Dr Jane Minton on supporting Infection Early Career Researchers

Dr Jane Minton on supporting Infection Early Career Researchers


So today’s event is for early career
researchers in infection. So first of all I would just like to explain what I mean early career researcher is. That is people who are actually training in our
specialty, but it’s also people who have recently become consultants, and even for people who’ve been consultants a long time, who have decided that they would
like to start doing research. So it’s quite a broad group of people really. So
the infection specialties that also is quite a broad area, so there are people
who are working in infectious diseases in microbiology who are more laboratory
orientated and in sexually transmitted infections as well.
So we have to provide information for all those people to try and help
them know how to develop their research career. Today we’ve provided sessions
on a lot of different areas within research, so some of some areas which
perhaps not all the delegates were familiar with. So we had a good talk on
taking part in industry studies, so that’s a relatively small part of our
portfolio but there’s lots of opportunities there. Our industry lead,
Andy Ustianowski explained very clearly what benefits taking part in
industry studies can bring. Our diagnostics lead, Matthew Diggle, was talking about
diagnostics and how those are going to be a really important research area in
the future to help speed up the time to diagnosis, and also help with
making sure that we use antibiotics wisely. Within the meeting we had some
breakout groups for the trainees from different parts of the country just
to listen to see what barriers they were experiencing in getting started with
research and doing research, so we hope that during the day the
presentations answer some of those questions but they also came up with a
lot of questions, a lot of good ideas actually, which we can take back to the
national specialty group and the NIHR in general and see whether we can create
some initiatives to help them. So for example, a training network with us
within the specialty. Ideas for mentorship, particularly where trained
trainees are working relatively research isolated situations. Looking towards the
future it’s really important that research in healthcare including
infection goes on, so we have to be preparing now by training and supporting
developing people, who are interested in doing research because it is so
important right across all our specialties, that all our patients get
the opportunity to take part in research. So often patients within infections perhaps don’t have the same opportunity to take part
in research as some of the other specialties. So sometimes it’s because
they’re very very ill and they’ve come into this emergency, sometimes it can be
because there is some stigma attached to some of the diagnosis, so often the setup
for taking part in a research study is not so easily available, so these are
some problems that we have to work out how to get round and it’s important to
involve the trainees in these.

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