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Building your research pillar

Getting involved in research and improvement is a core part of clinical practice. This is set out in the four pillars of practice:

  1. Clinical or professional practice

  2. Leadership

  3. Facilitation of learning

  4. Evidence, research and improvement

Illustrated people on columns

Evidence, research and improvement

What research and improvement looks like for each person will depend on their role, the stage of their career, and their own interests and preferences.

Your research pillar could range from using current research evidence to inform your clinical decision-making, right up to developing and leading your own research. The research pillar capability framework is a useful way to understand what research in practice could look like for you. 

Below are some ideas to get you started and where you might find more information:


Gain access to NHS OpenAthens and search databases containing a wealth of evidence. Contact our knowledge specialist for information or attend one of our workshops about using our library services.

Understanding the evidence

Once you have found some evidence what do you do with it? Attend one of our workshops to explore using evidence in care, or tips for critical appraisal. These skills can empower you and your team to build knowledge of current research and ensure all improvement work starts with a search of what’s already been done, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

Journal clubs

You can keep up to date and support others in your team to build their critical appraisal skills by running a journal club. Not sure how? Come along to our workshop on setting up a journal club.

Become a reviewer

Develop your critical appraisal skills by becoming a reviewer for an academic journal or research funding stream. Your clinical knowledge is vital to ensure research publications and grant applications are relevant to current practice.


News + events

Research in your Career - Drop In Session

20 May 2024

12noon - 2pm


Uncertainty Experts - NHS Elect

23 May 2024

2.30pm - 3.30pm

MS Teams

Introduction to Clinical Audit

23 May 2024

9am - 10am


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