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UHNM midwife secures prestigious place on National Senior Research Leader Programme (1)

A University Hospitals of North Midlands researcher has become one of just 36 people nationally to scoop a place on a prestigious scheme to drive forward research activity and an evidence-based culture in clinical practice.

Dr Alison Cooke, UHNM Assistant Director of Nursing, will take up the role as Senior Research Leader for the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) after securing funding to help deliver the programme to build an environment of research-led care and evidence-based practice.

In addition to her role at UHNM as the lead for the Centre of Nursing, Midwifery and AHP Research and Education Excellence (CeNREE), Alison will spend two days per week fostering a culture of research and innovation and informing research priorities within both UHNM and the regional health economy.

She will engage with and provide advice to the Chief Scientific Adviser and the Department of Health and Social Care’s Science, Research and Evidence Directorate on key activities, programmes and consultations and provide formal leadership within the NIHR at regional and national levels.

At UHNM, Alison supports nurses and midwives to engage with research through journal clubs, peer review, rapid reviews, working with the R&I team, mentoring research-focused students and developing their own research careers. As a NIHR Senior Research Leader, Alison will aim to roll-out CeNREE spokes and hubs across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to encourage multi-centre opportunities.

She will also be able to influence a change nationally in mindset that research should be part of everyday nursing/midwifery practice and encourage opportunities for clinical academic roles and protected time for research.

Today she said: "I feel so privileged to have received the Senior Research Leader award from NIHR. It means so much to have the strength of the NIHR behind my role in supporting the embedding of research in clinical practice and to enable nurses and midwives to engage with and lead research."

Ann-Marie Riley UHNM Chief Nurse said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Alison has been selected for the prestigious role to help influence change and develop a culture of research among not just our nurses, midwives and AHPs at UHNM but nationally also.”