Two people using laptops and writing notes (one in the foreground and the other in the background).

The Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU) and Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) have launched an online training package for research in obstetrics and gynaecology. Funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, this is an introductory course to help healthcare professionals increase their core skills and knowledge in research methodology.

This is the first resource of its kind for the Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialty, and fills an important gap as a tailored online, interactive course built and maintained by experts with input from women. While the course has been designed for healthcare professionals practicing in a UK health and social care setting, those wishing to enrol do not need to have any prior learning or knowledge to complete the course. 

This e-learning package will provide easily accessible, high quality, tailored training for health care professionals in Women’s Health. It will help develop a wider, more diverse community of clinician researchers who can work together to improve care of women through research in the areas where it is most needed. There were many stakeholders involved in the development of this e-learning package including involvement from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Women’s Voices Involvement Panel, ensuring that the woman’s voice is central throughout the learning.

Professor Katie Morris, Director of Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit

The course is made up of four comprehensive modules that have been written and peer-reviewed by experts in the field:

  • Women's health and research
  • Research infrastructure and organisational support for research
  • I have a research idea. How do I develop this further?
  • Introduction to clinical trials.

The resource was also developed with input from the RCOG Women’s Network, a group of lay representatives with personal experience of using obstetrics and gynaecological services. This input is especially important as their involvement ensures that the course will equip those enrolled with the context and understanding needed to develop obstetrics and gynaecological research for as many women as possible.

This is the first resource of its kind for the O&G specialty. Clinical research is critical to delivering new treatments and care to patients. It is really exciting to see new resources that will equip expert clinicians with the skills needed to becoming more involved in research. Clinical research skills can really benefit you as a clinician and research can help to tackle the day-to-day issues we face within the specialty.

Professor Asma Khalil, Vice President for Academia and Strategy, Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Professor Khalil from RCOG said: "We are delighted to have collaborated with the University of Birmingham to develop this resource and received important input from our Women’s Voices Involvement Panel. I would encourage all obstetrics and gynaecology professionals from across the multi-disciplinary team who are interested in clinical research to access the resource.”

The course will launched this week and is now available on the NIHR website and RCOG’s website and eLearning platform.