Research Session

P:DaHW 2023 Conference - Demystifying Research

Hosted by Pharmacy Research Wales (PRW)

Pharmacy Research Wales logoWhat makes research so important?

The 2023 P:DaHW conference was the place to be for anyone interested in pharmacy research.

That’s because, more than ever before, research is becoming part of the day-to-day role of pharmacy professionals. It progresses careers, impacts service development, and leads to real improvements in patient care.

And that's not all. Research also often brings greater job satisfaction, attracts higher calibre staff, and creates and sustains a progressive profession.

Research Testimonials

We've gathered together testimonials from both pharmacy staff and patients, who describe why research is important to them.

P:DaHW Conference

At the 2023 P:DaHW conference, PRW hosted a session dedicated to demystifying research, with guidance and resources available for pharmacy staff at every career level and across all sectors.

If you're "research-curious" then there are resources and contacts below to help kick-start your own research journey.

Key speaker messages, World Café discussion topics, and research resources

  • Dr Sarah Hiom
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    Dr Sarah Hoim speaking at a conference
    Discussion Tool: Welsh Pharmacy Research Career Pathways

    National Specialist Pharmacist R&D, Chair PRW

    Dr Hiom opened the event, describing the national R&D landscape: Health & Care Research Wales (HCRW) and their three-year plan; the new HCRW Faculty and Personal Award Schemes.

    She also looked at the four main drivers within the profession:

    1. PDaHW Vision and 2025/2030 Goals
    2. HEIW Strategic Pharmacy Workforce Plan
    3. RPS Curriculum/credentialing Frameworks
    4. Review of Clinical Pharmacy Services in Hospital.

    Dr Hiom launched the Welsh Pharmacy Research Career Pathways discussion tool (see the bottom of this page) for use as an aid and to help map a research career journey.

    Favourite quote from the day:

    "The professional reasons and incentives to do research have never been greater. We must capitalise on this and provide the right environment to support staff on their research journey."

  • Professor Chris Brown
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    Professor Chris Brown speaking at a conference

    Clinical Director for Pharmacy and Medicines Management for Hywel Dda University Health Board and Honorary Professor at Cardiff University

    Professor Brown gave an inspirational talk about his research journey and demonstrated the benefits of engaging in research for:

    • Patient care
      Through better therapeutic options, diagnostic approaches, better services, and enabling value-based healthcare
    • Organisations
      By creating a culture for innovation, service improvement & data driven change, by collaborating with partners, by attracting investment and by supporting staff through improved recruitment and retention
    • Individuals
      Through personal development and satisfaction, career development (such as Consultant practice), becoming key opinion leaders, influencing national & international policy or strategies.

    Favourite quote from the day:

    “I want a dynamic, engaged workforce who believe in their ability to make change through the collection and presentation of data, and who strive to provide the best service possible to our patients”

  • Dr Louise Hughes and Dr Melanie Healy
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    Dr Louise Hughes speaking at a conference

    PRW members:

    • Dr Louise Hughes (Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences)
    • Dr Melanie Healy (MPharm Programme, Swansea University Medical School)

    We heard from patients, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians about what research means to them in a series of video clips and via a word cloud based on responses sent to us before the session (see figure).

    It is clear that research has benefits in terms of patients, individual practitioners and organisations, and it’s important we don’t let perceived barriers put us off getting involved in research, whatever level of engagement we are at. Talking with others is a great way to break down some of these barriers.

    Over the course of the session, attendees’ self-reported level of confidence in doing research showed an overall increase. We hope that ongoing conversations can support this shift across the profession.

    word cloud

    Figure: responses of patients (n=51) regarding what they think of when they hear the word “research”.

  • World Café Tables
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    Discussion topics for each table were chosen as they have been highlighted as difficult areas for most novice researchers.

    Tables were led by experienced researchers, and lively discussions followed!

    These included:

    • Getting started in research
    • Consultant credentialing in the research domain
    • Making ethics painless
    • ​​​​How do we foster collaboration with research partners?
    • Patients – how do we get them involved in your project?
    • Where to find support and funding?


  • Resources
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    PRW Information

    Visit the Pharmacy Research Wales website:

    • Sign up to PRW Buddying network
    • Sign up to PRW X (Twitter) page @PharmResWales
    • Research Career Pathway opportunities:
      • Joint supervision of an undergraduate project (at Cardiff or Swansea)
      • Research Methods Module @CSPPS (HEIW funded)
      • First-into-Research, RCBC (two pharmacy “ring-fenced” posts).

    HCRW Information

    Visit the Health and Care Research Wales website:

    Health Board R&D contact details

    Health Research Authority (HRA)

    Central Research Approvals in the UK

Developing your own research journey

At PRW, we believe your research journey is likely to be as unique as you are, but where you begin depends on many different factors: previous experience, knowledge of relevant opportunities, and access to support from research-active work colleagues, multidisciplinary teams or local academic collaborations.

Knowing where to start or how to make progress can be difficult and so PRW has developed a discussion tool to help individuals identify, with their mentor, where they are on their journey together with examples of relevant opportunities.

PRW is a research leadership group composed of Health Board Pharmacy R&D leads together with representatives from academia, CPW, HEIW and RPS with a shared goal to increase research capacity and capabilities, and is working to create transparent research career pathways with relevant research opportunities for pharmacy staff in Wales.

Find out more about PRW and the discussion tool below.

PRW - who we are

Discussion Tool: Welsh Pharmacy Research Career Pathways

Research Discussion Tool diagram

Click the diagram to download a full-size PDF version.

How to use the Discussion Tool