In this section

All dietitians build their practice on the foundations of the evidence base. Not only do dietitians use the evidence base, they also generate it by undertaking research. We lead the research agenda for our members, and for dietitians in the UK. We develop opportunity and encourage research involvement, to generate high quality research to advance dietetic practice. Our research strategy describes how we work to achieve this. 

Tools for dietitians to guide dietitians in using the evidence base, and generating research can be found here.

Evidence Based Practice

Dietitians use the evidence base to ensure their practice is well informed, safe and effective.

Our members have free access to these resources to enable evidence-based practice.


There are guidelines and rules in place to ensure research is completed safely and effectively.

Here you can find tools and resources that outline how to do research properly.

Here you can learn about the collaborations and networks that provide oversight to the governance of research.


We have our own General & Education Trust (GET) Fund.

Our GET fund aims to advance education and other charitable purposes related to the science of dietetics

A wide range of bodies, and charities fund health and social care research. Funding opportnities and available grants will differ on a regular basis. It is important you accurately cost up your project, and seek funding in a timely fashion. For examples of a range of regional specific funders visit:

An easy way to look for UK charities is to use the Association for Medical Research charity member directory pages. These pges list over 150 charities that fund research.

Research Qualifications

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Health Education England (HEE) have an integrated clinical and practitioner academic programme to promote clinical academic careers for non-medical/dental healthcare professionals (e.g. dietitians) as well as the fellowships programme that is also open to dietitians. 

A recording of the BDA/NIHR applicants workshop is available to watch Previous award winners personal journey’s and NIHR view - the following timings are the starting point for each section of the presentation:

  • Vicky Aubrey Pre-Doctoral: 0
  • Alastair Duncan Doctoral/Post Doc: 7:09
  • Ashley Adamson Post Doc: 18:20
  • Q&A: 35:20
  • Dave Jones Dean for NIHR Academy: 1:00:00

Includes Q&A at the end. 

Step by step through the application form the following timings are the starting point for each section of the presentation:

  • Person - 0
  • Project - 13:49
  • Host and Training programme: 24:00
  • Supervision: 34:05
  • Q&A: 52:10

NIHR Academic Training Advocate and BDA Workshop - Professor Waljit Dhillo, Dean of the NIHR Academy

For some applications (e.g. NIHR) you are required to find a mentor who will be named in your application as part of your on-going support team. For other applications you may wish to access a mentor to support you through the process. The BDA has formed a Faculty of Research Mentors in association with our NIHR Dietetic Academic Training Advocates. These are BDA members all willing to act as mentors to help guide you through the next stage of your research career. 

The mentors are able to offer you an individual programme of support, agreed at an initial session to discuss expectations and ground rules.  Support may include an initial face to face or skype discussion, followed by a combination of email, skype and/or telephone contact. Initially the programme of support will be for eighteen months, at which point both parties will evaluate the success of the relationship.

Find out more about our research mentors by clicking their profiles below: 

Professor Mary Hickson 

Dr Paul McCardle 

Dr Kathryn Hart 

Dr Louise Goff

If you would like to be in touch with a mentor please contact us.


Research is usually a collaborative activity. The groups below offer dietitians interested in research an opportunity to link with other dietitians and health professionals with similar interests.

Researcher Requests

We support our members to do research that will inform and advance dietetic practice. Surveys provide valuable information and influence practice if lots of dietitians get involved. Please take part in research requests to support our members with their research. Dietitians can contact us with their research requests to discuss how they would like distribute their surveys.

Research Symposium

We support our members to share their research. Our annual research symposium is the perfect place for dietitians starting their research journey to discuss their research, network, and be inspired. We encourage all dietitians to get involved in research during their career. Research includes service evaluations, quality improvement and audit. There are so many possibilities for all dietitians to contribute to the evidence base.

Research Posters

We celebrate our members research! Our members submit posters to conferences, symposiums and events all the time. To celebrate their success we like to show off a collection of their posters. These offer a flavour for what good research really looks like. It is achievable for dietitians to do research alongside their clinical practice.


Our research and evidence base is used to contribute to consultations. We need our experts to guide the development of national guidelines to ensure good practice in nutrition is recommended to all. Our members can provide their clinical expertise in their fields of nutrition and dietetics to influence the national health and care agenda. If you are a member, passionate about best practice in nutrition for all, please get involved.