Developing Support for Clinical and Health Researchers
Topic: Proposal Development
The College of Medicine and Health (CoMH) in University College cork, Ireland, spans 6 schools and is the academic hub for 11 hospitals. In 2019, a Research Support Officer role was created, and a clinician was appointed as the Vice Dean of Research and Innovation – normally an academic appointment. This is our story so far – on how we are developing research and research support strategies for both our academic and clinical researchers, including those who wish to become research active.
While the college is affiliated with a number of hospitals in the region, many researchers based at those hospitals do not receive/seek out university/college-level support for their research efforts. Aside from 2 large research centres, there has been little collaboration between the college and the hospitals. The hospitals are often considered as separate entities to the college, and many academic researchers are unaware of the research efforts within the hospitals (and vice versa), despite studies being similar with potential for collaboration. The reasons for such disconnect are many, and historical.
Since 2019, we have been developing a mechanism to provide research support across the college and our affiliated hospitals. Our aims include increasing awareness of the local research supports available, increasing local academic-clinical collaborations, helping researchers navigate the funding landscape and map out a career path, and ultimately, to increase the research outputs and impact of the college. Here, we present some of the challenges we have met and continue to meet, some of our efforts and achievements to date, and what we hope to achieve in the future.