Toward better clinician research engagement: Getting consensus on core research competencies for Australian and New Zealand specialist trainees

  • Stehlik, Paulina (Chief Investigator)
  • Noble, Christy (Partner Investigator)
  • Brandenburg, Caitlin (Partner Investigator)
  • Henry, David (Partner Investigator)
  • Kim, Jee Young (Project Lead)
  • Albarqouni, Loai (Associate Investigator)
  • Hoffmann, Tammy (Associate Investigator)
  • Glasziou, Paul (Associate Investigator)
  • Barnett, Adrian G. (Associate Investigator)
  • Keijzers, Gerben (Associate Investigator)
  • Scott, Ian A. (Associate Investigator)
  • Liang, Rhea (Associate Investigator)
  • Wright, Gordon (Associate Investigator)
  • Forrest, Kirsty (Associate Investigator)
  • McCullough, James (Associate Investigator)
  • Campbell, Thomas (Associate Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


Healthcare institutions that are research-engaged provide better care to patients than those that are not.(1) All clinicians should engage in research by using its findings (i.e. Evidence Based Practice - EBP), some by participating in it, and a few by leading it.(2) This balance should be reflected in the research development of clinicians. However, engaging doctors undergoing their clinical specialty training (aka trainees), in research is difficult with a complex interplay between context, curriculum and teaching practices.(3)

We recently reviewed the intended research curricula of 58 Australian specialist colleges and their subspecialty divisions,(4) most of which included New Zealand (NZ) branches. Our findings indicated that the research curricula focused on trainees leading research rather than using it or participating in it.(4) Given that only 1% of trainees go on to have research careers,(5) this does not seem to align with the career trajectory of most doctors.

We also found a lack of constructive alignment(6) across all curricula, inadequate formal research training and project supervision.(4) This is counter-productive and place trainees at risk of conducting rushed, poor quality projects (7) that contribute to research waste. Given that up to 85% of medical research, equating to $100 billion annually, is avoidable research waste,(8) and that there are close to 2,500 new Australian and NZ trained fellows each year, the potential contribution to research waste by current college research curricula is likely to be substantial.(9)

A fundamental overhaul of educational approach and emphasis in trainee research curriculum is required.

This project will develop the core competencies of a revised research curricula used by specialty trainees in Australia and New Zealand.

We will use the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method (RAM) consensus approach(10) – 1) initial set generation, 2) two-round Delphi survey, 3) consensus meeting – to develop a set of core research competencies, including EBP, for trainees undergoing their specialty training.

This project is part of a larger program of work that aims to develop a core research curriculum, including recommended practice pedagogies, for doctors undertaking their clinical specialist training.
Short titleCore research competencies for Australian and New Zealand specialist trainees
Effective start/end date22/07/20 → …


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