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Case study: What does effective research leadership look like? Insights from our Research Scholars’ Programme

What is the best piece of advice you have received throughout your career?

What is the best piece of advice you have received throughout your career? Perhaps it was given to you recently or at the beginning of your journey. The words of advice that we receive from colleagues can be powerful, providing us with inspiration and motivation. As we begin the new year, the CRN West of England has shared a document of collective words of wisdom that were originally given to those on the Research Scholars' Programme.

These words of wisdom, collected through a 360 feedback psychometric from 83 colleagues in a variety of different job roles, professions and levels of experience, have been compiled  in the hope that it will inspire and invigorate for the new year ahead. Whatever your role, we can reflect on the year before, and take the time to  consider our goals for the year to come. Advice from our peers, colleagues, and mentors can often steer and motivate us, and the document created with our Research Scholars serves as a great reminder of the impact we can have on those around us. 

This feedback has been provided to 5 early career health and care professionals who form the programme’s inaugural cohort. The scheme supports those aspiring to be future research leaders, providing funded time and learning and development support for each scholar, as well as contributing to the growth of research leadership capability in the West of England. 

Dr Stephen McGlynn, Deputy Chief Operating Officer commented:

“Our inaugural cohort of research scholars have engaged with the programme phenomenally well, and they are already building on their learning and connections to achieve great success. To embark on this research journey alongside their demanding clinical roles takes a huge amount of dedication and commitment and we are so proud of each of them.

“The document that we have created with collective words of wisdom from their colleagues is a testament to the work they have done and the relationships they have built. There is lots of great advice and motivation to be found, not only for our research scholars, but for both early-career researchers and research delivery colleagues, and for both current and future leaders. After reading the advice that was given, I felt really inspired and energised, and I hope it can do the same for you. Thank you to the scholars and their reviewers for sharing their wisdom!” 

The responses are grouped into seven key areas:

  1. Persevere and keep going!
  2. Be selective! Consider your motivations and maintain balance
  3. Set and share your strategic direction
  4. Remember participants’ needs and experiences
  5. Build and sustain relationships
  6. Keep communicating with your colleagues
  7. Recognise, support and develop your team

Some highlighted pieces of advice given include:

“Accept there will be disappointments in research and not to take them to heart. Also be prepared for significant barriers to progress but you mustn't let this put you off from your primary goal.”

“The little things matter. Some small advice or time given to a very new researcher can make a world of difference to their progress and career choice.”

Read the full document here: