Allison Seeger

I am rarely enticed by social movements that take place in a virtual space. I never succumbed to the Ice Bucket Challenge, I have yet to use #metoo (or any hashtags for that matter) and the title has to be absolutely irresistible to get me to click on a TED video link.

​I simply don’t get excited by the virtual in the same way that I do by the physical. However much I support and agree with these movements, I simply never find myself swept into them online as I do on the streets.

I have so far blamed this lukewarm online enthusiasm on my age. I’m too old for that stuff. And I would have continued in this vein had it not been for the Embedded Research project’s webinar on creating an embedded researcher network.

Please don’t interpret that statement as targeted hyperbole, but rather being awed and exhilarated by the webinar participants. The group was fully engaged, the questions were pouring in and the excitement was palpable—even in the virtual space!

I wanted to be an embedded researcher. I wanted to rally alongside you and chart unknown territory, changing academia and the health and care sector. I wanted to support you, firing off answers and solving problems.

I cannot though. Only you can do that for each other. So, let’s get those conversations started, shall we? Below is the word cloud depicting your answers to the question that started our conversation: what was the key factor that made your effective working relationship work?

And here is a list of questions that came through in the chat box, on Twitter and via email. Do you have additional questions? Do you have the answer to any of these questions? Let us know by using the reply section at the bottom of this page.

  1. The research we’ve just published on the impact of Universal Credit was done in my role as an embedded researcher in Gateshead and has had lots of national coverage. The research was funded by the council. How do others manage the massive overheads charged by the universities?
  2. How do people manage potential conflicts of interest, perceptions that embedded researchers are not independent?
  3. I would like to see a theory of embedded research as a result of collaboration. Is that a reality in your eyes?
  4. One of the challenges for embedded research is the integrated nature of the role, which crosses silos such as improvement, research and innovation, learning and development. Do you have strategies to address this?
  5. In what context are other embedded researchers working? Predominantly, in specialties or organisationally situated at a strategic level?
  6. The network could help us all reflect on our efforts to develop healthy research cultures and develop increasing effectiveness in that part of our roles.
  7. How do we raise awareness in the NHS more broadly?
  8. How do we measure success and create collaborative benchmarks around what good looks like? Stories of success are important, but so too are stories of what doesn’t work.
  9. Does embedded research require a different kind of ethics – one that takes into account academic rigour and the realities (vulnerabilities and complexities) of practice and community life?
  10. Is there a list of ‘old hands’ who could help spread the concept (by presentations, etc) to sceptical managers?

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