There are four ways to get started in stroke research: post-secondary educational training, research assistant positions, reviewing academic journals, and referrals. Stoke research is a growing field, with new advances as we learn more about how the brain works and the impact of a stroke on brain tissue. There are many areas of stroke research available, ranging from a neurological investigation of what occurs in the brain during a stroke, to the best methods for teaching life skills to a stroke victim.
The first place to look for information about getting started in stroke research is your university or college. Talk to your career or program counselor, research services, your faculty liaison officer, or administrative program manager. They can advise you about the different options available, skill level required for the various roles, and what qualifications are necessary.
In order to work in stoke research, there are specific academic credentials that must be met. Candidates must have successfully completed at least a bachelor's degree program in a science field, with most researchers requiring a master’s level of education. The grade point average is very important, as it reflects your dedication and potential.
Positions in stoke research typically require working experience as a research assistant. There are specific academic and research requirements, specific to field of study that must be met. The best research positions are available at a national level, and often require specific research experience.
A great place to learn more about stoke research is academic journals. Review the articles and studies published to date and enhance your understanding of the work already completed. By reviewing this information, you can find out who the primary researchers are, where they are located, and the type of work they are doing.
Graduate program advisers and coordinators may provide information about stroke research projects to students who they feel would be a strong candidate to provide assistance in these projects. These types of opportunities may be focused on a specific area of research, involve travel to other locations, or may require a certain background. Keep in contact with your academic adviser and let him know if you are looking for stroke research projects. Advisers have the advantage of a long history in the field, have a larger number of contacts, and background knowledge.
People who do not have the academic credentials to work in the scientific area of stroke research may find opportunities in stroke foundations and associations. These programs have contact with a large population of stroke victims and their families. Talk with the local association about the type of research that you would like to pursue, and ask for assistance and support. Keep in mind that almost all organizations will require the research be supervised by someone with recognized academic credentials in your field of study.