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Treialon Cymru

Treialon Cymru Associate Programme

21 November 2023

We are pleased to say that the Treialon Cymru Associate Programme is now well and truly up and running, with our first cohort of six Associates paired up with mentors and with plans in place for what they want to work on over their time with the programme.

Welcome to our Associates

  • Amy Bendell, a Physiotherapist based in School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University  who is being mentored by Rachel Lowe
  • Donna Day, a Counsellor with Counselling Hub Wales,  who is being mentored by Kim Smallman
  • Emily Roberts-Tyler, a lecturer with School of Education, Bangor University who is being mentored by Elinor Coulman
  • Faith Martin, a Clinical Psychologist in School of Psychology Cardiff University,  who is being mentored by Yvonne Moriarty
  • Jordan Evans, a Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant in Cardiff and Vale UHB   who is being mentored by Dave Gillespie
  • Judith White, an NHS Researcher at the Centre for Healthcare Evaluation, Device Assessment and Research (CEDAR),  Cardiff & Vale UHB who is being mentored by Cheney Drew

This group come from a diverse range of backgrounds, across specialties including clinical practice and research in health and education settings. Each has tailored their  mentoring plan to fit with what is possible in their current workplan and also reflects a broad sweep of what the programme can offer: Shadowing the process of research study development and delivery, taking time with different members of the team to understand their roles, or taking a deep dive into the governance structures underpinning trial conduct. For some this is an opportunity to enhance their work on a particular research application for funding, whilst for others the aim is to learn about several areas of research practice with a view to integrating research into their career path in the future. For us in the Centre for Trials Research (CTR) it is a great opportunity to make connections with new colleagues and build collaborations across Wales that will make the research community even stronger.

We are keen to receive applications for the next cohort to start in April 2024 (closing date for this is 12thJanuary)  so please have a look at the website for more information and the very brief application form and do get in touch with me if you have any questions at all – Sue Channon

Want to know more about the group? Here are their brief biographies:

Amy Bendall

I am a chartered physiotherapist and a senior lecturer in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University.  My interests are in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy, particularly in pre-habilitation and enhanced recovery after surgery. I teach across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on topics including cardiorespiratory care, qualitative research, and professional and personal development.

In April 2022, I was awarded a RCBC First into Research fellowship to explore the experiences of participating in pre-habilitation programmes among people living with and beyond cancer. The findings present the preferences, motivations, barriers and enablers to participation in pre-habilitation programmes, to support both future research priorities in this area, and service design both now and in the post-pandemic recovery.

I am very pleased to have obtained a place on the Treialon Cymru Associate Members Programme and will be using the opportunities provided through the scheme to support me in compiling an application for a Doctoral Fellowship.

Donna Day 

I am a counsellor, a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), working in private practice in South Wales.  I  work with children, young people and adults who experience mental health concerns, providing online support, individual and group work.

My work is very much influenced by research and I believe that having a vast amount of therapists in the private practice network is a good opportunity lost. I have always been interested in research but I found within private practice that it is difficult to gain support and funding unless you are doing a course or connected with a University or NHS research department. My aim is to develop a research department to help influence working between NHS and private practice, supporting mental health for all ages. I hope through participating in the scheme to build a network with others of similar field and to expand on research knowledge and opportunities.

Emily Roberts-Tyler

I am a lecturer and researcher at the Collaborative Institute for Education Research Evidence and Impact (CIEREI), in the School of Education at Bangor University.

Much of my research to date has explored how we can develop, pilot, refine, and robustly evaluate educational interventions in school settings. A significant element of this work has been focused on reducing the existing inequities when it comes to education and the evidence-base for educational interventions for children and adolescents with learning disabilities, specifically in relation to increasing the use of robust evaluations to inform practice. Pilot work I have conducted as Principal Investigator in this field over the past decade culminated in a grant of £411,000 being awarded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) in 2019, to conduct a large-scale cluster Randomised Controlled Trial of a reading intervention with 55 special schools in England. This was the first special school project funded by the EEF and represents the largest study of its kind we are aware of in special school contexts.

Having been involved in educational research and trials in an educational context for the past 10 years, I have recently been granted a sabbatical to allow me to explore the boundary between education and social care, focusing on developing educational key skills with adults with learning disabilities in social care to increase independence and quality of life.

Participating in the Associates Scheme alongside this sabbatical will significantly enhance my professional learning and development in the field of health and social care, and I very much look forward to learning more about how health and social care trials are conducted, in what ways this differs from my previous experience in school contexts, and how challenges are navigated through the various stages of a trial.

Faith Martin

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and an NHS Clinical Psychologist.  I am particularly interested in mental health interventions and I have been involved in intervention development for self-management interventions. I hope to develop to be a principal investigator on trials relating to improving psychological wellbeing, currently focussing on parents of young people with mental health difficulties. I want to gain expertise in developing feasibility and full trials. I am particularly keen to have a more detailed understanding of the processes used within running clinical trials as well as improving my methodological knowledge relating to their design. I’d like to form stronger links with people involved in trials to help me have a research community to learn from and share with.

Jordan Evans

I am a Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.

I currently hold a Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) Research Time Award (RTA).  I am privileged to be among the first cohort of members for the Treialon Associates scheme.  I believe the scheme will complement and enhance my professional development as a clinical academic in conjunction with the RTA.

My research interests cover all aspects of paediatric emergency care, with a particular interest in sepsis and serious infection recognition in emergency care settings.

There are currently few clinical academics within the field of Acute and Emergency Paediatrics in Wales. I aspire to cultivate the skills and expertise necessary to develop and deliver studies in this area within Wales.  In order to achieve this aim gaining an in-depth understanding of the design, development, and implementation of large-scale trials is of paramount importance.  The Treialon Associates scheme provides an exceptional opportunity to broaden my knowledge and proficiency through the support of experts within the CTR.  I anticipate that this program will equip me with the necessary skills and experience to progress my journey towards conducting paediatric emergency care trials in Wales, and my ambition to ultimately enhance the healthcare outcomes of paediatric patients throughout the country.

Judith White

I am an NHS Principal Researcher at the Centre for Healthcare Evaluation, Device Assessment and Research (CEDAR) which is part of Cardiff & Vale UHB. I manage CEDAR’s portfolio of research studies and I’m the head of the CEDAR Research Management Group. CEDAR’s research includes clinical trials, feasibility studies, qualitative work, and process evaluations. My area of expertise is patient-focused and value-based research on medical devices and interventional procedures. I lecture to undergraduate students in study design and protocol development, and I’m trained in Good Clinical Practice and the regulatory aspects of medical device trials.

I enjoy my job enormously and I’m passionate about helping NHS staff deliver high quality, impactful, people-centred research. Sitting within a fairly small team, it can be challenging to access expertise, get hands-on experience with new study types and methodologies, and to keep up to date with changes in the research governance landscape. The Associate Scheme is an ideal opportunity to observe first-hand how a large trials unit works. I would be particularly interested in learning more about quality assurance and regulatory matters, data management, trial monitoring, and managing the resources to deliver portfolio of diverse studies. The scheme will hopefully grow the community of NHS and academic researchers within Cardiff, and Wales, to share ideas and learn from one another.

Treialon Cymru is an initiative funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales to provide opportunities across the whole of Wales for people to engage with trials. It is currently being run by the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University.

We are keen to receive applications for the next cohort to start in April 2024 (closing date for this is 12thJanuary)  so please have a look at the website for more information and the very brief application form and do get in touch with me if you have any questions at all – Sue Channon