Why I am so delighted to be seconded to the CLAHRC East of England – A blog by Jane Schultz

As both my children have reached the ripe old age of 3 and 5, I finally have enough head-space to think about my future career aspirations again. In my role as volunteer manager for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, I came across the CLAHRC whilst working with colleagues from a range of teams including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Cameo, Dementia, the WI initiative among others, and they all had the same positive and high regard for what the CLAHRC stands for and the people they worked with from the CLAHRC.

This was further reinforced when chatting to the CEO one day about my interest in research which started when I was doing my psychology degree. He suggested I meet with the CLAHRC Core team, which I did, and had a great first meeting and impression of them. A few months passed during which time I looked up masters and doctoral programmes, met with a few universities, explored the process of becoming an educational psychologist and spent time exploring ways into academia and research. A colleague then told me about a secondment opportunity with the CLAHRC as a senior programme support officer and I didn’t have to think twice about applying for it. I remember thinking how super the role sounded when I met Lorna initially so I really was ecstatic when I heard I was successful at interview. This was not only because of this newly reignited interest in research and evidence based solutions and decision making; I was genuinely excited to be working as part of this collaboration, who I had heard so many good things about.

I have been here for just over a week and I can honestly say it has been a fantastic start, with such a warm welcome from all the colleagues I have met so far. I have already learnt a bit about the 6 themes, health economics and some of the challenges of getting research translated into, applied and embedded in the real world.

Although my secondment is only 5 months, I hope to be able offer genuine support to the CLAHRC team, the themes and the collaboration as a whole. I would also like to increase my understanding and knowledge of managing budgets and financial systems – specifically in the collaborated remit of the CLAHRC and increase specific knowledge and understanding of collaborative working with partner organisations. I also hope to build relationships in the Research and Development Directorate, and gain some real life understanding of this exciting area of research.

Please see my profile on the CLAHRC website

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