Last month, the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent Surrey and Sussex's (ARC KSS) Academy held its second, annual, Research Week to support the learning and development of applied health and social care researchers from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

More than 400 registrations were received to take part in a line-up of online learning and development events, research insight talks and presentations aimed primarily at early career researchers, PhD students and independent researchers and bringing people together from academia, and the health and social care professions with public engagement.

Focussed primarily around equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and the importance of engaging with the public when carrying out applied research, this year's Research Week included a blend of, online sessions and an in-person, whole day symposium, hosted by the University of Sussex.

An additional in-person event was also held for doctoral and post-doctoral ARC members with opportunities to widen their knowledge, understanding and networking in a round table format.

The programme included, a celebration of the outstanding examples of equality, diversity and inclusion in health and social care research, as part of a poster competition, a range of presenters from the ARC KSS themes, as well as external speakers, including:

  • Jan Walmsley, independent researcher and Danielle Garratt from Brighton and Hove Speak Out, spoke about the practicalities of researching inclusively.
  • Cavita Chapman, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at NHS England and Improvement South East, talked about her research journey and gave insights as a BME researcher and how we can better build links between inclusion and research.
  • Professor Alisoun Milne, Emeritus Professor in social gerontology and social work, University of Kent spoke about the social lens of undertaking research with older people.
  • ARC KSS Public & Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) Team, hosted a panel discussion with a panel of clinicians, researchers and members of the public about their experiences around equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Further details and links to the presentations and films that took place throughout the week can be found on the Research Week web page.

Professor Sally Kendall, Research Capacity Lead at ARC KSS, said:

"This year's research week has been another wonderful opportunity to continue engaging with our researchers and bringing people together to support their learning and development.

"I am particularly delighted to see the enthusiasm, collaboration and support we've had from everyone that took part including presenters, attendees but also Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, NIHR Clinical Research Network Kent, Surrey and Sussex and NIHR Research Design Service South East for taking part in our World Café. I'd like to thank everyone that helped make this event such a success, including the University of Sussex, who kindly hosted the in person events and the technology to make those accessible to everyone.

"We really hope that you all enjoyed the week and, if you have not already done so, please fill in our feedback form. Your comments and feedback will help us to develop new ideas and plan next year's event for your ARC-KSS"

ARC KSS Research Week 2022 - Survey (

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