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

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.

Focussed primarily on the theme of 'wider collaboration and exploring new possibilities in 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 Kent.

An additional in-person event was also held for doctoral, post-doctoral and research fellows funded by ARC KSS, with opportunities to widen their knowledge, understanding and networking in a round table format. This included talks and an interactive activity on reaching out from community organisations: Bridging Change; Diversity Resource International: Ethnic Minorities in Canterbury; and Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum.                  

The programme included, a celebration of the outstanding examples of excellence in the contribution of research through collaboration, as part of a poster competition, a range of presenters from the ARC KSS themes, as well as external speakers, including:

  • Gary Bourlet from Learning Disability England, who spoke about the Good Lives framework and how research is important to Good Lives for people with learning disabilities.

  • Niall Dickson CBE, Chair, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, gave a keynote speech on ‘75 years on – can the NHS deliver or is it in terminal decline.

  • Dr David Whiting, Deputy Director of Public Health, Medway Council and Director of NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC), discussed the development and progress of the NIHR HDRC Medway and its role in undertaking collaborative research that will inform and improve the health and well-being of people across Medway.      

  • Sarah Thompson, Programme Development Grants (PDG) commissioning lead, NIHR and Dr Lisa Klaourakis, Programme Manager, NIHR spoke about bringing research together in a programmatic way.

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 and attendees. I'd like to thank everyone that helped make this event such a success, including the University of Kent, who kindly hosted the in-person event 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."

ARC KSS Research Week 2023 - Survey

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