Research and scholarship
At Department of Health Sciences in Ålesund, we believe that research is not an elite activity for the few and that we need to drive an inclusive culture of curiosity and enquiry about health care. To do so, we place our emphasis on the value of both research and scholarship – recognising that evidence and knowledge development is everyone’s business, and that this should advance educational and clinical development and inform policy makers and the public.
Rather than follow a hierarchical (pyramid) model of what is valued in research with the business end of writing high quality papers and achieving grant income as the ‘winning zone’ and everything short of this the ‘losing zone’, we propose ‘Orbits of Excellence’ in research and scholarship, whereby we value multiple contributions.
These multiple contributions comprise:
- quantitative and qualitative research in developing health care practice – evidence orbit
- non-empirical scholarship and theory development – knowledge orbit
- administrative and practical support to advance capacity for research and scholarship activity – administration orbit
- network and partnership development with key stakeholders - connections orbit
- translating research into practice – application orbit
- sharing knowledge and informing practice – education orbit
- research publications and communications – dissemination orbit
- policy and governance development – policy orbit.
Through appreciative working between staff in or across different orbits, recognising each other’s valuable and different contributions, a culture of curiosity about healthcare and healthcare education is advanced.
This genuine culture of curiosity provides a more conducive environment for developing key deliverables such as publications and grant applications. It also counters a narrow ‘outputs’ focus which can erode the joy of research and scholarship and turn it into a chore. Here, the emphasis on ‘orbits of excellence’ is one that values a fuller and more inclusive view of what research and scholarship activity can be. It advances the importance of teamwork and integration in developing research and scholarship. In so doing, the ground for outputs-driven, high profile research and scholarship can be best support as a team rather than purely individual achievement.
Our department delivers three research and scholarship programmes.