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What do funders want, and why?

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller, an MRC-funded PhD student at the University of Manchester, reflects on how a three-month Policy Internship with the MRC has changed her appreciation of Researchfish and the work done by research funding bodies.

Before I began my three-month internship at the MRC, my idea of the role of research funders was pretty simple. They have the money. We (the researchers) must get the money from them. The end.  Actually working in the head office of one of the main funding bodies of medical research gave me a slightly more nuanced insight.

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For primates and people: The benefits of researching stress in non-human primates

Jennah Green, a PhD student from Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience and based at the MRC’s Centre for Macaques, is trying to develop new ways to assess the psychological wellbeing of rhesus macaques in research environments. Here she explains why it is so important to monitor monkeys’ welfare, and how improving animal welfare can lead to better science.

Macaques and a staff member at the MRC Centre for Macaques

Macaques and a staff member at the MRC Centre for Macaques

My interest in captive primate welfare was first sparked when I became involved in the Monkey Sanctuary in Cornwall. As I helped to build enrichment equipment for the rescued monkeys’ enclosures, I learnt about their varying psychological states, and was inspired to work on improving the lives of animals in captivity.

I’m now bringing my background in conservation into studying how we can use animal behaviour to interpret and assess the psychological wellbeing of these animals, particularly primates. Read more

Working life: Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry Dr Emmert Roberts

Career in brief:

  • Medical school at the University of Oxford
  • Academic foundation doctor for two years at the Bristol Royal Infirmary
  • Clinical Research Fellow at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, Bermuda
  • Research Fellow at the National Clinical Guideline Centre, London
  • Academic Clinical Fellow and Speciality Training (currently year 4) in General Adult Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital, London

 

Addiction is an area where you can offer genuinely holistic care to patients. Patients with addiction disorders are often marginalised by society and within the health service. Being able to give good quality care to people who would otherwise struggle to access it is exceptionally rewarding. Patient care includes on-site sexual health, drug, alcohol and medical services.

At the moment I dedicate three days a week to clinical time and two days to research but when my MRC Addiction Research Clinical Fellowship starts I’ll be able to dedicate more time to research. Working at a national specialist service at the Maudsley Hospital, I see patients with depression and bipolar disorder whose treatment hasn’t worked. Read more