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Four UCLan students nominated for top regional health awards

Four UCLan students nominated for top regional health awards Banner Image

Nominees Alison Doherty, Naoimh McMahon and Florence Seymour

PhD students make shortlist of North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards

Four students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been shortlisted for regional healthcare awards celebrating research and innovation.

The North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards (NWCA) 2017 celebrate success for the excellent work being undertaken across the region in clinical research and innovation in health.  Four UCLan PhD students have been shortlisted; Alison Doherty and Florence Seymour in the Research for Wellbeing category while Naoimh McMahon and Heather Ohly are up for the Research Student of the Year Award.

All of this year’s nominees are supported with full-time bursaries for their research from the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast (NIHR CLAHRC NWC).

Heather has been shortlisted for her investigation into how low-income pregnant women use food vouchers from the UK Healthy Start programme and Naoimh is looking at the different types of intervention strategies used by the North West Coast Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) to address health inequalities.

To be shortlisted for an award boosts my confidence and motivation to continue with such participatory research and innovations in this field.

Naoimh commented: “As a postgraduate student I think it is very easy to focus only on your own piece of the research puzzle. However, within the CLAHRC we are all challenged to think about how our work can contribute to a broader agenda of reducing health inequalities in the North West.

“It has been really lovely to be recognised for engaging in these different activities that go beyond the immediate PhD requirements and know that these efforts are acknowledged and appreciated.”

Florence is currently assessing the impact a horticultural environment in prison has on its inmates for her PhD research, while fellow student Alison Doherty has been nominated in the same Research for Wellbeing category for her project looking at what helps people with learning disabilities to eat and live well.

Alison said: “To be shortlisted for an award boosts my confidence and motivation to continue with such participatory research and innovations in this field.  The research has been co-designed and co-produced by, and for, people with learning disabilities and has importantly explored their views and experiences of health and wellbeing issues which matter to them.”

The North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards is a collaboration between the Innovation Agency, (the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network North West Coast; and NIHR CLAHRC North West Coast (NWC).

The awards are aimed at a variety of stakeholders who work with the three organisations, including NHS and academic organisations, local authorities, charities and businesses.

UCLan already has a history of success at the NWCA awards with PhD student Nadeem Gire winning the Research Student of the Year prize in 2015.

We’re very excited to see four UCLan postgraduate students nominated for NWCA awards and recognised for their hard work.

UCLan Professor of Stroke Care Dame Caroline Watkins said: “We’re very excited to see four UCLan postgraduate students nominated for NWCA awards and recognised for their hard work.  All of the students are already, even in this early stage of their careers, working to make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of people in the North West.

“This demonstrates what a wonderful opportunity the NIHR CLAHRC NWC provides to outstanding students who can be successfully supported to be exceptional research leaders of the future. I wish them every success at the awards.”

Dr Liz Mear, Chief Executive of the Innovation Agency, said: “The North West Coast is a hub of excellence in life sciences research and innovation and we’re very pleased to be part of the collaboration recognising and celebrating these achievements.

“The event’s primary goal is to demonstrate the impact that outstanding clinical research and innovation has had on improving patient care and the population’s health in our region. The awards will showcase successful ideas, technologies and techniques, to encourage their spread.”

This year, over 120 entries were submitted across 15 different categories.  The winners will be announced in an event at the Hilton Liverpool Hotel on 9 February, hosted by medical journalist and broadcaster, Lawrence McGinty.

Lyndsey Boardman | 16 January 2017