RCM and WoW calling for Entry-level Research Scholarship applications

By Colin Beesley on 23 June 2021 Midwives RCM RCM Member Wellbeing Of Women Research Bursaries and Scholarships

Wellbeing of Women (WoW) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have launched this year’s call for applications for Entry-level Research Scholarships. The jointly funded programme is open to RCM midwife members and successful applicants will be awarded up to £20,000 towards research costs, with their research project expected to last up to a year. The closing date for applications is 1pm on 12 August 2021.

“Midwifery research is vital to improving care for women, babies and their families, but we know it can be difficult and daunting to make those first steps in research, and that is why these scholarships are so important,” said Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director, Midwife, at the RCM. “This is not also just about funding. Each successful applicant will also be guided and supported through their projects by expert midwife researchers. So don’t worry if you are brand new to research, help and advice will be there for you.”

The aim of the scholarships is to provide ‘pump priming’ funds for burgeoning researchers who can use it to obtain pilot data that can be used in applications for PhD or MD research fellowships.  The collaboration between the two organisations is an essential funding source for midwives looking to develop and progress their research experience and careers. It has been invaluable in developing the research capability and capacity of RCM members say the RCM and WoW.

“This funding support provides a vital opportunity for midwives who have extensive clinical experience and insight and develop research ideas which are rooted in the daily realities of their clinical work,” Said Dr Kirstie Coxon, a WoW Research Advisory Committee member and Associate Professor in Midwifery (Research), at Kingston University in London

Applicants are asked to focus on one of three specific areas for research around pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period, gynaecological cancers, and general wellbeing around women’s reproductive health. In line with the RCM’s Race Matters initiative applications are also particularly encouraged from midwives from Black, Asian or ethnic minority groups, or whose project aims to improve health outcomes for women and babies in these communities.

Previous recipients of funding include midwife Judith Cutter from Cardiff & Vale University Health Board who looked at a midwife-led early postpartum planning service. “I was fortunate to receive a wellbeing of women Entry-level Research Scholarship then evaluate the midwife-led postpartum family planning service which was developed in 2017. The project explored the delivery of an early postnatal contraceptive service to make an initial assessment of its potential effectiveness,” said Judith. “This project gave me an opportunity to develop my research skills and with an aim of informing a future submission to the NIHR or other funding body to test the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing unwanted pregnancies subsequent to childbirth.”

For further information and support, contact the Head of Midwifery Information & Research Services & Editor MIDIRS [email protected] and to apply for the WoW-RCM scholarships please visit the Wellbeing of Women website