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Introducing midwifery students to the world of research: building the basis for future leaders in evidence-based practice

Borrelli, Sara; Walker, Louise; Jomeen, Julie; Roberts, Julie; Edgley, Alison; Bennett, Beatrice; Harton, Sophie; Poole, Gemma; Robertson, Kimberley; Slack, Hannah; Walmsley, Anna; Spiby, Helen


Louise Walker

Julie Jomeen

Julie Roberts

Beatrice Bennett

Sophie Harton

Gemma Poole

Kimberley Robertson

Hannah Slack

Anna Walmsley


This educational project aimed at involving undergraduate midwifery students as co-investigators in research studies, with the primary aim of acquiring first-hand experience of operationalising fundamental aspects of the research process by working with established researchers. The secondary aim of the project was to evaluate students' experience of being involved as co-investigators in a research study.
This initiative involved six undergraduate midwifery students in two qualitative research studies. Students were involved in the following activities: development of focus group topic guides; data collection (focus group facilitation and co-facilitation) and analysis; preparation of abstracts for peer review; poster and conference presentations; team meetings; group work and research seminars.
This paper reports the educational initiative and students' experiences. The project was perceived by students as an exciting and unique opportunity to experience research first hand. Students gained direct knowledge and understanding of the research process and how that builds the evidence base for midwifery practice and service provision, with the ultimate aim of improving care for childbearing women and their families.
The academic team hopes that the participants' involvement in this project will have a direct, authentic and long-lasting impact on their remaining experience as student midwives and future qualified midwives. Long-lasting effects include: a) providing a novel activity for inclusion in the student's portfolio with potential to increase employability; b) gaining insights into activities involved in midwives' development beyond registration, such as Masters and PhD programmes; c) providing students with a greater understanding of different midwifery roles and career paths, including the current priority for developing clinical academic careers.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 22, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2020
Publication Date Sep 1, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 8, 2020
Journal Midirs Midwifery Digest
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 3
Pages 324-329
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