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The University of Southampton
Couples HEalth Research and Intervention Studies (CHERISH)

Looking back over the first year of CHERISH...

Published: 10 December 2019
Frank, Kate and Nuala during their visit to South Africa in October 2019

The end of the year is always a time for reflection, not least when the past 12 months have involved the start of a challenging and exciting 5-year research project.

From a team of one (just Nuala) the team has grown with two Southampton-based post-doctoral research fellows joining us (and one more joining us early next year), one administrator, and our dedicated and brilliant partners at the Human Sciences Research Council and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. In addition, we have been fortunate in having a number of talented students who have gained research experience whilst supporting the work of the team.

From initial discussions and sketched ideas we arrived at a team name and a rather stylish logo - CHERISH (Couples HEalth Research and Intervention Studies). One word can never really summarise the breadth of the work we plan and the impactful results we want to achieve, but the name CHERISH manages to embrace both the person-centred approach that underpins our work whilst also giving a friendly nod to the affectionate tone of the project names used by our colleagues in South Africa (Uthando Lwethu, meaning Our Love and Igugu Lethu, Cherishing Our Relationship).

The opportunity to travel to South Africa and meet our partner teams was a significant high point of our first year. For the post-doctoral fellows it was not only their first time in South Africa, but also a marvellous opportunity to understand the diversity of SA and the differences between the partner sites in Kwa Zulu-Natal and Cape Town. Now back in the UK, we are celebrating Frank’s promotion to Senior Research Fellow and Kate’s graduation – a fantastic way to bring 2019 to a close!

As we are looking back over the year, it is a good opportunity to share the local news article that celebrated Nuala’s Global Health Professorship and the generous NIHR funding (almost £2million) that has made the project a reality.

We look forward to sharing more of our work over the coming months.

Southampton Daily Echo_Professor Nuala McGrath

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