The CSP is working on a number of projects to raise the profile of physiotherapy research.
The CSP is working with a group of physiotherapy professors to establish a network to help implement the Society's updated research and clinical effectiveness strategy.It's part of an ongoing drive to champion physiotherapy research. The discussions taking place with the professors, from four different universities, reflect the Society's commitment to developing partnerships with the research community, CSP learning and development director Jill Higgins told Frontline. One of the strategy's aims is to develop the research knowledge base - 'and to do that we need to develop research capacity within the profession,' Dr Higgins said.A tender was put out to recruit higher education institutes (HEIs) interested in working with the Society in this undertaking. The purpose of the initiative is to enable the CSP, academic institutions and clinicians to work more collaboratively, Dr Higgins said. 'Working with HEIs, we hope to establish a network for novice and experienced researchers,' she explained. One aspect of this will be the development of a physiotherapy research database, 'so that at any one time we have a view of what research is being undertaken within physiotherapy and who's doing what,' said Dr Higgins, adding: 'We will be able to use this information to pull people together. 'Also, we want to try and increase physiotherapy access to research funding and get physiotherapists well placed on committees where allocations are made not only for research but also for important service decisions.'The project is part of ongoing work by the Society to raise the profile of physiotherapy research. This has included hosting two events to find out more about members' needs in relation to research and how the Society can best support them: a workshop for clinical interest and occupational group research officers, and a forum for senior researchers.The former has had one positive outcome already - a sub-network for research officers has been set up on interactivecsp, the Society's powerful online networking tool. CSP research adviser Gabrielle Rankin told Frontline the new network would allow improved communication and information-sharing between different groups and the Society. Another forum will take place in the New Year to discuss the Research assessment exercise, a regular review that looks at the quality of research output of university departments and provides them with a rating. The rating can determine the amount of research funding departments receive. The next is due to take place in 2008.
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