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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Justine's Research Story

Justine's Research Story

Justine Smith says...

"I love hearing people’s thoughts on what could be improved and helping to shape ideas into something that is deliverable and will answer a question.".

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How did you get started in research/what inspired you?

I enjoyed doing a research project as part of my biomedical science degree, and was always interested in how medicine saves peoples lives. My first job out of university was in a research lab in the NHS, but I also went onto the wards and into clinics to set up tests and to take samples from patients. I enjoyed the patient side more and got involved in the many multi-disciplinary research projects that were ran in the department. This inspired me to want to be a part of improving people’s quality of life.

What do you enjoy about research?

I love hearing people’s thoughts on what could be improved and helping to shape ideas into something that is deliverable and will answer a question. Research is so diverse and my role even more so, which I enjoy.  I love learning about new conditions and services, and meeting the amazing people who are involved in research – staff and the public.

What training and support have you found most valuable in your career?

My degree set me up well to work in clinical research, but learning how things work comes from the people around you. Good clinical practice training gave me standards to work by and it now provides so many practical ideas too. I did a post graduate diploma in clinical research, which gave me the knowledge to set-up and run global clinical trials.  I have a post graduate diploma in business administration and management which has helped me to progress in leadership roles.  I love learning new skills from experts whom I work with, be they staff or the public. I have learned so much from listening to people’s experience and watching them work.

What people/organisations did you get in touch with to help you?

I generally network widely to find people who are working in similar areas, so that I can ask them for advice and look for opportunities to work together.  This can be people across the NIHR platforms, hospitals (many departments) and GP practices, universities, voluntary sector organisations, research volunteers, other organisations with an interest in research.

Justine Smith's top 3 tips

Think about what needs to be improved in the work that you do – could the service run better, is the staffing right, does the service meet the needs of the users?

Look into the toolkits and funding streams

Get in touch with Yitka Graham or I with your ideas

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