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Case study: First Steps into Research Programme Feedback

We hear from Abbey and Madalina on their experience with the First Steps into Research programme.

The First Steps into Research Programme is a great opportunity for someone to enhance the skills, gain the motivation, and develop the knowledge needed to create a pathway to a career in health and social care research. The programme gives its participants an understanding of what research is, and how it can be applied, through observing it in practice. Participants will also develop an understanding of the NIHR and the role it plays in delivering research, as well as expanding their own development to put them in a great position to establish a research-based career in the future.

With the deadline for Cohort 5 (which begins in January next year) fast approaching, we spoke to former participants of the programme and asked them how taking part helped them propel themselves into a career in research.

Abbey Tufft, from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, took part in Cohort 2, and says that the programme helped put her in the role she is in now.

“Since participating in the First Steps programme, my career has gone down a strong research pathway. As a result of participation, I enrolled onto the Associate-PI scheme and completed my Informed Consent training, which enabled me to lead a study and be involved in screening and recruiting patients.”

“I built up enough confidence to apply for a Trial Manager post at Peninsula CTU and was successful! I start my new job in 2-months and can't wait to start a career dedicated to research.”

“The First Steps programme reignited my passion for research and built confidence in my knowledge and abilities, and I wouldn't be in the position that I am now if I hadn't been a part of it - thank you!”

Madalina Roman, also based at Sheffield, talks about the huge effect the programme had on her personally, as well as in a working environment.

“I am very pleased to be able to say that the ‘First Steps into Research’ course changed my life. It came at a moment of big dilemma in my working life, after a very difficult clinical experience with Covid and failure to achieve my dream of becoming an Advanced Clinical Practitioner.”

“Now I have just accepted a full time position in motor neurone disease research because I realised how much better I feel working for research than full time clinically.

I realise that from a research position I can make a lot of difference to the lives of patients and staff and I will continue to remain ‘an expert leader’.”

“Thank you so much for this eye-opening opportunity and I am more than happy to collaborate in the future.”

If you are interested in joining the next cohort, please complete our application form by 2 October 2022. For further information, pleas speak to Gail Creswick via or 07789 746415.