STARS LogoSupporting the Advancement of Research Skills (STARS) Programme is our free online research training and education programme run by MPFT Research and Innovation Department in partnership with Keele and Worcester Universities. It consists of workshops and seminars delivered over Microsoft Teams with more sessions being added throughout the year.

The programme has been designed to achieve the following three primary objectives:

  1. nurture a positive and engaging research environment at Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
  2. ensure staff have the necessary skills to be able to consider and apply the very latest research evidence into decision making
  3. identify and support future leaders in health and social care research

What can STARS offer you?

STARS is not only aimed at staff who have aspirations to become a research leader, STARS training is appropriate for all staff at any stage of your career and suitable whether you are new to research or wish to refresh your knowledge. The programme offers something for everyone to support you with the tools, methodology and knowledge to implement evidence based practice in your everyday work. We offer sessions and advice on a wide range of topics that can provide you with the skills to undertake the following:

  • evaluate developments and improvements in your service
  • conduct a literature review to find the latest research on an area relevant to you and your service users
  • develop your own research ideas
  • support research studies taking place at the Trust
  • publish findings or processes you have used to make changes to your service
  • explore options for funding for research, innovation or evaluation work


The Pathways

We have 3 different Workshop Pathways:

  1. Research in Practice - skills to use research evidence in your practice
  2. Research Delivery - skills to deliver research studies
  3. Research Leader - skills to develop your own research

We also have a series of Spotlight Seminars which cover a number of topics from regional experts and anything that may be of use to colleagues in terms of research, projects, and studies.


Session Format

All sessions are held online on a variety of days and times to make the programme as accessible as possible to all staff. The STARS programme comprises of three pathways of interactive online workshops and a series of online seminars. In addition to this, we will be delivering one discussion group and providing online drop in sessions to support staff with any queries they may have about research.

If you require any guidance on which sessions may be relevant to you, please email


Interactive sessions comprising of presentations, exercises and discussion. Workshops will be delivered over Microsoft Teams and generally between 1.5 and 3 hours long. Preparatory work may be needed for some sessions.

Discussion Groups

In 2024 we are trialling a new discussion group format. These will be 1 hour in length and held online through Microsoft Teams. Preparatory work is required to enable meaningful discussions between learners and sessions leads.


All seminars are delivered through Microsoft Teams and are 30 to 60 minutes long. They are led by internal and external experts covering topics such as their own research, research experiences, or by staff from partner organisations covering what services and support they provide.


Who can book?

All workshops and seminars are open to all MPFT staff, across clinical Care Groups, corporate services, Local Authorities, and staff working in prisons. In addition to this, our Research Delivery workshop pathway and all seminars are open to all colleagues that work for health or care organisations (including Local Authorities) in the West Midlands region.


How do I book?

Please email if you have any queries about any of the sessions, or would like any advice on STARS; we will be happy to help.