Navigating a clinical academic career: CAHPR East Anglia 2024 conference

We had a fantastic day at our annual CAHPR East Anglia conference on 11th May. With seven different AHP professions in attendance.

We heard from three keynote speakers. Dr Peter Hartley, Post-doctoral Clinical Academic Physiotherapist, kicked off the day with his experience and insight of developing a clinical academic career. He took us on a journey through his experiences of pre-doctoral, doctoral and post-doctoral work. We also heard from Dr Catherine Gooday, a Podiatrist and the NIHR Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Lead at the Clinical Research Network (CRN) East of England. Catherine told us about her clinical academic experiences; from taking her first steps in research, completing her NIHR funded PhD through to her current lead research role. Finally, Dr Anne Killet, Associate Professor in Occupational Therapy at UEA, told us about the local fellowship opportunities through CLACEast.

Key messages from our keynote speakers included:

  • Find your motivation, interest and passion.
  • Gather good mentors and supervisors.
  • Get involved with service evaluation, audit and ongoing research to gain experience and develop skills.
  • Be resilient and don’t give up, a clinical academic career is a marathon not a sprint and rejection is part of the process.
  • The skills and knowledge from clinical academic training are transferrable.

From left to right: Keynote presenters: Dr Peter Hartley, Dr Catherine Gooday, and Dr Anne Killet.

Five AHPs presented their research work, including work in progress and results from completed projects. We heard about carer participation in exercise programmes for patients with acquired brain injury, SLT and carers’ perspectives on supporting people with fluent aphasia, findings from a realist review to inform a music therapy intervention in Dementia, and experiences of adults living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The Best Oral Presentation Prize went to Lauren Flannery, SLT, who presented her project at UEA titled “Establishing institutional-wide communication access training”.

There was a fantastic display of posters showcasing research work from local AHPs. Lynsey Spillman, Dietitian won the Best Poster Prize for her poster titled “Dietary intake & potential determinants of diet after liver transplant”.

From left to right: the Best Oral Presentation Prize awarded to Lauren Flannery and the Best Poster Prize awarded to Lynsey Spillman.

To complete the day Veronica Phillips, Librarian at Cambridge University Medical Library, delivered an interactive workshop on literature searching.

From left to right: Veronica Phillips presenting and group work for the literature searching workshop.

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