Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Southampton-led internship programme awarded funding for future nurse researchers

Published: 7 May 2015

A new graduate internship programme, led by the University of Southampton, has been awarded £120,000 from Arthritis Research UK to help develop the research careers of graduate nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) in the field of rheumatology.

The governance of the programme will be overseen by Dr Catherine Bowen, who is joined by colleagues from a network of universities including Leeds, Salford, Oxford and the West of England. It aims to identify and introduce outstanding graduate nurses and AHPs to clinical academic careers in rheumatology, for the benefit of people with arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions.

Dr Bowen was involved in setting up the Arthritis Research UK podiatry graduate internships in 2006. Since that time students from the early internships have progressed significantly in their careers, taking on roles such as post-doctoral fellowships, chair positions, and even presidencies including that of the British Health Professionals in Rheumatology.

The new Arthritis Research AHP internship is aimed more widely at allied health professionals such at nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists as well podiatrists.

Building on her experience Dr Bowen will now be able to expand Southampton’s programme, making it multi-professional and multi-institutional. The internships will be targeted towards projects that are specific to the promotion of musculoskeletal health and will be closely aligned to the strategic aims of Arthritis Research UK.

Dr Bowen, podiatrist and Health Sciences Associate Professor, said: “Many new graduates just aren’t aware that clinical academic career pathways exist so the original scheme began simply to introduce graduate podiatrists to research to see what it was all about”.

“With this grant from Arthritis Research UK we want to be able to attract a new generation of young graduate stars, from the wider health professions, who will be right at the patient interface and be able to translate academic research into clinical practice.”

Jade Pullen, engagement and education manager at Arthritis Research UK, said: “Our aim is to implement a new national internship programme for nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and podiatrists to create a trained, effective clinical academic workforce that ensures people with arthritis receive the best care and advice to self-manage a range of different musculoskeletal health needs.

“We hope the internship will improve the flow of knowledge and best practice between AHPs and nurses by taking in those who are not rheumatology specialists and making them feel both confident and inspired to work in a rheumatology setting.

“Ultimately this means that patient care can benefit from supporting AHPs and nurses to learn from leading research teams, and establish their own research skills at an early stage of their clinical careers.”

Recent intern, Louis Mamode, said: “The internship provided me with the opportunity to experience first-hand what a research career would entail. Networking with top researchers within different healthcare professions was an invaluable experience for me. The internship presented different pathways which I had not previously encountered as a career path. ”

The internship comprises an intensive four day research training programme, eight week research placement, a final dissemination day and post internship mentoring.

Interns on the programme are exposed to world-leading professors, PhD students and experienced clinical academics. Each year group is also encouraged to develop a peer network, which helps form collaborations for future careers.

Notes for editors

About Arthritis Research UK

Arthritis Research UK is the charity dedicated to stopping the devastating impact that arthritis has on people’s lives. Everything that we do is focused on taking the pain away and keeping people active. Our remit covers all conditions which affect the joints, bones and muscles including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and osteoporosis. We fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis, provide information on how to maintain healthy joints and bones and to live well with arthritis. We also champion the cause, influence policy change and work in partnership with others to achieve our aims. We depend on public support and the generosity of our donors to keep doing this vital work.


Privacy Settings