Research support

Geographically-based networks:

All Wales Midwifery and Reproductive Health Forum  The key aim of the network is to provide a supportive, collaborative and stimulating arena for discussing and promoting midwifery and reproductive health research, within a multi-disciplinary context across Wales 

DMRS Doctoral Midwifery Research Society The main aim of the DMRS is to provide a platform for dissemination of maternal and child health research (ideally but not exclusively) at pre and post-doctoral level. It is an open resource of support and information for all childbirth researchers from every nationality and country in the world.  

Scottish Research Nurse, Midwife and Co-ordinators' Network The Scottish Research Nurse, Midwife and Coordinators' Network was established in 2005 and aims to provide a communication forum whereby research nurses, co-ordinators and others working in the field of Clinical Research can network together and provide peer support in an open and constructive environment. 

NIHR Applied Research Collaborations [ARCs] These 15 local partnerships between NHS providers, universities, charities, local authorities, Academic Health Science Networks and other organisations also undertake implementation research to increase the rate at which research findings are implemented into practice. 

You can enquire in your local Trust/ Health Board if a local research network exists or to contact a local Research Midwife.

Topic specific research networks are also available. Examples are provided below: 

Maternity Autism Research Group (MARG) Health Professionals and Researchers working together to improve maternity care for Autistic women and people. Their mission statement is 'to act as an Autistic-led collective of health professionals and researchers committed to addressing the Autistic community’s priorities around the maternity period, with the emancipation of all Autistic people at the heart of all we do.' The MARG website will become an accessible and comprehensive resource for the latest high-quality research, information, resources and training relating to pregnancy and maternity for Autistic people. 

City of Sanctuary Maternity Care Research Stream A diverse network of researchers based across the UK. The group work on different projects to improve the maternity experiences of migrant women. This includes women who are forced to migrate- asylum seeking and refugee women. 

Midwifery Unit Network The vision of the network is to support and promote the development and growth of midwifery units (birth centres) across Europe so they become the main care pathway for women with an uncomplicated pregnancy, providing holistic care to them and their family. To make midwifery units an easily accessible, mainstream option for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and their partners, through research, policy, leadership, quality improvement, training, influencing, information, support and networking activities. 

Mental Health Research Networks This is the NIHR Mental Health Research incubator website. It also contains an interactive map that you can add yourself too 

You could also access social media networking sites to reach out to researchers working in your area. You may want to sign up to the JISCMAIL midwife email list. This is a forum for discussion on midwifery and reproductive health research. It aims to create an international network of academics, professionals, policy makers and service users who are eager to share information & materials, discuss concerns & and offer advice. 

The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) is a large scale audit of the NHS maternity services across England, Scotland and Wales. Using high quality data, the audit aims to evaluate a range of care processes and outcomes in order to identify good practice and areas for improvement in the care of women and babies. 

Click here to watch a short animation about the NMPA.

The RCM Research Award Buddy Scheme [RABS] This scheme aims to encourage and support more midwives to apply for either of the Wellbeing of Women Entry Level Scholarship (WoW) and Iolanthe Trust Jean Davies. The RCM part funds the Wellbeing of Women Entry Level Scholarship (WoW) and Iolanthe Trust Jean Davies (JD) award each year. The Wellbeing of Women Entry Level Scholarships provides successful candidates with up to £20,000 for research lasting normally up to one year. The research must be undertaken in the UK. The Iolanthe Trust Jean Davies award is intended to fund individuals or teams working specifically with the stated aim to reduce or to investigate inequalities. Applicants to both awards must be midwives and full members of the RCM. 

Turning the Tide is a RCM mentoring scheme, run in collaboration with the Turning the Tide Oversight Group to support Black, Asian, and minority ethnic midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) in their career development. This scheme provides support for all aspects of career development and is not purely research focused. 

The Research Design Service The Research Design Service (RDS) provides free and confidential advice on research design, writing funding applications and public involvement, to health and social care researchers across England. RDS advisers have a wealth of experience and proven track records in supporting high quality funding applications. The RDS supports applications not only to NIHR research programmes, but also to other open, national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research, including research charities. The RDS can support a broad range of familiar quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods research designs, as well as newer and more novel approaches. 

The Research Design and Conduct Service  The aim of the service is to support staff working in social care and NHS in developing research projects for public benefit as well as improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Wales, and is funded by the Welsh Government.

The RCM library and information services RCM members have access to more than 11,900 books [including 159 midwifery e-books] and 457 journals including Nursing Notes, an excellent resource for information on midwifery training and professional activity. The library is one of the only two libraries in the world to hold the complete set. 

We have a prestigious collection of books, journals, archives and artefacts relating to the current practice and history of midwifery held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). The collections include information on all aspects of clinical obstetrics, gynaecology and midwifery, as well as education, the history of the two colleges and the development of women's health 

CINAHL with Full Text database is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing and allied health journals, providing full text for more than 560 journals indexed in CINAHL. Of those, more than 230 of these are not available with full text from any other EBSCO database. 

Are you interested in gaining hands-on experience in research and developing new skills? The NIHR Associate PI Scheme endorsed by the Royal College of Midwives could be the  opportunity for you.

What is the Associate Principal Investigator Scheme?

The Associate Principal Investigator Scheme aims to develop health and care professionals to become the Principal Investigators (PIs) of the future.

What is a Principal Investigator (PI)?

A Principal Investigator is a person responsible for the conduct of a research study at a site.

What is the Associate PI Scheme?

The NIHR Associate PI Scheme links a health and care professional who is new to research with a study PI at the same site for a period of 6 months.

During their time on the scheme the Associate PI trainee completes a learning pathway, including a checklist of mandated study activities.

Once completed, participating healthcare professionals receive formal recognition of engagement in NIHR Portfolio research studies through the certification of Associate PI status, endorsed by the NIHR and Royal Colleges.

The aims of the scheme are:

  1. To make research a routine part of clinical training.
  2. To develop health and care professionals to be PIs of the future.
  3. To recognise and promote doctor, nurse and allied health professional engagement in NIHR portfolio research in a consistent manner.

How the Associate PI Scheme works

The scheme is open to any health and care professional willing to make a significant contribution to the conduct and delivery of a study at a local level over a period of at least six months:

  • The health and care professional works on the study alongside the Local PI for six months at the same site.
  • The local PI acts as a mentor to the Associate PI, helping them to understand what it means to be a PI on an NIHR portfolio study.
  • During their time on the Associate PI Scheme, the Associate PI trainee must complete a checklist of study activities and a learning pathway on NIHR Learn. This checklist needs to be signed off by the Local PI and the National Study Coordinator at the end of an trainee's time on the scheme.
  • The NIHR Associate PI Scheme team will then issue a certificate confirming Associate PI Status which can be added to their training portfolio.

How to get Involved

More information

Further information and resources about the Associate PI Scheme can be found on theNIHR Associate PI Scheme website.

Alternatively, if you would like to discuss how the Associate PI Scheme could benefit you and your study, please contact [email protected].

Modules and webinars: 

Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal 

Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research online course provided by University of Leicester

What is Health Research online module provided by Future Learn 

Research Impact Making a Difference online module provided by Future Learn 

Why Research Matters online module provided by Future Learn 

Research Methods: A Practical Guide online module provided by Future Learn 

Research Processes and Methods online modules provided by the Global Health Training Centre ( 

Cochrane Learning Live live and recorded webinars  

EBSCO host pre-recorded advanced literature searching tutorial. 


Research Ethics Committees overview Health Research Authority ( 

IRAS Integrated Research Application System  


The NIHR Nursing and Midwifery Incubator  

NHS libraries 

NHS England Knowledge and Library Services  

NHS Wales e-Library for Health  

The Healthcare Library of Northern Ireland  

The Knowledge Network Scotland