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Three awarded research fellowships

18 July 2022


Three James Paget staff have been awarded East of England fellowships to develop their careers in clinical research.

The Health Education England (HEE) East of England internship programme allows staff to develop careers that combine research with continued clinical practice and professional development. The programme gives nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) the opportunity to apply for bridging internships to build on their previous academic training and to develop proposals for a pre or post-doctoral award.

The James Paget prides itself on providing research opportunities for patients and staff. The NMAHP Research and Evaluation service supports development of research ideas co-developed between staff and patients, and encourages staff to explore opportunities to broaden their involvement in research for patient benefit.

Part of this vision is about encouraging staff to apply for available funding and as a result, two nurses and one physiotherapist were successful. Remya Philips, Rachel Dance, and Mehar Shiju will commence their fellowships in November 2022 and will be exploring topics that will benefit both patients and health care staff.

Remya, Rachel And Mehar stand outside the front of our hospital with the large NHS James Paget logo behind them.

Remya is a ward sister in respiratory medicine, who is supported by Tracey Palmer and Bincy Kuriakose, and will focus on how colleagues are coping as the pandemic continues.

“I will be assessing the levels of anxiety and burnout among healthcare professions working in COVID-19 and other respiratory wards. I am really grateful for the guidance through the process and for the support throughout. I am so excited to have received this award, it means a lot to me.” 

Rachel, a stroke physiotherapist based in the integrated therapies department, is supported by Beverly Chilson and Rene Gray. 

She says; “I will be exploring the impact of co-designed stroke healthcare assistant education and its impact on patient care, specifically improving patient activity levels. I feel so pleased to have been given this brilliant opportunity to learn more about research and how to apply it to my clinical work. Being able to receive some dedicated teaching, mentorship and protected time via the internship to develop my skills will be so valuable to my development, and I truly believe patient care will improve as a result.” 

Mehar is a Research and Evaluation Associate in Corporate Nursing, supported by Claire Whitehouse. 

“I truly feel blessed and honoured to receive the HEE pre-masters bridging award, the stepping stone to my clinical-academic journey. My project will be investigating pastoral support for overseas and UK nurses.” 

Claire Whitehouse, Senior Nurse for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHP) Research, said “We are delighted to support our staff on this prestigious programme for the benefit of their own growth and the impact their work will have on patient care and outcomes.” 

This is the third consecutive year that James Paget NMAHP staff have featured on this East of England pathway, following the footsteps of Rene Gray, Professional Lead for Physiotherapy, and Daryl Guledew, Clinical Research Nurse, who both completed their internships in 2021, and Claire Whitehouse, who is now undertaking her PhD studies. 

For more information about the schemes available, you can access the clinical academic careers website here;