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Beyond publication alone—higher degree students focus on activating research

PHCRIS Infonet, Volume 18 Issue 6, August 2014, ISBN 1832 620X
Amanda Carne, PHCRIS

___Developing a knowledge exchange outlook encourages researchers to cultivate an outward facing perspective, build professional relationships across all sectors and work with research users from the outset; it is a mindset that recognises the value of applying research. It understands that if research is to be applied, to make a difference to health care outcomes, then publication alone is rarely sufficient.

It is a different way of thinking that views research as a process of engagement and co-learning with users whether they are policymakers, practitioners or members of the community. It requires a different perspective and a different set of skills from those generally included in the research curricula of higher education institutions.

To help address this paradigm shift, PHCRIS conducted an inaugural Satellite KE Capacity Building Workshop for Higher Degree Students on Tuesday 22 July 2014 as a satellite event to the 2014 PHC Research Conference in Canberra.

Convened by Christina Hagger, Senior Research Fellow and Knowledge Exchange Manager at PHCRIS, the workshop encouraged early career researchers to adopt a philosophy of knowledge exchange in their future work. A session with senior researchers—Jane Gunn, Nick Zwar, Meredith Temple-Smith, Nancy Edwards (2014 PHC Research Conference keynote speaker) and Knowledge Broker, Kerri Kellett— gave insights into career paths as well as the value of applying research. The workshop also included strategies, tactics and resources to help students with planning, conducting and disseminating their research.

Shared sessions with the General Practice Education and Training (GPET) Academic Registrars broadened networking opportunities beyond immediate peers.

The workshop aimed to inspire a cadre of knowledge exchange ‘agents of change’ who, as the emerging face of primary health care researchers, seek to deliver better value from their research to improve health care outcomes.

As one participant commented:
“It not only renewed my skills and interest in research but gave me new skills and knowledge. I also valued the opportunity to discuss my ideas with likeminded people.”

For more information see the 2014 PHC Research Conference: Higher Degree Workshop page.

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