Why are the funds needed?
There aren’t enough people with the necessary skills to take forward stroke research that can improve treatment and care for people affected by stroke. Our charity hopes to fix this problem by funding passionate and talented researchers to become leaders of the future.
What did our charity do?
In 2019, we partnered with the National Institute for Health Research to co-fund two Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF) awards. These awards create dedicated time for healthcare professionals in England to undertake training and applications to secure funding for next stage of their research careers.
We funded Adrienne, an Occupational Therapist (OT) based at King’s College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London. She has been working as an OT for nine years and has extensive experience working in neuro-rehabilitation.
OTs are a core part of the treatment team for stroke survivors, and Adrienne hopes to bring together her professional and research skills to drive improvements in rehabilitation for stroke.
Adrienne completed a Master’s degree (MRes) in Clinical Research at City, University of London. This allowed her to learn vital new clinical research skills, including a project exploring why Occupational Therapists (OT) and Physiotherapists may use different ways to measure recovery of upper limb movement in stroke survivors (outcome measurement).
This project has provided her with direction for future research in outcome measurement in stroke rehabilitation to drive the use of evidence-based treatment and care. This fellowship also created the opportunity to strengthen her academic writing and presenting skills, make new connections and collaborations to take her research forward.
She also secured a new role in the NHS as Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist for Stroke and will use her research skills and experience to drive forward research taking place at Kings College Hospital.
Adrienne hopes to get funding for the next stage of her research career by 2022, allowing time for her to plan innovative research that can make the greatest difference to the lives of people affected by stroke.
This award provided her with a unique opportunity to take the first steps on her clinical academic journey. It has empowered her to continue to engage in research, improved her job satisfaction and clinical practice. Being a recipient of this award has also created a positive effect on promoting OTs role in stroke research for aspiring OTs and clinical academics.
Adrienne feels fortunate for receiving this opportunity and to be in a forward-thinking profession where exciting career pathways are possible to influence stroke rehabilitative practice, and improve stroke patient outcomes and experience.