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CoR Doctoral Fellowships announced

23 September, 2019
Terri Gilleece and Emily Skelton
Terri Gilleece (left) and Emily Skelton

Congratulations to Terri Gilleece, a lecturer at the School of Health Sciences at Ulster University and Emily Skelton, research sonographer, King’s College London, who have been awarded this year’s College of Radiographers (CoR) doctoral fellowships.

The Fellowships of up to £25,000 each, funded by The College of Radiographers and CoRIPS, are awarded annually to two Society members to undertake doctoral level research.

Making a difference
Terri, whose study is looking at the impact of prostate cancer on the female partners of men who have been treated for the condition, said, “I was really surprised that I had been successful. The panel was made up of very eminent people in the field of radiography and their belief in what I am trying to do means a great deal to me. I want to make a difference to someone; that can sound a bit trite but I think that is what motivates us in this profession.”

Terri began her study back in 2015 when two women approached her to ask about information on how they should be helping their husbands and whether there was any support for them.

She said, “I realised at that stage that society often assumes that spouses and partners will provide both practical and emotional support to those on a cancer journey but with little to no assistance to guide them on their way. Although I am concentrating on the partners and wives of prostate cancer survivors, the study resonates beyond that specific cancer.

“I would certainly urge others to apply for any of the awards that the College offer. There is encouragement and support along the way and a fantastic feeling of achievement at the end of the process.”

Proud to represent my profession
Emily’s doctoral research will explore the effect of antenatal imaging (ultrasound and MRI) on maternal and paternal-fetal attachment (bonding). She hopes that her project will provide unique insights for radiographers/sonographers into parental experiences of antenatal imaging services and support the ongoing delivery of person-centred care.

This work will also promote the importance of antenatal imaging in the development of quality parental-fetal attachment, to enhance infant quality of life as well as ease the transition into parenthood for mothers and fathers.

“When I found out that I had been successful it was a real mix of feelings; surprise, excitement, mild terror…but mostly I felt overwhelmingly proud to be given the opportunity to carry out my research with the support of the SoR, and to represent my profession," Emily said.

“The Fellowship award is very competitive, but the support that the SoR offers during the application process is invaluable. I would encourage any radiographer or sonographer with an interest in research to get in contact with a professional officer to discuss a potential application.”

Both Terri and Emily will be using their grants towards salary backfill so that they can take time out to study, as well as for university fees, and Terri hopes to use some of the money disseminate the final findings of her study at a conference.

Dr Rachel Harris, the SCoR's professional and education manager and research lead, said, “Many congratulations to Terri and Emily, both very deserved winners in an extremely competitive application process.

"Both candidates were of an exceptional standard and their studies will provide important evidence to inform future patient care and service delivery, as well as add to the ever growing evidence-base for radiographers’ clinical practice. Well done!”

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