Take home a Small Research Award

By Jenny Cunningham and Judith Field, RCM Research Advisors on 16 January 2023 Maternity Services Research Student midwives Awards Education

Research is a fundamental part of the midwife’s role, and we want to support members embarking on their research journey. To help midwives in exploring the research pathway, the RCM has created a new award aimed at members who are interested in research but have little or no experience in this area. The RCM’s Small Research Award has three categories: student midwife (any year), early career midwife (within the first three years of NMC registration) and midwife.

We want to encourage midwives from any area of midwifery practice to have confidence to speak to others working in research and develop your own ideas for improvement. We have a simple application form where students and midwives can submit 1,000 words on the research project. We do not expect jargon or prior research knowledge, just enthusiasm and curiosity.

For student midwives, we’re looking for a reflection on a conversation around a research project. What did you think about it and how can you see the findings being useful to practice? We’re interested to see how you’ve understood the research and how to take what you have learnt forward in your career.

For the two midwife awards, the task is to imagine that you have the funding to undertake a research project to develop midwifery practice. Write a research proposal that explains the way you would plan this piece of work, including your rationale, a literature review, what the methods would be and how you would share your findings.

We want to emphasise that we are not looking for research literate midwives, but individuals who have the ideas and passion to explore new ideas. We would encourage you to discuss your idea with a midwife researcher* and we have lots of ideas of who to contact on our Research Hub.

Tips for who to contact to discuss your ideas include:

This award as a stepping stone to other research awards, such as the RCM Wellbeing of Women Entry Level Fellowship or the Jean Davies Iolanthe Award. We want to help build more capacity in midwifery knowledge building and we think this is a creative way to do it.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 5 February 2023.

The winners of the awards will be recognised at the 2023 Education and Research Conference in March. The winners will also receive a year’s MIDIRS subscription and a small cash prize. There will also be the opportunity to work with the RCM on a briefing or position paper.

You can also email us at [email protected] if you would like more information.

*A midwife working in research includes Research Midwives working on portfolio studies, midwives undertaking PhD level study, clinical academic midwives and midwives who are undertaking independent research projects/roles.