Launching today, we are inviting people to reflect on and share via #ResearchThisWeekI each Friday at least one thing they might have done, learnt, participated in, contributed to, etc over the past week to help themselves, or the greater good in health and medical research and clinical trials.

It is really easy to celebrate the big medical research and clinical trial successes we see in the media. But research takes time, a village, and there are lots of learnings, wins and hard grunt that has to happen along the way. It can be easy to lose sight of how far we individually grow, and how the research moves forward, when you are stuck in the day-to-day grind.

Let’s shine a spotlight on the good, the bad, the feelings, the learnings, the wins, the sexy and not so sexy work, and unmask all those little things that happen along the way to shape our experience, knowledge and the conduct of research. Whether you are a member of the public, a patient, carer, advocate, researcher, HREC/IRB, research funder, philanthropist, researcher, industry professional, government or another stakeholder of research, #ResearchThisWeekI provides an opportunity to reflect on your journey and contributions to research, whether personal or professional.

And if you are wondering if you have anything to share, here some examples of kinds of things we know happen every day to get your juices flowing…

  • This week I had a corridor conversation with a researcher about my challenge with …
  • This week I read an interesting paper about …
  • This week I recruited 3 people to complete a research survey about ….
  • This week I got ethics approval to start a project researching…
  • This week I flew to Canberra to advocate for more funding for research for …
  • This week I sat on a grant review panel and helped review 20 applications for research about …
  • This week I helped another patient find a clinical trial
  • This week was the two week anniversary of being involved in the consumer advisory group for …
  • This week I blogged about what it was like to doing my 20th and last trial visit and blood draw!
  • This week I was frustrated with filling in the symptoms diary for my trial every day.
  • This week I completed a survey about my research experience at ….
  • This week I asked my doctor if they knew about any clinical trials, and they said …
  • This week a research nurse thanked me for coming in early for my research visit
  • This week I forgot to send out the results for our recent trial in x to participants. It’s in my diary to do on Monday.
  • This week I helped a researcher rewrite a participant information sheet so people could actually understand it.
  • This week I wrote a lay summary and visual abstract for my research and tweeted about it here…
  • This week I just received notice I missed out on a funding grant for my research into …
  • This week I took part in a focus group to explore the challenges of treatments for …
  • This week I attended a conference and learned…
  • This week I sent thankyou cards to … participants who just completed our trial.
It might be one sentence or a paragraph and feel free to add pictures, hyperlinks etc. Of course, we’d love you to join and share your ‘This week I…” in our Facebook Group Research Gamechangers each Friday so we can all learn, celebrate and support each other’s efforts, but of course you can use any social media platform if a Facebook group isn’t your thing.
While you might think it pointless, or that no-one will care about your ‘this week I…”, it does matter. You might build a connection, attract questions or support. It might start to demystify research and the role so many play in making it happen for the public. It might encourage people to think about how they can help. And, imagine if you answered this question every week how great it would be to be able to look back and reflect on how you or research has grown over time.
So we hope you embrace this new initiative to recognise not just the big, but the little things that happen in medical research, and we can’t wait to see what you are up to.

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