An action research approach for developing research and innovation in nursing and midwifery practice: Building research capacity in one NHS foundation trust

Jenny Moore, Kenda Crozier, Katharine Kite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The National Health Service in the United Kingdom is committed to a process of reform centred on quality care and innovative practice. Central to this process is the need for research capacity building within the workforce. The aim of this study was to develop an infrastructure for research capacity building within one National Health Service Foundation Trust. Using an Action Research methodology, sixteen individuals were purposefully selected from a population of nurses and midwives to participate in the study. This nonprobability sampling method enabled the researchers to select participants on the basis of who would be most informative about existing research capacity building structures and processes within the Trust. Data were collected in the form of semi-structured individual interviews with each participant. The main findings were that research activity was not embedded in the culture of the organisation, and initiating and undertaking change was a complex process. As a result, a range of structures and processes which were considered necessary to enable the Trust move forward in developing capacity and capability for research were developed and implemented. This paper reports the first two stages of this process, namely: the findings from the pre-step and an outline of how these findings were used to create an infrastructure to support research capacity building within one NHS Foundation Trust Hospital in the United Kingdom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages6
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Action research
  • Foundation Trust
  • Innovation
  • Research capacity building

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