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OUH nurses chosen for national research leadership programme


Two nurses from Oxford University Hospitals have been appointed to a national programme aimed at fostering a culture of research amongst nurses and midwives.

Dr Louise Strickland and Dr Clair Merriman were appointed to the National Institute of Health and Care Research's (NIHR) Senior Research Leader Programme for nurses and midwives. The three-year programme helps nurses and midwives to utilise their research leadership and networking skills at a local, regional and national level in order to embed a research-active culture amongst nurses and midwives in their organisations and beyond.

They are part of the second cohort of nurses and midwives to join the programme. OUH's Director of Nursing and Midwifery Research and Innovation, Professor Helen Walthall, was among the first group of appointments last year.

All three are part of OUH's Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals Research and Innovation Leadership team, which is supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and which aims to support nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) to develop their careers in research.

Under the Senior Research Leadership scheme, the NIHR pay the Trust to second the successful nurses to the programme for two days a week.

Dr Merriman said: "I am delighted to be part of the second cohort on this programme and I am looking forward to continuing to support nursing and midwifery research capacity at OUH whilst starting my own national research leadership journey."

Dr Strickland said: "I am thrilled to be given this personal award from the NIHR. This will allow me to work at a regional and national level with other nursing and midwifery researchers and research leaders in England. It will also provide resources to continue work supporting our growing capacity and capability building infrastructure of NMAHP research in the Trust."

Professor Walthall added: "Louise and Clair have demonstrated their passion and expertise in leading research projects, as well as being outstanding mentors and role models for the growing number of NMAHPs at OUH wanting to embark on a career in research – often alongside their clinical work to improve outcomes for patients.

"Louise and Clair have played an important role in encouraging and embedding a culture of research among NMAHPs at OUH, and it's exciting for them and for their colleagues at OUH to see them being able to influence NMAHP research beyond Oxford."

Pictured: Dr Clair Merriman, left, and Dr Louise Strickland