“Like most PhDs, my research provides a foundation of work that can be built on in the future”

“I am currently a clinical trial methodologist. I look at how clinical trials are run and the processes that are used to make them run well. My work is part of the wider initiative called Trial Forge which is looking at improving the efficiency of all trial processes, e.g. recruitment and retention of participants. More than 50% of the trials in the world fail to recruit enough participants to make the trial statistically valid. This makes my work vital as we are currently basing basic healthcare decisions off evidence that may not be reliable. My research helps to make clinical trials more efficient; often in regard to patient burden, clinician burden and other practical factors that may influence recruitment. I have tried to raise awareness of improved practices to trial teams through a webpage that I have developed. The contents of this webpage have been user-tested to ensure that trial teams are able to access the information that they need in order to make evidence-based decisions about recruitment practices. Like most PhDs, my research provides a foundation of work that can be built on in the future. “

“Aberdeen is closer than you think”

“Our unit has set up our own Public Engagement group. We try to raise awareness of clinical trials so that we can demystify trials and ensure that the public feel more comfortable with the idea of research. Personally, I hope that this increased awareness will ultimately participation in research too. I have also been able to use my experience to help to promote women in science. I organised a Soapbox Science event as part of May Festival that aimed to raise the profile of female researchers in science.

Aberdeen is closer than you think. It has great links with the rest of the world. I have been able to present my research throughout Scotland and, in some occasions, overseas. I was fortunate that in September I was able to travel to a conference in South Africa. During this time I was testing the webpage that I was developing as part of my PhD, and this opportunity meant that I was able to get input and feedback from the international community that would be using my site. I then presented the results of this work at a conference in Oregon, USA the following May.”

“Aberdeen has been the perfect place to study”

“My undergraduate experience here in Aberdeen, both academically and personally, was a key motivation in me continuing to a PhD. I developed an interest in my line of research through my year’s industrial placement. I was able to identify the problem that clinical trials had with regards to recruitment, participation and retention so decided to work to find the solution. Aberdeen has been the perfect place to study. The team we have working in HSRU (Health Services Research Unit) is world class. We won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for sustained excellence in health service research, I was lucky enough to be part of the group that collected the prize at Buckingham Palace in February.

“I have a travelling fellowship funded by The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust”

“Following thesis submission, I have secured a Research Assistant role at HSRU (Health Services Research Unit). I have also been awarded a travelling fellowship funded by The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. I got funding for travel in order to research creative techniques that can be incorporated into blogging for science communication. It means that I have 6 weeks based in America, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. I will be meeting with a range of experts in science communication before returning to HSRU to begin a new role as Research Fellow.”