Do you have an enquiring mind and an enthusiasm or thirst for knowledge? Do you want to get involved in radiotherapy research or develop your research expertise? Research should underpin the clinical and educational activities undertaken by Radiation Therapists. For many, research can seem a daunting process that is beyond their expertise or capabilities. All health care practitioners can use research evidence and some may want to undertake their own research but may feel unsure where to start.
This article is aimed at novice researchers (or those with limited research experience) and those wanting to develop their research potential. The discussion should help practitioners identify the necessary skills required to undertake research, where to go for help, the research process (including where research ideas come from), and what to consider when putting together a project team or applying for research funding.
The discussion concludes on the importance of research training and support (or mentoring) for novice researchers or those at the start of their research careers. The national professional body for therapists can play an important role in helping researchers to network with likeminded individuals. Some professional bodies (such as the College of radiographers in the UK) may also provide small research grants to help build research activity, and as such can be a useful starting point when considering research funding.