The following includes opportunities for child life students and professionals interested in pursuing research and contributing to child life’s emerging field of inquiry.
ACLP provides pre-recorded webinars for PDUs
Below are resources that have helped other child life professionals engaging in research.
Look to your university for some potential opportunities. If your university is a research institute, it will likely have an undergraduate research page. Search for this page and look into some opportunities. In addition, look to the faculty of your department and see what research opportunities they have available. A simple email of, “Hello, my name is X, and I am a student interested in research. I saw your CV and see that you do research on Y. This really interests me, and I was wondering if you had any opportunities for students and research.”
In addition, consider joining a student journal club. These groups can be a helpful way of learning how to digest scientific literature and network with peers who are also interested in research. Lastly, one of the best ways to learn about research is to engage as a participant. Look at ACLP Connect for opportunities to contribute to a colleague’s research study.
Look to other faculty members who do research related to children, healthcare, or families. Interdisciplinary collaboration shows that you can work with other disciplines. Consider asking nursing, education, or counseling faculty to support your work.
The good news is that part of the requirements for certification eligibility is the completion of one course on research. However, if you have the opportunity and you are interested in research, it would be a good idea to take research methods and statistics.
Consider partnering with a faculty member in psychology or nursing research. If that is not an option, look outside of the IRB box for potential ways to contribute to research. Projects with secondary data that do not require IRB approval make significant contributions to scientific progress. Systematic literature reviews, meta-analyses, commentaries, theoretical analyses, and case studies are great ways to contribute that do not require IRB approval.
Consider the parts of your child life journey that could be improved upon. What has been difficult or stressful? Could you investigate this concern in your current position? Or could you appraise and summarize research already conducted on this topic? When it connects to your story, motivation will come easily.
Yes! Talk to your institution about making adjustments to your protocol so that it allows for online data collection. Often, institutions will have a platform in place for recruiting, collecting data, analyzing outcomes, and preparing for publication all online.