I'm a public health professional working for a national agency in the UK. I'm really keen to gain some research experience, but despite my organisation encouraging staff to be 'research active' it's not something that seems particularly feasible within my current programme of work.
Does anyone here have experience of gaining research experience independently and/or on the side of their day job? I would appreciate any advice you would be able to share on developing a research profile or experience outside of your primary professional role.
The two suggestions I have had so far are conducting independent research, or seeking out part time collaboration with an academic department (subject to employer approval). To what extent do these seem like feasible options, and what are the challenges/opportunities you see with pursuing either of these approaches?