Who are you and what do you do?
I am a Severe Insulin Resistance and Diabetes Specialist and Research Nurse, based in the Institute of Metabolic Science.
How did you get involved in research and what research are you doing?
I have worked in a research environment supporting research for a number of years. I started thinking about conducting my own research in 2013, following feedback from Patient Support Group Day.
In September 2014, I started the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Masters in Clinical Research. I completed the programme part-time over 2 years whilst remaining in my current clinical role. Although I had been working in a research environment since 2003 I was amazed how much there was still to learn.
This year I was awarded an Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT)/ NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Fellowship to help develop my research plans and apply for an Health Education England (HEE)/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship.
My research project investigates and seeks to ameliorate the psychological and quality of life impact of alterations in appearance occurring in patients with lipodystrophy and segmental overgrowth. Lipodystrophy and segmental overgrowth are rare conditions characterised by substantial changes to adipose distribution and function.
How do you combine your clinical work with your research work?
My research interests come from my experiences in clinical care. The fellowship allows me to combine my research and clinical work. At the moment 60% of my week is spent in my clinical post and 40% is dedicated to my fellowship.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking of carrying out their own research study?
Do it!! Don’t be afraid to have a go or ask for help.
I found Cambridge Nurses in Research to be an excellent source of support. The group is open to anyone with an interest in research, whether you are just starting out or an experienced researcher. If you would like to find out more and check out our upcoming meetings/speakers programme please see Cambridge Nurses in Research or follow us on twitter @_CNiR. Contact Annette Aylward, email@example.com to be added to our mailing list.