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Budding researchers celebrate funding awards

16 July, 2012
Star

Two undergraduate students have been named as recipients of the CoR/Nuffield Foundation Radiography Undergraduate Research Bursaries.

Elizabeth Allen and Hannah Brookfield have been given funding to carry out research projects during the summer holidays.

Elizabeth has just completed her second year at the University of Salford. Having enjoyed the research project she conducted in her first year, she applied for the bursary to enable her to gain further research experience and extend her knowledge. 

Elizabeth explained: “With a focus on chest radiography, my CoR/Nuffield project will investigate a longstanding film-based radiographic rule of thumb, relating kVp, mA and time to determine whether the philosophy holds true for perceptual image quality using CR. The ‘old’ rule of thumb is ‘adding 10kVp and halving mAs give the same perceptual image quality’.”

She plans to study a variety of imaging conditions and derive effective dose (E) from a Monte Carlo mathematical model, assessing perceptual image quality using (ipsative) forced choice comparison. Elizabeth will then compare E and image quality to draw conclusions. The chest x-ray images will be generated using an anthropomorphic chest phantom with two lesions inserted into it. The phantom will be imaged over a wide range of conditions, varying SID, mAs and kVp.

The bursary will also benefit other students as Elizabeth plans to conduct her research as part of a team and will work closely with two fellow students who will help her to clarify methodological aspects and analyse and draw inferences from the data. She will be supervised by Professor Peter Hogg, who nominated her for the bursary.

Hannah Brookfield is at the end of her second year of study at Liverpool University. She applied for the grant to investigate the prevalence and effects of light beam diaphragm errors on the radiation dose received during pelvic radiography.

Hannah commented: “There are often minor discrepancies between the centre of the light beam and the actual centre of the radiation field. Variations can also exist between the area of the light beam and the area of radiation field on the surface of the skin.  At present we are unsure of both the incidence and significance of these errors and how they can affect the overall radiation dose of a pelvic radiographic examination.  By receiving this prestigious award I hope to gain valuable research experience which will help me with my final year dissertation and hopefully allow me to engage in research once qualified.”

Andrew England, Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and Project Supervisor, added: “Hannah has worked incredibly hard to secure this award. With such a tightly packed radiographic curriculum, it is extremely important that we provide research opportunities for students wishing to get involved.”

Hannah BrookfieldElizabeth Allen (far right)

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