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Department continues to strengthen professional development and career support for staff at all levels.

Johanna Cook, Sarah Tearne and Julie McLellan

Scholarships have been awarded to three departmental research staff to undertake a part-time MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care, commencing in 2015.

Clinical Trial Managers Johanna Cook and Sarah Tearne, and Medical Statistics Group Research Officer Julie McLellan, each received scholarships funded jointly by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) and the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences to undertake the 2-year Masters programme at the University of Oxford.

The programme positions students to integrate the best available research evidence with their clinical expertise and patient values, enabling them to make better informed decisions in their respective fields of healthcare.

Sarah Tearne, who manages behavioural medicine trials with the Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit, said:

“Receiving the scholarship felt like I’d won the lottery! I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to learn at such a leading institution – for me it is a big personal achievement. I did find the interview process quite daunting, to prepare I made sure I had a clear idea of how I would use the knowledge I would gain on the MSc to improve our department, along with a research idea I was hoping to develop.

“Expanding my knowledge by undertaking the MSc in EBHC is the best way for me to take the next step into research and understanding how that research can be applied to improve health care. It will allow me to contribute more to my day-to-day work as a trial manager – including the justification for future research and getting involved in developing new research ideas and grant applications. It has certainly got me thinking of lots of great ideas!”

The MSc in Evidence-Based Health Care is delivered jointly by Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences and the Department of Continuing Educations’ Continuing Professional Development Centre, in collaboration with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.

Commenting on the scholarships, Carl Heneghan, Director of the EBHC Programme and Professor of Evidence-Based Health Care, said:

“The NIHR SPCR’s investment in the professional development of research staff through these scholarships is fundamental to integrating the best available research evidence to improve and to better inform decision making in healthcare. Developing these individuals’ skills and knowledge to deliver solutions for healthcare based on evidence has never been more important as we grapple with an ageing population, emerging diseases and spiralling healthcare costs.

“The EBHC program draws on the high-quality research and teaching at the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, offering choice and flexibility during the learning experience from experts in evidence-based healthcare and active researchers in small groups. Enhanced training in evidence-based methods means the public can have faster access to better treatments while at the same time, move more rapidly to effective earlier diagnosis and treatment, and act more quickly to remove interventions that are unhelpful or harmful.”

new directions

As part of the department’s continuing investment in strengthening the professional development and career support for staff, three new training leads have also recently been appointed, two of which are new roles:

Find out more about our opportunities for clinical, part-time and continuing education.