One of our priorities is to build research capacity in the hearing sciences. We provide a supportive environment for mentoring and developing research leaders of the future.
Our PhD students benefit from training opportunities available through our funders, the National Institute for Hearing Research and internally with our partners. We also encourage our students to take a lead in forging links with students in our partner organisation, the Medical Research Council Institute for Hearing Research. In addition, we are contributing to developing a clinical workforce with the capacity to be 'research involved'.
To date, within the current funding period, 7 students have completed their PhDs with us, with a further 9 currently ongoing. Five of our PhD students are qualified audiologists. The following highlights some examples of our staff's contribution to training and successes of our students.
Nottingham BRU hosted European training school on systematic reviews
The TINNET European network includes a group that is collectively working on a systematic review of the outcome measures that have been used in clinical trials of tinnitus. Tinnitus experts from Belgium, Germany and the UK gathered for a three-day course led by Professor Deborah Hall and PhD student Dean Thompson in May 2015.
For more details see: http://tinnet.tinnitusresearch.net/index.php/research/training-schools.html
Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit contributed to Royal Society of Medicine event
Our unit Director, Professor Deborah Hall and Associate Professor Doug Hartley (Research Lead of the Multisensory Brain Laboratory) contributed to a Royal Society of Medicine event on 1st May 2015. This was one of five such events held by the Society every year to educate clinicians trained (or in training) in the field of disorders and conditions of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT) region, and related areas of the head and neck. The events educate clinicians on the latest research to help support clinical practice.
The event on focused on the latest advances in imaging of the auditory (hearing) system. Prof Hall presented on imaging techniques for tinnitus, while Associate Prof Hartley talked about near infrared spectroscopy. For more details, visit the Royal Society of Medicine website.
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Infrastructure Doctoral Training Camp
This is an annual event for NIHR-funded trainees. At the 2015 camp, students had to develop a communications plan for a completed research study. Venessa Vas won an award for best press release. At the 2014 camp, Kathryn Fackrell was one of three joint winners of the Poster Prize and Eithne Heffernan was a member of the team who took first prize for 'Best Group PPI Application'.
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Infrastructure Doctoral Training Exchange Scheme
PhD student Kate Greenwell, has won funding to take part in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Infrastructure Doctoral Training Exchange Scheme. In October, Kate will start a placement at the NIHR School for Primary Care Research at the University of Southampton. Here, she will collaborate with the team to develop and evaluate an online programme that will help people with tinnitus to manage and cope with their condition
The Infrastructure Doctoral Training Exchange (IDTE) Scheme was launched in 2013 and allows doctoral trainees supported by NIHR to spend time in other parts of the infrastructure to network, train in a specific technique or collaborate with other researchers/specialists in their topic area. The scheme is specifically designed to optimise and enhance the trainees’ experience of undertaking a PhD/MD as well as their CVs.
University of Nottingham prizes
Third year NIHR-funded student, Kathryn Fackrell, received the 2015 Dean Moore fellowship award for her research excellence and contribution to the tinnitus community. Professor Deborah Hall (supervisor) said: “It's a joy to work with Kathryn, she’s a natural leader and will have a wonderful career in academia.”
In 2015, Lucy Handscomb and Caroline Wilson won prizes for best presentation and impact statement, respectively, at the University of Nottingham’s Postgraduate Students Forum.
Access to Understanding Competition
Access to Understanding promotes clear communication of biomedical research findings to the public. The initiative’s international competition challenges early-career scientists to write a concise, balanced summary of one of a range of pre-selected research articles.
PhD student, Carly Lawler, entered this year’s competition, with her summary of an article on a potential drug treatment for tinnitus. This article had been selected by the charity Action on Hearing Loss.
Carly’s entry was judged as the best summary for this research article, and was short-listed in the top 12 out of over 300 entries.
Otorhinolaryngological Research (ORS) Society Award
Through our partnerships and collaborations, we are becoming recognised for our work exploring potential new treatments for glue ear (Otitis Media with Effusion), a leading cause of hearing impairment in children.
In 2014, The Otorhinolaryngological Research (ORS) Society awarded prizes to two of our students. ENT Registrar Miss Emma Hoskison, won the prestigious Xomed-Treace Prize. While Katie Belfield was awarded the Junior Presenter’s prize.
Marie and Jack Shapiro prize from the British Tinnitus Association
Kathryn Fackrell’s research paper on a study which evaluated online resources used by GPs to treat patients with tinnitus won the 2013 Marie and Jack Shapiro prize by the British Tinnitus Association.
The Marie and Jack Shapiro prize is given for the published research paper by a UK-based author that is most likely to result in improved treatment or public awareness of tinnitus. An annual award, it is intended to encourage researchers, public communicators and others to develop an interest in tinnitus and to recognise their efforts.
British Academy of Audiology conference prizes
Laura won “Best Research Poster” for her poster entitled “Valuing the health of individuals with a single-sided deafness”, while Eithne won “Best Clinical Poster” for her poster entitled “A Qualitative Approach to Conceptualising the Psychosocial Experiences of Adults with Mild-Moderate Hearing Loss”. For more details, go to our news item.