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Your Path in Research: Assistant Research Practitioner Tamsin Hayes

Tamsin Hayes, Assistant Research Practitioner at Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Tamsin is an Assistant Research Practitioner at Devon Partnership NHS Trust. A recent graduate from university, she describes her research journey so far, and how she believes getting involved in research at an early stage in her career could support her ultimate goal of becoming a Clinical Psychologist.

When did you first get involved in research?

I joined the research and development team at Devon Partnership NHS Trust at the end of April this year. I am still fairly new to it all, but I am slowly getting the hang of things. I had completed my own research for my undergraduate dissertation and really enjoyed working on that.

Why did you decide to get involved?

I wanted a slight change in job role, after working as a Healthcare Assistant on a psychiatric ward. I was looking for Assistant Psychologist roles as I wish to follow a career in psychology, and the role of Assistant Research Practitioner came up. I hadn’t heard of the role before, but thought I’d give it a go, as I had enjoyed my undergraduate research modules so much. I have always wanted to help people, and thought that research would be a great way to help more people and help them in the long term too. It is an alternative path to the traditional psychology career path, and it will give me a wide range of experience for the future and applying for the clinical doctorate.

What has been the highlight of your research career so far?

A few weeks ago I had a follow up call, and the participant was in distress. I completed a risk assessment and they assured me of their safety, but at the end of the call they said how much they appreciated speaking to me. This was the first time someone had said how much they valued the research contact to me directly, and it was a special moment and a first for me in this role.

Why do you believe research is important?

Research is essential for progress in the field and for science to move forward. It offers hope and additional care to those who need it most. Being part of research is something special, being able to impact care in the long term and potentially change so many lives.

What do you love about your job?

Everything really! Days are never quite the same, and you get out of it as much as you put in. It is a rewarding job. My favourite part is probably the contact time I have with participants.

Why would you recommend research as a career to others?

It’s a nice change to make in your career path, if you are looking for something a bit different, but still want to be involved in patient care. It’s also an exciting opportunity to work with a vast number of people and to help so many.


Find out how you can be part of research on the National Institute for Health Research website.