PRESS Project

PRESS: Promoting Research Engagement and Skills for Students 

We are excited to share with you information about our PRESS project. Key aims of the project are to support students and newly qualified physiotherapists with developing their confidence and skills in order to engage with research.

This project is taking place with valued support of our dedicated PRS committee, the University of Hertfordshire, and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.




PRESS Project

The PRS is motivated to optimise the engagement of student and newly qualified physiotherapists in research. We hope that in supporting students to become more research active through the PRESS project; we will provide them with improved confidence to share their research findings earlier in their careers. We hope this will support them to use skills they have already acquired as part of their university training, and build upon these further, to enable students and subsequently newly qualified physiotherapists, to become more involved in research and related projects at an earlier stage in their career.




As part of the PRESS project, the PRS funded ten physiotherapy student and newly qualified physiotherapists to attend the Physiotherapy Research Society 2024 conference in Bournemouth this year, and invited them to share their research in the form of poster presentations.


Applicants needed to meet the following criteria to be eligible for this funding opportunity: 

  • Students or newly qualified physiotherapists who are currently undertaking, or have undertaken, their studies to achieve a BSc or MSc in Physiotherapy on a pre-registration physiotherapy programme.
  • Students must have undertaken their physiotherapy studies at a UK-based education institution.
  • The research project being shared forms part of the research work undertaken as part of their student BSc or MSc programme.


Expressions of interest were received from October until February. We were thrilled to have been able to fill all ten funded places with motivated students and graduates who attended our #PRS 2024 conference in Bournemouth to present their research. Ten high quality posters were presented by these successful applicants, and they were supported with the creation of their posters via 1:1 mentorship from members of our PRS Executive Committee, as part of the bursary package.


Please see our conference brochure PRESS page below, for the details of our successful applicants:


Successful PRESS applicants attended our PRS 2024 conference


We are immensely proud of our PRESS applicants, and wish them all of the very best in their future careers. We hope to see more from them through input in future PRS activities.




The aim of this project is to better understand how we can optimise research engagement and explore barriers and beliefs around research. 


The PRESS project will involve the undertaking of focus groups with existing students studying on physiotherapy BSc or MSc pre-registration programmes at UK-based institutions, or students who have recently completed their studies (within the last 12 months).


The focus groups are due to take place on:

Monday 15th July at 7pm and Wednesday 7th August at 7pm

We expect the focus groups to last approximately one hour.

If you are interested in joining one of our PRESS focus groups, please email us here and we will add you to our mailing list.


This aspect of the project is being led by Caroline Coulthard (PRS Chair) and Melinda Cairns (Associate Professor at the University of Hertfordshire), with valuable support from Andrea Moulson of the University of Hertfordshire, and Dr Ali Aries and Dr Caroline Belchamber of the Physiotherapy Research Society.



If you have any enquiries about the PRESS Focus Group project, please contact on of the project leads directly via email:

Caroline Coulthard - click here

Dr Melinda Cairns - click here




We are planning to set up a Community of Practice (CoP) to inform the development of support and resources for students and newly qualified physiotherapists. For those who may be unsure or unfamiliar with this term, a CoP is a group of people who share a common interest or concern in a topic, and come together with the aim to fulfil both individual and group goals.


This phase of the project is led by Dr Alex Benham, and supported by our two Student PRS Officers, Iona Bateman and Klaudia Bialas, and Alex Braybrooke, one of our successful PRESS bursary applicants; 


The initial phase of this part of the project will begin with an initial networking meeting with interested groups of people. If you are interested in attending and/or contributing to this networking session, with a view to potentially being involved or helping to shape this Community of Practice, please email us here.



Through the PRESS project, the PRS will also be looking to develop a series of resources to support student physiotherapists in developing their research skills and confidence over the coming year - more details to follow on these in due course! This aspect of the project is being led by Dr Bruno Mazuquin and Dr Christopher McCarthy.



The PRESS project has been made possible through the PRS being successful in being awarded grant funding from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). The PRS and the PRESS project team are incredibly grateful for the receipt of such funding, and hope to make a discernible change in the student research landscape through the activities that we are now able to undertake as a result.

We are additionally grateful to the experienced research team at University of Hertfordshire, who are passionate about promoting research amongst students, and whom have worked closely on the development of this project, and have led the way in their previous work on student research activity through their KNOWBEST project.



If you have any enquiries regarding our PRESS project, please contact our PRESS Project Lead, Caroline Coulthard, via email here.


PRESS Colloborators



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