“BAIL’s emphasis on knowledge translation showed me the importance of research when conducted transparently and collaboratively; ensuring new understandings become accessible and can be used to make a tangible difference.”
I began my time at the Burwood Academy of Independent Living (BAIL) during July of 2020 for the Internship component of my 3rd and final year of the Bachelor of Health Science Degree at the University of Canterbury.
As an undergraduate student with an interest in academia, the health sector and looking to go onto post–graduate studies, BAIL has provided an insight into what meaningful research looks like in practice.
My contribution to BAIL was varied across a range of projects, such as aiding in initial stages of the research process, helping with administration work and assisting in updating the formatting of presentations given at ARA.
I was able to develop confidence in my own abilities, as projects were always given to me with flexible deadlines, clear instructions and staff members on–hand to help whenever needed. The variety of work also gave me an appreciation of the practicalities of carrying out research across a variety of ongoing projects.
Additionally, I was able to exercise technical skills learnt throughout my degree, such as literature searching and synthesizing—transitioning from learning about academic ideas, to understanding what it means to implement them in practice.
More specifically, how research can be conducted transparently and collaboratively; ensuring new understandings become accessible and can be used to make a tangible difference through BAIL’s emphasis on knowledge translation.
BAIL has been a value stepping–stone from my Bachelor’s, providing an insight into the healthcare and research workforce. The team are supportive, ensuring you don’t feel out of your depth, and provide on–going feedback. Additionally, the range of staff members’ expertise—from researchers, academics, physiotherapists, and more—allowed me to learn how different healthcare professions work and fit together within the realm of research.
The flexibility of contact time was something I was hugely appreciative of, as I was able to catch up with the team on a mostly weekly basis but work independently if I was ever pushed for time with other commitments.
It is obvious the team at BAIL has a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve through their work, by making research more accessible and meaningful within the rehabilitation space. BAIL has been both a valuable and enjoyable experience for me, furthering my interest in contributing to research within the health sector, and I look forward to taking the skills I have developed over the past three months into the future.