Page content

Are you an optometrist interested in learning more about research?

Optometry academics at Ulster University, in partnership with the College of Optometrists, has developed and launched a series of learning modules aimed at supporting optometrists who want to undertake research.

The Getting Started in research modules have been produced for the National Institute for Health and Social Care Research (NIHR).

These are first learning materials on the NIHR's Learn platform written specifically for optometrists, these new bite-sized resources will support optometrists in developing their understanding of research and in acquiring research skills.

There are nine units in total:

  1. Introduction to research
  2. What is research and where do I find it
  3. Evaluating the method
  4. Demystifying the data
  5. Statistical methods: wha, where and why
  6. What data is clinically important to my practice
  7. The importance of  research in everyday practice
  8. Implementing evidence based eyecare
  9. GEtting involved in research

Each takes around 45 minutes, and they can either be followed from start to finish to form a complete 'course', or taken individually to provide bespoke support, depending on an individual’s interests and learning needs.   Each has a CPD point attached.

Prof Julie-Anne Little at Ulster University states,

“We are passionate about the value of eyecare research in contributing knowledge and developing our profession of optometry. We have aimed these bite-sized modules for working optometrists to gain confidence in understanding research, whether they want to get involved in research, or deepen their understanding of how to interpret evidence for their clinical practice and gain CPD points along the way.”

Mike Bowen, Director of Research at the College of Optometrists, explains:

“Researchers within science and all areas of medicine are pivotal to the progression of healthcare. It is vital that optometrists are part of that network and are enabled and supported to contribute to clinical research in the UK. These modules represent an opportunity for individual optometrists to extend their skills in this area. By bringing additional resource and unique skills to UK research and development, UK optometrists will bring great benefits to patients across the four nations and worldwide.”