A requirement of my MSc Pre-Reg Occupational Therapy course was to undertake a major project for which I chose to do a small-scale quantitative research project. This experience, although challenging, was also exhilarating and led to me catching the research bug. I loved discovering findings that were not in previous papers and being able to present my results at COT16 so the results could be taken into consideration in others’ practice.
As a recently qualified occupational therapist, beginning a journey into the world of research is a daunting experience. There are many paths that can be taken to start this journey and trying to navigate the options can be overwhelming to say the least; this is what led me to attend a Research Coaching Programme at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) for allied health professionals (including @hooper_ek) and MMU lecturers from clinical backgrounds.
At the first event we were guided to explore alternative perspectives with regards to our research and given strategies to reflect on our current approaches to our academic endeavours. At the follow up event three months later, we discussed the specific difficulties the attendees were experiencing. We explored how the group members have sustained their enthusiasm and kept on track with their research when they were going through a particularly tough time. As one of the least experienced members of the group I found the answers helpful and motivating.
The last 6 months have felt like an emotional rollercoaster ride. There have been amazing highs, including being accepted for publication by the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and being offered a place on to the Professional Doctorate programme at Teesside University. However, there have also been mighty lows, as I could not enrol on the Doctorate due to circumstances out of my control. Since then, I have been finding it particularly difficult to sustain my drive and enthusiasm for research and this has led to a feeling of lacking direction. Through attending the research coaching programme I realised that I am not alone in these experiences, and that it can be difficult to stay the course and maintain momentum in research.
I hope this topic will be informative for you as we learn from each other’s experiences; helping to guide progression, overcome barriers and maintain momentum in our research adventures.
Questions to consider:
- At what points in the research process have you struggled to maintain momentum?
- What do you think caused this to happen?
- What or who helped you to get back in to the swing of things?
- What did it feel like to get back into the swing of things?
- What advice would you give to someone who has got bogged down with their research?
- What recent small achievement can you celebrate?
I am looking forward to discussing this topic with you all, thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts.
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