An immense networking and connectivity opportunity. The second NIHR CLAHRC Career Development Conference took place on the 4th October 2018 at Senate House, University of London. The conference was organised by the NIHR London CLAHRCs with the objective to enable early career researchers from across the national CLAHRC community to connect and learn about further career development in health and social care research.
Announcing the upcoming launch of the NIHR academy, Professor Dave Jones, NIHR Dean for Faculty Trainees, gave a keynote presentation sharing opportunities that will be available and the role of applied health researchers in this landscape. Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research and Evidence, Department of Health and Social Care, spoke about the contribution of early career researchers in health and social care research.
"The aim of the conference was to foster collaboration between early career researchers, which was also reflected in the collaborative nature of the organisation of this event. It was also very encouraging to hear from Louise Wood and Dave Jones on their ambitious plans for the NIHR Academy and their support for future generations of applied health researchers." – Barbora Krausova, Research Worker, King’s Improvement Science, NIHR CLAHRC South London.
Over 90 people attended the conference which had a mix of 2 plenary sessions, 5 skills workshops, 12 oral delegate presentations, 13 poster delegate presentations and 36 careers clinics. Running parallel to the breakout sessions the career clinics gave early career researchers an opportunity to have 1:1 time with a senior academic researcher for helpful advice on career prospects within NIHR and the wider NHS and academic landscape.
“A really exciting day hearing about research happening across the CLAHRCs and learning about different opportunities for funding from NIHR to support career development. We were happy to be able to deliver an ambitious programme of speakers, workshops, career clinics and networking opportunities and it was a truly collaborative effort by the London-based CLAHRCs to bring the event to a national community of researchers”. – Dr Silvie Cooper, NIHR CLAHRC North Thames Academy Teaching Fellow.
NIHR CLAHRC directors Professor Rosalind Raine and Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft, alongside NIHR CLAHRC alumni Dr Chris McNicholas, Quality Improvement Lead, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Dr Zarnie Khadjesari, Senior Lecturer, University of East Anglia, gave advice to early career researchers and participated in a panel discussion on the impact of CLAHRCs and future directions.
The conference once again provided an opportunity for early career researchers to present and showcase their research to peers and senior researchers through a range of poster and oral presentations and awards were presented for Best Poster Presentation and Best Oral Presentation.
“I really enjoyed presenting my research at the NIHR CLAHRC Early Careers conference and I’m really happy it was received so well by the audience. I have been studying children’s allergy service improvements for 3 years now, trying to make sense of how that happens and what needs to be done. It’s really important to me that I share what I’ve learnt in order to help others doing similar improvement work. But, especially with qualitative work, it’s not always easy to capture and share what you’ve learnt in a clear and convincing way. So, I’m really pleased that the audience felt so positively about my presentation!” – Sophie Spitters, PhD student for Early Years, NIHR CLAHRC NWL.
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