NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

RESPIRE Schools developing the next generation of respiratory leaders and researchers

Two RESPIRE schools developed and run by the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) are helping to build the future generation of respiratory health researchers and leaders.

RESPIRE/IPCRG Leadership School

The RESPIRE/IPCRG Leadership School is an online educational and development programme for aspiring respiratory leaders from several nations, including all the RESPIRE partner countries: Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Pakistan.

The virtual programme was designed and delivered by the IPCRG, adapted from a successful UK course created by its UK group, Primary Care Respiratory Society UK (PCRS-UK). It involves three weekend meetings, a virtual learning environment and participant mentoring. The meetings took place in September and October 2020 and covered exploring systems of care and understanding improvement, changing minds and systems and leading others through change.

At the final weekend, participants presented “lift pitches” describing small scale improvement projects that they have been developing. Over six months, they will be supported by a personal mentor and will report on their progress, impacts and personal learnings at the final session of the IPCRG conference in May 2021. Once they complete the course, the participants are expected to become the facilitators for a new generation of respiratory leaders.

RESPIRE Research School

The RESPIRE Research School was an online school designed to give participants a background, understanding and experience of producing and presenting a costed research protocol for a qualitative study idea.

There were more than 30 participants, divided into country teams. Each team had a mentor from IPCRG and worked online over three days to prepare a costed research protocol. On the fourth day, the protocols were presented to a judging panel chaired by Professor Hilary Pinnock, RESPIRE Lead for Chronic Respiratory Disorders.

There were many fantastic ideas presented to the panel, and four focused on COVID-19. The winner and runners-up research ideas were:

  • Winner: Pakistan Team - Exploring the barriers and facilitators to implementation of self-protective behaviours among community pharmacists and pharmacy staff during COVID 19.
  • Runner-up: Bangladesh Team - Researching experiences and perceptions of self-medication post-Covid-19: a qualitative study with Rohingya refugees.
  • Runner-up: India Team - A qualitative study of barriers and enablers of providing and receiving health care in specialized Covid-19 hospital wards.

The Pakistan team will be supported to deliver their research, and all three teams will receive further mentoring to improve their qualitative research skills.

 ‘The RESPIRE Research School was a real learning experience, where I was able to work with my teammates to prepare a protocol for research that could really influence how care is given and received in special Covid-19 hospital wards. Working with our mentor, we were able to gain a deep understanding of all the elements of developing a research idea which I look forward to applying to future research.’

Dhiraj AgarwalRESPIRE Fellow and runner-up as part of the Indian team

Many thanks to all participants and faculties for two really engaging, positive and inspiring schools!