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The NIHR ARC OxTV and the NIHR Oxford BRC have announced the appointment of its latest group of Senior Research Fellows.

Profile picture of Sara Shaw and Esther Williamson

This year’s selection process was a coordinated effort by the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for Oxford and the Thames Valley and it's partners the NIHR Oxford BRC and NIHR Oxford Health BRC, which focuses on mental health and dementia.

The opportunities for attracting and recognising mid-career investigators who are critical to the work and success of translational research in Oxford are limited. As a step towards addressing this, the Oxford NIHR Senior Research Fellowship scheme will recognise and support individuals with the potential and trajectory to become future leaders in translational research.

The new fellows, who were selected by an expert panel, will receive an award of £15,000 for 18 months that may be used flexibly to facilitate their translational research programme and career development.

The Senior Research Fellowship programme is intended to support suitably experienced individuals to advance an independent research area which will enhance NIHR research in Oxford and strengthen future funding applications.

The seven researchers appointed as Senior Research Fellows are:

Vanessa Ferreira (Oxford BRC), BHF Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Radcliffe Department of Medicine, and Deputy Clinical Director of the Oxford Centre for Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research. She is an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust.

Nicole Stoesser (Oxford BRC), Consultant in Infection at OUH and a Clinician scientist working in the Nuffield Department of Medicine’s Modernising Medical Microbiology group. Her research focuses on infectious diseases epidemiology, particularly antimicrobial resistance.

Annina Schmid (Oxford BRC), Associate Professor in Oxford Neuroscience. She is a Specialist Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist whose research focuses pathophysiology of entrapmentneuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Sara Shaw (Oxford BRC/ARC) Associate Professor in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. Her research focuses on the organisation and development of healthcare policy and practice, including how these are understood and interpreted by patients, practitioners, professionals and policymakers.

Esther Williamson (ARC), Deputy Director of the Centre for Rehabilitation Research, based in the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences. Her research interests include the management of spinal conditions and understanding patient adherence to exercise programmes and their understanding of pain.

Nahid Zokaei (Oxford Health BRC) is a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA) in the Department of Experimental Psychology. Her research focuses on understanding memory and attention in both health and disease, including investigating the cognitive profile of individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s.

Max Taquet (Oxford Health BRC), Academic Foundation Doctor within the Department of Psychiatry. His research focuses on developing novel imaging and data sampling technologies to diagnose and characterise psychiatric disorders.

Over the next 18 months, the Senior Fellows will take part in a series of masterclasses and have the opportunity to network with other senior investigators.

The seven new cohort joined existing Senior Fellows to take part in the first masterclass of 2021. It was entitled Healthcare Leadership and Change, and led by the Oxford BRC’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr Vasiliki Kiparoglou, and Clinical Research Manager, Dr Lorna Henderson.

The session, which took place remotely, was an ideal opportunity to reflect on the management of change as so many participants had faced disruption to their normal working lives and had to rethink priorities.

The subjects covered included leadership styles and how e-leadership has developed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were able to reflect on their own experiences of leadership, to network with the other senior fellows and discuss how the BRC funding has enhanced their research.

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