Moving from institutional dependence to entrepreneurialism. Creating and funding a collaborative research and practice development position

Philip Darbyshire, Maeve Downes, Carmel Collins, Susan Dyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aims of the paper. The paper describes the creation of, the rationale behind and the external funding of a collaborative research-clinical practice development position. The paper also demonstrates the benefits of nursing's collaboration with external funding bodies and the value of moving from our traditional position of assuming that 'the hospital' will always provide. Background. There is a constant refrain that nursing must become more 'research-based' and develop an active research culture. In harsh financial times however, funding for research development is scarce. Nurses can respond to this by bemoaning the lack of money or by taking an entrepreneurial approach, creating innovative project proposals that develop new partnerships and attract external funding. Discussion. Institutional support for clinical research is often more verbal than financial as most health care systems are experiencing extreme financial stringencies. Nurses need to reconsider the notion that every initiative must automatically be funded by the institution. In this paper we show how in a busy major hospital, clinicians and researchers collaborated to create and fund the kind of innovative research and practice development position that may be impossible to fund through existing budgets. Conclusion. With creativity and determination, nurses can challenge the orthodoxy that they are solely dependent on institutional funding. If there is a clear project vision, a convincing rationale, a strongly argued 'business case' and a passionate and persistent team, then innovative new projects and positions can be realized. Relevance to clinical practice. Developing clinical focused, practice based research is now a worldwide policy and practice imperative for nurses. Unfortunately, current levels of institutional funding are unlikely to support research promotion positions and initiatives. This paper outlines an approach to securing funding for research initiatives that can create exciting new positions and develop productive partnerships between researchers, clinicians and external agencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-934
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number8 A
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


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