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UCLan Student is Research Student of the Year

04 December 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

PhD student Nadeem Gire was handed the Research Student of the Year prize at the 2015 North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards

A student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has beaten off stiff competition to win a regional award for his research into mental health support.

First year PhD student Nadeem Gire was handed the Research Student of the Year prize at the 2015 North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards for his research project into the use of mobile technology in supporting people with mental health problems, in particular psychosis.

The 27-year-old’s three-year project is a collaborative venture between UCLan and Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. It focuses on the development of a mobile app that asks a patient questions depending on his or her individual situation to assess potential symptoms. It will then respond with a personalised guided self¬-help based psychological intervention with the aim of reducing the symptoms. Examples include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, goal setting, problem solving and showing the patient tailored music or images known to help them. Nadeem is currently recruiting 16 service users and up to 10 health professionals to take part in a feasibility study.

Nadeem commented: “I am really proud of my achievement and hopefully by winning this award, it will help to put research into mental health under the spotlight. The work I am doing will directly benefit the people living in our region; people can recover from mental health issues and the accessible treatment that I’m working on will hopefully play an important part in this process.”

UCLan Professor Joy Duxbury, an internationally renowned mental health expert, is supporting Nadeem in his PhD programme alongside colleague Dr Mick McKeown and Dr Nusrat Husain and Professor Imran Chaudhry from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Duxbury said: “I am delighted that Nadeem has won this award. He is so hard working and compassionate about his area of work and deserves this wonderful accolade.”

The Research Student of the Year award is designed to honour a student who has developed and implemented substantial research that results in new knowledge, applications or understanding. At the event’s core is the desire to demonstrate how clinical research and innovation efforts have had an impact on patient care across the North West Coast and to showcase ideas.

The North West Coast Research and Innovation Awards is a collaborative celebration event between the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network (NWC AHSN), CRN: North West Coast (CRN NWC) and National Institute of Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast (CLAHRC NWC).

Nadeem is one of eight students that went through a competition to gain funding for his PhD from the NIHR CLAHRC NWC thanks to UCLan’s Professor Caroline Watkins, the CLAHRC’s Director of Capacity and Implementation, who secured the funding for all eight projects with an underlying focus of reducing health inequalities.