare and Public Health)

  • 7 hours
  • 1 day


This is a one-day practical workshop to help NHS and local government staff engage in research activity.

It addresses the question: what does becoming 'research active' involve and where do I start?

Research activity can include:

  • developing your own small project
  • collaborating on research studies
  • assisting clients/patients to take part in research
  • being a (critical) research 'consumer'
  • helping to shape research priorities, design and delivery

You'll learn about the whole research process - from identifying a research question to disseminating findings.

You'll produce an action plan for taking your research idea forward, with guidance and advice from experts in health research.

You'll have the opportunity to meet other professionals from similar work settings and share ideas, learning and experiences.

This course is organised by NIHR ARC North Thames Academy with involvement of the Research Design Service (East London) and the NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames. ARCs are partnerships between universities, health and other organisations which have come together to conduct ground-breaking research that will have a direct impact on the health of patients and the public.

Course content and structure

The workshop will be held from 9am to 5pm. There'll be a mixture of lectures and small group exercises to make sure the course is as practical and relevant as possible. 

It'll cover the following topics:

  • Identifying and designing a research question 
  • Research planning
  • Research governance and ethics
  • Research dissemination

You'll develop an action plan for a research idea you want to develop.

You'll also learn about the wide range of support services and resources available which can help you further develop your research idea.

    Who this course is for

    The workshop is aimed at those who work in:

    • NHS trusts
    • clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
    • local authorities

    It's not aimed at academics or researchers.


    You should have had some exposure to research, for example, you might have:

    • completed a Master's-level module in collecting and analysing data or critical appraisal of research
    • helped to support research in your organisation
    • attended another ARC North Thames Academy course

    You should have a research idea, innovation, or change that you would like to plan for, or collaborate with researchers on. 

    Certificate of attendance

    You'll receive a certificate of attendance on completing the course.

    Learning outcomes

    By the end of this course you'll be able to:

    • understand the research process from start to finish, including the principles behind good research design and planning for dissemination and impact
    • understand the different roles within a research team and identify the points at which you can become involved
    • apply criteria to judge the potential value and feasibility of a research project idea
    • understand research governance and ethics requirements and where to find out more
    • plan how to involve patients and the public in every stage of research, in a way that benefits the research
    • identify and access relevant resources and help available across north Thames to design, plan and fund research

    Cost and concessions

    The fees are:

    • Free for staff in NIHR ARC North Thames partner organisations
    • £250 for others

    Benefits of this course

    Being involved in research is a great way to address the questions that often arise in healthcare and public health. The NHS Constitution commits the health service to recognise and promote the value of research. Research can also play a vital role in producing new evidence and new knowledge for decision-making across public health.

    Course organisers

    This course is run by NIHR ARC North Thames Academy with the Research Design Service (East London) and the NIHR Clinical Research Network North Thames.

    The Research Design Service (East London) provides free design and methodological support to health researchers who are developing research funding applications. Find out more on the RDS London website.

    The Clinical Research Network North Thames provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research to take place in the NHS. Find out more on the CRN North Thames website.

    Learner reviews

    "Very informative. Good flow to the presentations and structure of the day. Enjoyable group work tasks. Very professional. Good introduction to see which areas of research I would want to learn more about. Motivates me to want to be more research active."

    "Very helpful, great to network and share experiences from other fields with a similar overview of research design/implementation."

    Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:01