Why get involved in research whilst studying?

Thank you to Chiara Vivaldi (@VivaldiC) for producing the latest ResNetSLT blog post.

As a full-time speech and language therapy student I know there are a million and one things to stay on top of (and I'm doing the undergraduate course, I can't imagine what it's like for Masters students!)

So why would you want to add getting involved in research to the list?

In my case, one reason I have chosen speech and language therapy as a career is the possibility of combining clinical and academic practice, of placing yourself at the exciting and complicated juncture where academic research meets clinical practice.

I've been involved in two research projects so far, which have each required only a relatively little of my time. On the practical side, being involved has honed my assessment scoring skills (never a bad skill to practice), and given me a sense of the logistics of running a research project. The research academics have always been more than willing to answer any questions.

On a more personal level, I've found it really motivating and exciting to be there when the outcome data was collated for the first time, and glimpsing the potential difference this study could make to people's lives, and the avenues it opens for future research and clinical practice.

Now I’m aware that not all intervention studies result in improved outcomes, but that doesn’t take away from the excitement of being involved in a process that collaboratively and accumulatively leads to better outcomes.

The result is that I've signed myself up to volunteer for another research project next year, and this time I'll be the one doing the assessments. I hope I've convinced some of you to dip your toe into research too!