Become a research champion

Our Research Champions form a UK-wide network of SLTs that strives to ensure speech and language therapy is an evidence-based, research-active profession, bringing together research and clinical practice, by working in partnership with the RCSLT and wider research networks.

Research Champions are a dynamic group of SLTs who are local points of contact for each other, wider colleagues and RCSLT on evidence-based practice and research. They play an active role in facilitating evidence-based practice and research activity. SLTs from all stage of their careers and all clinical areas are part of the network. 

Who are Research Champions?

Research Champions are speech and language therapists who:

  • shares the RCSLT vision of an evidence-based and research-active profession
  • has experience of appraising and applying a range of evidence to clinical practice
  • facilitates the application and gathering of evidence within their organisations
  • use research, audit and evaluation to support practice.

Research Champions can be from all stages of their careers and all sectors and the role and responsibilities for each champion will differ according to place of work, level of experience and areas of interest.

What does being a Research Champion involve?

Key elements of the role include:

  • disseminating information on new evidence, resources and opportunities to local colleagues, supported by the RCSLT
  • promoting using evidence and collecting practice-based evidence within your team/organisation
  • sharing good practice and raising the profile of research in speech and language therapy within your team/organisation, RCSLT Hub and the RCSLT Research Champion Network.

How much time do I need to dedicate to this?

This is really up to you. Dissemination to your team can be part of existing meetings, but there will be additional emails from the RCSLT and you will be part of an online group. We anticipate you would need to dedicate 2-3 days per year to activities, such as attending RCSLT and Council for AHP Research hub events.

How will I be supported?

The RCSLT Research and Development Team will:

  • provide information on latest evidence, resources and opportunities to enable Research Champions to support their colleagues.
  • coordinate the network and support mentoring and collaboration through a directory and discussion boards.
  • will be available for advice and support, provide CPD opportunities as appropriate and continue to raise the profile of the network.

Your Council for AHP Research hub can offer support to you and your team on research activity. You'll be part of a network of champions connected online, enabling the sharing of ideas and providing support.

Research Champions will be invited to participate in a range of CPD opportunities such as attending events, participating in consultations, reviewing resources, and contributing to RCSLT publications and the website. Being a Research Champion will count as ‘professional activity’ contributing to your HCPC CPD requirements.

What are the benefits to my service?

  • Closer links with the RCSLT
  • Improved:
      • access and application of evidence to practice
      • service delivery through application of the most up-to-date evidence
  • access and collaboration with RCSLT hubs and AHP research networks
  • local data to prove your service has an impact
  • support to SLTs on where to go with a research question
  • access to research resources
  • sharing of information, evidence and research opportunities
  • links with sources of support
  • promotion and development of a culture of EBP and research
  • CPD opportunities.

How do I become a Research Champion? 

If you would like to discuss the Research Champion Network before signing up please contact us