Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

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hotdrop12
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Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

Post by hotdrop12 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:15 am

Hi. I'm a clinical psychologist who would really like to get back into doing research (my true passion). Does anyone have any advice about how to go about this? in terms of paid work, it would have to be part-time as I have a good income as a self-employed clin psych and can't give this up as I'm the only earner in the family. I look at 'job.ac.uk' regularly but most of the jobs advertised are full time posts which I can't do. Currently, I'm considering doing a part-time PhD as this would immerse me in research and allow me to do my own research - and you never know where this might lead. Does anyone have any other ideas though??

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miriam
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Re: Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

Post by miriam » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:22 am

I guess it depends on whether you want to be paid to do the research, or whether you see it as a sort of sideline to your day job. I'm lucky enough to have structured my role to include a significant research component, but that is unusual in self-employed or most clinical posts.

I had a few thoughts that might help. First off I wondered about looking at your local clinical doctorate courses and asking if they have posts that involve supervising and/or delivering research. In my experience courses are happy to have that discussion, and can often let you know if they have opportunities (and many people work on them part-time alongside a main clinical job). Second, you might want to look out for special fellowships available to qualified clinicians that can fund you to do a research qualification. I've certainly been offered fee-waived or even part-funded PhD options at various times. Off the top of my head, I think I investigated a scheme at Cranfield University, something with the Health Foundation, and a Wellcome Fellowship that might be worth checking out - though each will have its own criteria for applicants, and may restrict the range of research topics that are acceptable as well as being competitive. You could also look for research posts, as not all of them require a PhD and some might lead to publications or opportunities to apply for funding closer to your own interests. Finally, you could bid for a grant to complete some research that is related to service delivery in some way, perhaps with a partner organisation with whom you wish to deliver it. The only frustration is if you end up writing several bids and not being funded it can often feel like you could have done quite a lot of the research with the same investment of time!

In the end it depends whether you think your interest or topic would merit £9k per year for 3 years plus a significant time commitment, as opposed to looking at paid research roles that might focus on a topic that fits with the funding source. You could also consider searching for paid full-time research roles that might be relevant, rather than paying to do a PhD, as the lower pay might be worth it compared to working part-time at higher pay and then self-funding a PhD, as you might end up with similar income and lower working hours!
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

Charlie
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Re: Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

Post by Charlie » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:24 am

The NIHR offer fellowships to support PhD study for clinicians, so that might be worth looking at-
https://www.nihr.ac.uk/our-research-com ... e-cdrf.htm

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Re: Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

Post by Spatch » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:16 pm

Hi. I'm a clinical psychologist who would really like to get back into doing research (my true passion). Does anyone have any advice about how to go about this? in terms of paid work, it would have to be part-time as I have a good income as a self-employed clin psych and can't give this up as I'm the only earner in the family. I look at 'job.ac.uk' regularly but most of the jobs advertised are full time posts which I can't do. Currently, I'm considering doing a part-time PhD as this would immerse me in research and allow me to do my own research - and you never know where this might lead. Does anyone have any other ideas though??
I agree with Charlie and Miriam's ideas to consider the MRC/Wellcome trust Clinical Research Training fellowships that are open to clinical Psychologists. Some other options you may wish to consider include:

- Being a research/academic tutor on a DClinPsy course. Usually part time based. Although you usually don't have a massive research grant attached, you will have a steady stream of trainees who are motivated to complete their research and a range of potentially interesting projects to be involved with

- Getting involved with a local university psychology department and seeing if there are any opportunities to be a research therapist/project based clinician. Easier if you are in a larger university city like Oxford or London where trials are frequently carried out.

- Miriam talks about grant funding and potentially approaching third sector organisation who may be interested in doing evaluation/ service development ,but you could also think about getting involved with the NHS Institute for innovation and improvement, the local Academic Health Science Network and other similar bodies who often have opportunites for research and resources.

I think a lot of this will also depend on your area of interest. It will be hard to do the harder bio-psychology/ neuro/RCT stuff as these often require huge budgets and large teams, whereas lower key qualitative projects may be easier to set up and manage. Once you have an idea of the area, you can then think about who are the key stakeholders to approach.

The other thing to consider is that networking can be incredibly fruitful when it comes to research, so attending conferences and talks, directly approaching researchers and putting the word out to your existing networks can raise opportunities
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hotdrop12
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Re: Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

Post by hotdrop12 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:05 pm

Thanks everyone for all the advice. Lots to consider and lots that I didn't know about. I will start investigating!

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Re: Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

Post by miriam » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:29 am

I wanted to add one more thought that my brother shared with me with when I was trying to work out what I wanted to do. He said to imagine you have a job working the number of hours you are willing to work, and earning the income you need. You can then work backwards to calculate the number of hours you need to commit to income generating work and then to consider the rest of you time as being made up of the other things you want to do during your working week. Some of that might be speculative or non-income generating, but it might give the balance to your overall "job".

It is very easy when self-employed to only consider your high-earning time work and not to allow yourself time to do the other things that give a post balance the way you would if employed, or if employing someone else. But in the long-term that balance is essential to maintain your enjoyment of the work and prevent burnout!
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Re: Clinical psychologist wanting to get back into research

Post by mungle » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:45 pm

Also, link in with non-applied psychology lecturers at Universities - they often need to show they are partnering with practitioners and also want links for access to participants etc. You get to work with someone with research skills who may have more time for research.

If you're in the NHS consider contacting your Research and Development/Innovation department who may be involved in NIHR trials and they might run networking events etc. There may even be scope for a split post.

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