The College of Radiographers Industry Partnership Scheme is now offering four Student Research Awards per year.
There will be two calls for this award, one in April and one in October, with two successful allocations in each round. The deadline for applications will be 5pm on the first Monday of April and the first Monday of October each year.
The purpose of the award is to encourage radiography students to consider a career path in research by providing funding support for those seeking research experience, having demonstrated their potential through application. Application will require the student to propose an achievable project to be carried out within a 12 month period with appropriate supervisory support.
The award is conditional in that it should provide financial support of up to £1,000 to the student as a stipend, and/or for relevant equipment and resources required by the student to successfully complete their research project.
Applications must be made by a member of the teaching team who will supervise the research.
To apply for this research award:
• Applications are open to projects involving individual students or small groups of students (although financial support must be divided in the case of more than one student applicant);
• The student radiographer(s) must be registered on a College of Radiographers’ approved pre-registration programme;
• The student radiographer(s) must be in student membership with the Society of Radiographers;
• The application must be supported by a member of academic teaching staff;
• An academic teaching staff member can only support one application per round of funding;
• The application will require a signature from the Head of Department;
• The research project must not form part of existing academic work, including final year dissertation projects.
NB Unfortunately, we are unable to fund applicants who have previously received CoRIPS Student Research Award funding.
“This is an amazing experience that will start you on the right foot”
Steven Cox: Diagnostic radiography student at Exeter University
Research project: A Survey of the Extent and Impact of Peer Support within Diagnostic Radiography Undergraduate Programmes Throughout UK Higher Education
Steven’s research project aimed to widen the understanding of peer support in diagnostic radiography undergraduate courses, the types of peer support currently in use, as well as finding out where it is not used and why, and what higher education institutions would need to embed it within their programmes. Additionally, Steven planned to research the benefits and challenges of peer support for both the recipient of support and the mentor.
Working with Rob Meertens, a lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School, Steven surveyed medical imaging staff and students across the UK to determine what peer support they provide. They wanted to investigate the best ways for institutions to provide peer support, with the goal of forming a network of peer support programmes, so that students can share feedback and resources.
Steven says: “Having the CoRIPS grant has been an incredibly valuable experience in so many ways. I could not recommend the grant enough to any students with an interest in research. This award has enabled me to work closely with one of my lecturers to investigate a topic I am very interested in.
I have learned a lot about the research process; whether that is gaining ethical approval, utilising the most appropriate form of analysis or presenting research to the widest audience possible. The experience has definitely opened my eyes to the world of research.
If a student has any interest in a career of research or auditing, this is an amazing experience that will start you on the right foot, providing you with so much, as well as giving you the chance to work and network with people across all aspects of the profession.”
“Collaborating with academic and industry experts has boosted my confidence and the experience has fostered my aspirations for a career as a clinical academic radiographer”
Ciara Lees: Diagnostic radiography student, University of Bradford
Research project: Evaluating the Potential of Virtual Grid Technology as a Dose Reduction Technique
Ciara used her funding to study whether virtual grid technology leads to dose reduction and to find out what is currently happening in radiography departments. She was also intrigued by the huge misalignment between the manufacturers’ recommendations and actual clinical practice. By acquiring radiographs over a range of exposure factors and using both stationary and virtual grids, Ciara concluded that practitioners were often not exploiting digital radiography to its full potential and that dose could be reduced in many cases.
Ciara says: “As a final year diagnostic radiography student at the University of Bradford with a background in postgraduate level chemistry, I wanted to develop my research skills in the context of radiography. The CoRIPS research award gave me the opportunity to combine my passion for technological innovation and patient care in an exciting new challenge. Radiography is a technology-led profession and the grant enabled me to align technological innovation with clinical best-practice.
Scattered radiation is a common cause of image quality degradation and I wanted to investigate how image processing software as opposed to physical grids might be employed to remove scatter, improve image quality, and potentially reduce ionising radiation doses to patients. By investigating the dose reduction potential of ‘virtual grid’ technology, I was able to develop my research skills and my understanding of the technology that is central to our profession. Not only that, by undertaking the project I have actively contributed to the evidence-base that drives positive change for radiographers and patients.
I worked closely with Professor Maryann Hardy, who is a professor of radiography and imaging practice research at the University of Bradford. Her support and experience has been invaluable throughout the research process. I have also been fortunate enough to liaise with our industry collaborators on the project, Fujifilm, and with medical physics experts. Collaborating with academic and industry experts has boosted my confidence and the experience has fostered my aspirations for a career as a clinical academic radiographer.
The results of the project were truly exciting and I had the opportunity to present my work to academic experts and industry representatives. The encouragement I received was overwhelming and it was so rewarding to see the impact of my research on the profession.
Engagement in research is really important to me and I am a huge advocate of the value of research experience for undergraduate students. The advice I would give to any students who are considering applying for the grant is to go for it! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!”