Your Path in Research
#YourPathInResearch - add research to your career
This November we are taking part in the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Your Path in Research campaign which highlights how people can make research part of their career.
Read more about this campaign on the NIHR website.
Sheffield CRF Team - #YourPathInResearch campaign
As part of the NIHR #YourPathInResearch campaign to inspire health and care professionals to take their first or next step in research, we asked what our staff like about working in research.
Your Path in Research
Everyone's path into research is different. What could a career in research look like for you? We asked our staff what their paths look like.
Imogen Wilson - Data Assistant
Imogen Wilson is a Data Assistant in the National Institute for Health and Care Research Sheffield Clinical Research Facility. A career in healthcare research has helped her learn new skills and make a difference to the NHS.
After graduating in psychology during the pandemic, I knew that I wanted to start a career that would enable me to make a difference and give the NHS a helping hand.
My first role was an internship in palliative care research at Hull York Medical School, and I then went on to work in an asymptomatic COVID-19 testing centre. After this, I got a job at the NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility as a data coordinator working within the COVID-19 team, and I now work as a data assistant in the Facility’s operations team. There are so many interesting roles in research, and it is incredibly rewarding to work as part of a team that is making a massive difference to so many lives.
There are so many opportunities to learn new skills whilst working in clinical research, for both admin and clinical staff, and I have definitely accelerated my career by choosing to work in clinical research. I have been able to challenge myself in so many new ways, including taking the lead on specific projects, delivering presentations and training sessions, and improving my knowledge on data analysis and producing complex reports. I have developed skills that I will utilise for not only the rest of my career, but for the rest of my life.
My proudest achievement in my research career to date was during my first role in the Clinical Research Facility, working on a large portfolio of COVID-19 studies, from vaccine trials to interventional trials and long-term trials to understand disease progression. It was incredibly rewarding to be a small cog in this large wheel, working behind the scenes. My role at the time also involved covering the Clinical Research Facility reception, and it was inspiring to see and meet so many patients and staff that wanted to get involved.
Rosemary Kirk - Research Sister/Clinical Educator
Rosemary Kirk is a Research sister/clinical educator at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Facility and she has been Inspired by her own first-hand experience of the difference research can make to patient care.
As a participant in a research study, my dad was monitored closely in all health aspects and the standard of care was simply excellent. During the visits, I would have discussions with the study nurse on what their role involved. I thought it would be a very interesting and rewarding career to pursue. My knowledge and skills have developed significantly during my career. I am now in a position where I consciously advocate for evidence-based medicine and interventions because I am so aware of its importance. I have gained experience and competencies that are transferable in clinical settings, and academia. I enjoy all that the research nursing career offers.
As a research nurse and clinical educator my role is variable on a day-to-day basis, from supporting study set up to providing my colleagues with the knowledge and skills needed to perform their jobs at their best capacity. For me research has been a fantastic career choice, and given me so many development opportunities including being seconded to the role of clinical educator in research.
Lorenza Nwafor - Research Sister
Lorenza Onyinyechi Nwafor is a Research Sister in the NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility. For her, a career in research opens many doors.
One of the elements I love about research is that the study participants are active collaborators in every sense: from deciding to go on a study and adhere to its requirements, to giving us feedback on the study itself and our services. We work in the study together with the aim to improve people’s lives.
My job varies on a day-to-day basis: from study set up, recruitment, and facilitating visits to archiving studies. I manage my own portfolio, but I also work within a wider team to support the delivery of larger scale studies. Communication with all the sides involved in the studies is a big part of my daily job. Communication is key to ensure that the study is running successfully and to the highest standards. I find it really satisfying when a trial medication is licensed and, to give this great news to the study participants!
I am proud of this job, and I am proud that I now have the confidence to step out and talk about clinical research and its importance for everyone.
A career in research has opened and is still opening many doors for me thanks to the experience that I am gaining.