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3 Nov 2022

Your Path in Research – discover ways to add research to your career

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Better research leads to better services for the public. That’s why the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) wants to encourage organisations and social care and public health professionals to play an active role in research, as a way to deliver even better services.

This year’s Your Path in Research campaign highlights how people can make research part of their career.

The campaign begins on October 31 and starts with a two-week spotlight on social care and public health. After these two weeks, the campaign will focus on health research careers until the end of the year.

Sign up for Link and Learn

For Your Path in Research, NIHR has launched Link and Learn, a new time-limited matchmaking service connecting public health and social care practitioners with researchers in the field.

This is the ideal way for anyone new to public health and social care research to gain unique insight, exchange experiences and ask questions. Sign up for Link and Learn on MentorLoop.

If you’re a public health or social care practitioner please select ‘mentee’. If you’re an experienced public health or social care practitioner please select ‘mentor’.

Link and Learn is perfect for social care and public health practitioners that are new to research. By signing up for Link and Learn, research beginners can find out more about internships and placements available, where to access research findings expressed in plain English, and many simple ways to get involved.

NIHR are also recruiting guides. Guides are experienced social care and public health researchers that volunteer to help new researchers in a 1-2-1, 45-minute conversation. Acting as a guide will be rewarding as you help contribute to the development of future research leaders, gain new perspectives, fresh ideas, and expand your professional networks. Please read our Link and Learn role description for guides.

If you have any difficulties using MentorLoop, please contact Giuseppe Rella via email at: or call 020 7961 9239‬.

Ways to begin your path in research

If you work in social care or social work:

If you work in public health:

Internships, fellowships and opportunities:

Book a virtual place at the NIHR Academy Members’ Conference

Experience a broad range of inspiring speakers, case studies, exhibitors and skills sessions at the NIHR Academy Members’ Conference.

The conference takes place on 22 and 23 November. The title for this year’s event is: ‘The road less travelled: celebrating non-linear career pathways’. It will feature panel discussions and different sessions about routes into research. There will also be opportunities to network and talk to other researchers.

Sign-up for your free virtual place.

Ways to help build research in local authorities

  • Explore more about the Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Teams which provides timely and accessible evaluations of public health interventions to local authorities.
  • Learn about the Health and Social Care Delivery Research Programme which funds evaluative research that has the potential to improve health and social care services. Typical projects are mixed-methods studies with a clear focus on the organisation and quality of care.
  • Our Health Determinants Research Collaborations can boost local authorities’ capacity and capability to conduct high-quality research to tackle health inequalities. They provide new research funding to embed a culture of evidence-based decision-making within local government with a focus on tackling the needs of local disadvantaged groups. Read our blog about setting the scene for public health research.

You can find out more on the NIHR website