The #WhyWeDoResearch campaign was established in December 2014 by Claire Whitehouse (nee Gibbs) (@ClaireW_UK), Lead Nurse for Research at The James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (JPUH). The aim is to raise research awareness and opportunities to staff, patients and the public, and to start a conversation about research between all involved.
The core research team at JPUH were asked to pose for a photograph holding a placard explaining in simple terms why they do research. This was posted to twitter using the #WhyWeDoResearch. The hashtag generated responses from outside the Trust and what began as a simple way to introduce the research team to clinical colleagues, patients and the local public gained momentum and attracted national and international attention through the force of social media.
Michael Keeling, Stroke Nurse Specialist at York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust was appointed as our first National collaborator by the end of December 2014. He has since become the joint lead collaborator alongside Claire, and more recently Hazel Smith @smithannhazel, Chair of the Irish Research Nurses Network (IRNN).
The campaign has reached 23 countries since it's inception and has more than 24,000 participants, over 400 million impressions and over 300,000 tweets. Using the twitter platform has allowed for rapid and global connectivity and has served as a remarkable vehicle for communication as well as education. #WhyWeDoResearch is not about gaining influence or promoting behavioural change. Neither is it a mere sales or marketing strategy. It focuses on opportunity and inspiration.
The links at the top of the page detail the progress of the campaign to date and our plans for the future.
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"Connecting researchers, patients and the public"
Contacts: @ClaireW_UK @Keeling_michael @mrskellyyoung @ausnurseed @m_irand_a @robrien100 @Irish_RNN @WendyPMitchell