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Conducting research

Are you starting out as a researcher, or thinking about a research project for the first time? This collection of Guides will help early career researchers to navigate the different stages and processes of the research world, and to better understand research study design and why it is important.

Primary health care (PHC) research begins with identifying a problem and/or posing a question. Through investigation to solve or answer this we improve our knowledge and understanding of health and the provision of care.

For different research questions and settings there are different research models, ranging from basic models designed to acquire and advance new knowledge, through to evaluation models aimed at determining if the intended results of implementing change have been achieved. The most appropriate model to use will depend on the problem/question being addressed and on available resources. In addition to planning the research and communicating with collaborators and participants, it will often be necessary to obtain ethics approval before you begin. Those new to research can benefit from mentoring by experienced researchers who can introduce them to the diverse skill set they will need to conduct research.

It is also useful to connect with a network of collaborators including researchers, practitioners, decision makers, consumers and community members. A good place to find people with similar PHC research interests to your own is the PHCRIS Research Profiles database. In addition, the collection of Guides below will help you to navigate the research world from accessing primary health care data and applying for research funding to understanding the impact of research on health care policy and making your research count through knowledge exchange.

Guides in this collection

How to... Apply for research funding

Covering a number of issues you need to address when considering your research question and applying for research funding, plus a number of links to resources to further help you

Introduction to... Collaborative partnerships in research

Collaborations occur to enable a sharing of different perspectives, skills, resources and other attributes that contribute to effectively addressing the research problem. Learn how collaborative partnerships between researchers, practitioners, decision makers, consumers and community members can s…

Introduction to... Consumer involvement in research

Consumer participation resource for researchers: This Guide offers reasons for and ways to involve consumers in research.

Introduction to... Data mapping in primary health

Mapping is an important means of tracking Australian primary health care and identifying gaps in service provision and areas for improvement. This Guide outlines the importance of mapping to tracking Australian primary health care data and contains information and resources for using a geographic i…

Introduction to... Data sources for Primary Health Care

This guide contains a selection of data sources relevant to primary health care are provided to assist you in identifying the most appropriate data to meet your research and planning needs.

Introduction to... Different research designs

Clarifying what research is and providing you with definitions for the many research types.

Introduction to... Evaluation

Contains the purposes of evaluation, definitions, glossary of terms, electronic discussion lists and the guidelines for conducting evaluations

Introduction to... Formulating a research question

All research starts with a question. The research question is a formal, precise statement of what you want to know. This guide explains why it is important to formulate a good research question and summarises some of the key factors to consider.

Introduction to... Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge Exchange is the dynamic process of making the best use of research evidence and knowledge to inform policy and practice. This Guide outlines key developments within the field of knowledge exchange to influence policy and inform practice in primary health care.

Introduction to... Longitudinal studies

Containing information about Australian primary health care longitudinal studies, definitions of longitudinal studies, its disadvantages and advantages, information for those wanting to conduct a longitudinal study as well as information on how to access the databases and findings of such studies

Introduction to... Mentoring

The Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Strategy (PHCRED) supports primary health care providers to develop high quality research and evaluation knowledge and skills. One of the many ways this is being achieved is through mentoring. This Guide lists key information about mentori…

Introduction to... Rapid Responses

A Rapid Response is a brief review of evidence related to a specific policy area requested by policymakers, with a view to developing policy that is informed by evidence.

Introduction to... Research ethics

Containing guidelines and relevant articles relating to ethical health research as well as highlighting Australian research focusing on ethical issues

Introduction to... Research impact on policy

Researchers and policy makers bring different perspectives to the policy making process. This Guide outlines some key issues for researchers to consider when influencing policy development.