A diagnostic radiographer has received a £70,000 grant to develop research skills and prepare a PhD proposal.
Scott Robertson at the Royal Marsden, Chelsea, was awarded a Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship by the hospital's charity. The grant is for up to two years and helps AHP staff to build the foundations for a clinical academic career.
The funding will cover half of Scott's salary, allowing him to complete research training and spend time researching his chosen subject. Scott plans to submit a PhD proposal to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for full study funding.
He is being mentored by Dr Andrew England through the College of Radiographers' Formal Radiographer Research Mentorship scheme(FoRRM2), which Scott joined last year. Andrew is a senior lecturer in radiography at Salford University and he has helped Scott to develop radiographer led research in his department at the Royal Marsden.
"Being part of FoRRM2 has shown the research leads at the Royal Marsden that I am fully supported in what I do, and it has helped to raise the role of radiographers in research in the trust," Scott said.
"My study will look at the extent of compassion fatigue and emotional exhaustion in diagnostic radiographers working in oncology. I am also planning to look at the role of psychological support offered to staff and to see how well this meets the needs of radiographers.
"I have completed a small study in my own department on this issue, which is raising the profile of diagnostic radiography within the trust."
The Royal Marsden grants five research fellowships a year to AHPs and nursing staff but Scott is the first radiographer to receive the grant.
"I will be able to focus on my research and maintain an element of my clinical work," Scott said. "It allows my department to backfill my role, ensuring patient care is maintained."
Scott is being supervised over the two-years by Dr Helen McNair, lead research radiographer in radiotherapy at the Royal Marsden.