RPS RESEARCH PROJECT REVIEW AND SUPPORt

The RPS receives requests from members and non-members to review and support their research activities, ranging from promotion of research through RPS networks and social media, to research leadership input to research projects and endorsement of research outcomes (e.g. development of evidence-based resources and training). The Research Project Review and Support Process aims to provide an open and transparent service offer to its users. Furthermore, we hope to quality assure the research that the RPS reviews, supports or endorses; and align to other existing RPS services and processes (e.g. endorsement).

Categories of RPS Research Review and Support Services

Currently, members and non-members seek RPS research support that can be categorised into three levels:

 

Level 1 – RPS Review and Support

Intellectual input may be required from the RPS to review and/or support development and delivery of a project. For example, where research teams are seeking stakeholder support for a funding application; RPS involvement as stakeholder e.g. advisory group/steering group/research participant.

 

Level 2 – RPS Review and Support plus access to Research Ready pharmacies

As per Level 1 plus access to our Research Ready accredited pharmacies to support the delivery of research.

 

Level 3 – RPS Review and Support plus access to RPS membership

As per Level 1 plus e.g. encourage members’ participation in a survey, promotion of the study via social media or networks, active involvement of one more of our Local Practice Forums e.g. local event of local member engagement.

 

No direct RPS involvement or support

Some routes for disseminating research information fall outside of this formal review and support process e.g. member led use of our networks for research purposes.

 

The RPS Research Project Review and Support Process does not include:

  • review, support or endorsement of  requests with no clear research objectives, strategy, design, guidance, ethics approval (if applicable), policy or outcomes;
  • review, support or endorsement of market research;1
  • review, support or endorsement other commercially focused research unless such research is adopted on the NIHR portfolio2 or a recommendation is made by the RPS Chief Scientists office.

Confidentially and data integrity

We will not share member data directly with those seeking RPS research support and, as such, the RPS will act as a gateway for information sharing. All requests (from members and non-members) will be logged and aligned with the terms of the RPS endorsement process.


Proposed Eligibility Criteria for Research Support

The RPS will support research that has gone through open competition and expert peer review; is aligned with RPS, NHS and national priorities; and has (or will have) obtained the relevant research governance and ethics approval. All requests will also be reviewed aligned with the terms of the RPS endorsement process.


Currently, members and non-members can choose from three RPS research support options:

Level 1 – RPS Research Review and Support Level 1 – RPS Research Review and Support

Intellectual input may be required from the RPS to review and/or support development and delivery of a project. For example, where research teams are seeking stakeholder support for a funding application; RPS involvement as stakeholder e.g. advisory group/steering group/research participant.

Researchers should approach the RPS as soon as possible, with a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the funding application deadline, with details of the study aim, objectives, timetable, outline methodology, details of the funding opportunity and support sought from the RPS.

The RPS Research and Evaluation Team will review the request and ensure the study meets the eligibility criteria above. If RPS support is confirmed, the RPS Research and Evaluation Team will agree the level of involvement of the RPS, in consultation with relevant colleagues across the RPS as appropriate.

The RPS reserves the right to provide Level 1 Research Support only under exceptional circumstances if projects are already ongoing (post-award).

Level 2 - RPS Research Review and Support PLUS access to Research Ready pharmacies Level 2 - RPS Research Review and Support PLUS access to Research Ready pharmacies

Level 1 plus access to our Research Ready accredited pharmacies to support the delivery of research.

Pre award (i.e. before an application for funding has been made or when a project is in the planning stages). Those seeking Level 2 Research Support for access to Research Ready pharmacies should, where possible, approach the RPS during the project development stage.

Researchers should approach the RPS as soon as possible, with a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the funding application deadline, with details of the study aim, objectives, timetable, outline methodology, details of the funding opportunity and support sought from the RPS.

The RPS Research and Evaluation Team will review the request and ensure the study meets the eligibility criteria.

If RPS support is confirmed, the details regarding access to RPS membership will need to be reviewed and agreed with the RPS Membership and Marketing team. Details needed from the researchers include:

  • Route of access – posting to RPS networks, email contact, LPF circulation;
  • Dates that access to membership will be required – e.g. date range that email will be sent;
  • Draft of the content to be communicated/disseminated.

RPS Members will be contacted based on interest, career stage, region and sector as appropriate.

Post award (i.e. once a project is ongoing). The RPS reserves the right to prioritise projects that have sought support at the pre-award stages where dissemination time conflicts arise.

Level 3 - RPS Review and Support PLUS access to RPS membership Level 3 - RPS Review and Support PLUS access to RPS membership

As per Level 1 plus the RPS may provide support to encourage members’ participation in a survey, promotion of the study via social media or networks, active involvement of one more of our Local Practice Forums e.g. local event of local member engagement.

Researchers should approach the RPS following the process described in Level 2 Research Support.

No direct RPS involvement or support No direct RPS involvement or support

Some routes for disseminating research information fall outside of this formal review and support process e.g. member led use of our networks for research purposes.

Using our online networks for research purposes

All members should give full consideration to their sampling and recruitment strategies before using our online networks for research purposes and consider the limitations of such approaches (some of which are highlighted below). All research seeking our members’ participation should have gone through the relevant research governance and ethics approval prior to posting on our networks. Where we become aware of studies that have been posted without providing these necessary assurances to our members, we reserve the right to remove the posting. Find out more about RPS networking opportunities.

 

1. Using our networks to post online surveys

While we will not routinely ‘police’ members who post online surveys on our networks, we ask members to exercise caution in using the networks in this way because:
  • Ethics: You must have sought ethical approval for your study, either institutional ethics approval from a university, or the Health Research Authority (HRA). If your project is deemed not to require ethics approval, you should have confirmation from the relevant body that this is the case.
  • Sampling method: At best, the online network can be considered a convenience sample for quantitative surveys i.e. subjects are selected just because they are easiest to recruit for the study and are not representative of the entire population, thus introducing sampling bias into the study.
  • Sample size: The number of members in any online network cannot be taken as the accurate sample size, for example, while there may be c.1,800 members in the Community Pharmacy online network, it cannot be relied on that all are community pharmacists.
  • Research fatigue is a problem and should be given consideration before posting e.g. what studies have been posted on this network within the same week/month? Are there other local or national studies ongoing which are approaching the same or similar group of pharmacists at the same time?

 

2. Using our networks to recruit members for research interviews, focus groups and other qualitative research methods

It is legitimate to use our online networks to encourage our members to participate in, for example, research interviews and focus groups. However, recruitment through the networks should form part of the study design from the outset, the limitations of such an approach considered and the study will have obtained the relevant research governance and ethics approval. The networks should NOT be used as a last resort to boost recruitment to a study.

 

Using our LPFs for research purposes

The same considerations above apply to eLPFs and face-to-face communications. LPF leads are asked to consider:

  • Research quality (e.g. has the study got the relevant research governance and ethics approval?);
  • Research fatigue (e.g. will the research clash with other local activity?). If the LPF is unable to support a study due to capacity constraints, the researchers should be encouraged to contact the RPS to identify whether another LPF could support the study.

Where the study is seeking to operate in more than one LPF the researchers should contact the RPS. If you have any queries about RPS networks you can get in touch via [email protected] or [email protected].

 

1 Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘The action or activity of gathering information about consumers' needs and preferences’
2 National Institute for Healthcare Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Portfolio

RPS Research support services and resources

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RPS Endorsement

The RPS provides recognition for important pieces of work derived from research activities through an endorsement service.
By endorsing resources and initiatives we clearly demonstrate our profession's key role in patient care.

Research Ready

Research Ready is our community pharmacy programme accrediting pharmacies to be involved in research studies and to build confidence and competence in research.

RPS Networks

The RPS offers a number of ways to help you build a vital network of professional contacts and colleagues. Find out more
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