Becoming Research Active 2023 Applications now open

17 Jul 2023

*Applications for September 2023 are now open*

Inspired by our Becoming Research Active in-person workshop, this online course consists of self-paced and live skills tutorials hosted by ARC researchers, aimed at frontline health and social care professionals. NIHR ARC North Thames Academy is offering free registration to shortlisted applicants in order to support the growth of research capacity within the health and social care professional communities.

This course is designed to support those new to research in advancing their research journey, at different points in the lifecycle of their project and their career. The tutorials are focused on teaching skills needed at key stages in developing a research project, providing peer learning and expert consultation and signposting to further support and resources.

A workbook will be provided for participants to complete in-between each lesson and receive feedback on the research project they are designing. Pre- and post-session tasks in the workbook will be included to support preparation for each lesson, and to help consolidate learning after the lesson.


By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand the research process, including the principles behind good research design and planning for dissemination and impact
  • Be able to apply criteria to judge the potential value and feasibility of a research project idea
  • Know how to involve patients and the public in every stage of research, and understand how it could benefit the research
  • Have a basic understanding of research governance and ethics requirements, and know where to find out more


Course content and dates

Online and self-paced learning
Available on demand from 18 September - 15 November 2023


Session 1 – Why is research important?  

Learning objectives:  

By the end of this session, you will be able to:  

  • Identify differences between research, evaluation, quality improvement (QI) and audit
  • Identify steps in research process 
  • Evaluate your topic and what type of project it is (research, evaluation, QI) 

Session 2 – Developing your idea into a research question: searching and identifying the gaps

Learning objectives:  

By the end of this session, you will be able to:  

  • Scope out existing research in your area of interest  
  • Assess whether your idea is a novel question 
  • Create your search question 

Session 3 – Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) and Research Permissions

Learning objectives:  

By the end of this session, you will be able to:  

  • Recall steps in research process
  • Identify areas for patient and public involvement in research 
  • Apply considerations for PPI and community participation to your research project idea 

Live and group learning
In-person on Tuesday 31 October or online on Friday 3 November 2023


Session 4 – Research design, action plans and reflection

Learning objectives:  

By the end of this session, you will be able to:  

  • Define what is meant by “Research design” 
  • Apply key considerations to some research ideas
  • List key considerations for selecting a design for your study
  • Decide what your next immediate and medium-term steps are for your project 
  • Develop an action plan  

We expect this course to take around 12 hours to complete all session activities and recommend at least 1.5 hours a week allocated to the self-paced sessions.

Participants must be available to complete all self-paced course work and workbook activities and participate in a live tutorial session, either in person or online.


Participant criteria

The course is ideal for doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, public health or local government staff from NHS Trusts, NHS CCGs and Local authorities. Participants might have done a Masters level module in collecting and analysing data, or critical appraisal of research, or have helped to support research in your organisation or attended another one of our Academy courses. This course is not aimed at academics and/or researchers.

Please note that there are limited places available so applicants will be shortlisted with priority given to members of ARC NT partner organisations


How to apply

Click here to complete the application form by midnight Sunday 13 August.
Places for this course will be limited. Successful applicants will be confirmed in the week starting 28 August.



If you have any questions about this course or our organisation, please email

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