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UK paediatric trainee research involvement: A national mixed-methods survey to highlight opportunities and challenges
  1. Thiloka Ratnaike1,2,
  2. Helen McDermott3,
  3. Fiona McQuaid4,
  4. Lucy Plumb5,
  5. Eva Louise Wooding6,7,
  6. Christopher William Course8,
  7. Charlotte Jackson9
  8. RCPCH Trainee Research Network Working Group
    1. 1Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    2. 2Department of Paediatrics, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Colchester, UK
    3. 3Neonatal Unit, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
    4. 4Department of Child Life and Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
    5. 5Translational Health Sciences, University of Bristol Medical School, Bristol, UK
    6. 6Paediatrics, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK
    7. 7Child Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Exeter, UK
    8. 8Department of Child Health, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
    9. 9Research and Evidence, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, London, UK
    1. Correspondence to Dr Thiloka Ratnaike, Paediatrics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB20QQ, UK; thilratna{at}

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    Child health research is considered essential to paediatric training. However, due to service provision demands and workforce planning, research capacity within paediatric consultant contracts is declining.1 This affects paediatric trainees who perceive lack of leadership in this domain.2 Considering these concerns, in 2021, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) established the Trainee Research Network (TRN) to support regional research. To broadly evaluate trainee participation in research as a marker of future UK research capacity, we conducted a national survey of trainees’ experiences to help identify the breadth of research involvement and to identify barriers and facilitators to participation.

    The survey was designed by the RCPCH TRN. It was disseminated to all UK trainees electronically. Categorical data are described. Free-text responses to addressing motivators and barriers to research involvement were qualitatively analysed using line-by-line coding and thematic …

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    • Collaborators RCPCH Trainee Research Network Working Group: analysis of data and writing of article—Emily Cottrell, Christopher Course, Helen McDermott, Fiona McQuaid, Lucy Plumb, Thiloka Ratnaike, Eva Wooding. Data analysis—Sarah Blakey, Hannah Vawda. Qualitative data analysis—Lucy Plumb, Eva Wooding. Review of survey questions and final review—Frances Callaghan, Emily Cottrell, Christopher Course, Aimee Donald, Michelle D’Souza, Aisling Flinn, Eva Loucaides, Maya Kohli-Lynch, Helen McDermott, Fiona McQuaid, Lucy Plumb, Thiloka Ratnaike, Juliane Sanner, Maura Scott, Olivia Swann, Rebecca Unsworth, Tim Van Hasselt, Hannah Vawda, Susan Wallace, Eva Wooding, Christopher Worth, Charlotte Jackson, Wingsan Lok, Neil Meemaduma, Paul Dimitri. Concept and review of survey questions—Romanie Hannah, Nick Bishop.

    • Contributors Survey review, analysis of data, drafting and review of article—TR, HM, FM, LP, ELW, CWC, CJ and the RCPCH Trainee Research Network Working Group.

    • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

    • Competing interests None declared.

    • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.