There is a long-established tradition of research into the quality of working lives amongst academics which has, over recent years, seen an accompanying spike in interest amongst policy-makers and other key stakeholders. This has coincided, in the UK at least, with a government-led programme to ensure that research has ‘impact’, that is, affects, changes or benefits institutions beyond academia. The chapter provides a timely discussion of how to build impact into research, both quantitative, where policy-makers and funders are increasingly demanding methods such as randomised controlled trials in the social sciences, and qualitative, where scale of research can create challenges for achieving wider impacts. Use of electronic and traditional media and various stakeholder reports is discussed. Measurement of this slippery concept is also included, with consideration of the multiple stakeholders to quality of working life research and the extent to which impact can be quantified in complex world of work.
Carol Woodhams, Sheila Wild and Carol Atkinson
Southside University Hospital Trust (SUHT) is a world-renowned centre of clinical excellence and one of the largest NHS teaching trusts in the UK. In 2014 it became a Foundation Trust, giving it a greater degree of managerial and financial freedom. The Trust is made up of three hospitals and provides a wide range of clinical and specialist services. The Trust’s collaboration with the town’s internationally renowned university delivers world-class research and delivers high-quality education and training for doctors.
Carol Atkinson and Keith Townsend
Completing a doctorate can involve a variety of routes, not all of them easy. In this chapter, the authors describe how students can work with their supervisors to move the doctoral project towards an easy track. For example, being a self-starter and taking the initiative from the outset by arranging meetings with supervisors makes for a solid beginning to the PhD journey. Maintaining regular contact is also advised, as is establishing a good relationship through being honest about the help required. Managing diverse feedback is encouraged too, not least as a great preparation for a career in publishing. The authors share their thoughts on reading widely, on getting involved in academia, and on publishing research results. The chapter ends with a useful summary of the key learning.