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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Recuitment opens for new graduate rheumatology research internships

Published: 21 January 2016
Dr Cathy Bowen
Dr Cathy Bowen

Recruitment has opened for a new Arthritis Research UK funded graduate internship programme to help develop the research careers of graduate nurses and allied health professionals (AHPs) in the field of rheumatology.

The governance of the £120,000 programme will be overseen by Dr Catherine Bowen at the University of Southampton, who is joined by colleagues from a network of universities including Leeds, Salford, Oxford, University of the West of England, Bristol. 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.

The internship provides new graduates of podiatry, nursing, occupational health and physiotherapy the opportunity to be a part of leading research into musculoskeletal health, underpinned by principles in health promotion and public health.

It includes an intensive four day research training programme, eight week research placement, a final dissemination day and post internship mentoring. Each year group is also encouraged to develop a peer network, which helps form collaborations for future careers. Although unpaid, interns will receive £1,000 towards costs.

Jade Pullen, engagement and education manager at Arthritis Research UK, said:

“We aim to create a trained, effective clinical academic workforce who are able to give people with arthritis the best care and advice to self-manage a range of different musculoskeletal health needs.

This is a great opportunity for participants to be exposed at an early stage of their clinical careers to world-leading professors, PhD students and experienced clinical academics. We want to encourage graduate AHPs and nurses to establish their own research skills, feel confident and inspired to work in a rheumatology setting, and join us in ensuring direct patient benefit from this flow of knowledge.”

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.

Building on her experience, Dr Bowen has expanded Southampton’s programme, making it multi-professional and multi-institutional. The internships are 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:

“With this grant from Arthritis Research UK we want 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.”

Recent intern, Louis Mamode, said:

“The internship provided me with the opportunity to experience first-hand what being 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. ”

Applications are now open and close on Friday 11th March 2016 (17:00).

For more information and how to apply, students must contact Mary Fry (MSc) Programme Co-ordinator or call 02380 594023.

Interview dates will commence on Thursday 21st April 2016 and if successful, the scheme will run from 4th July 2016- 26th August 2016.

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