31 Jan 2023

The event was designed to celebrate the achievements of ARC South London’s research teams and collaborators, and to create a space to share good practice and network.

Opening the event, Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft, NIHR ARC South London’s director, highlighted that this was the first time that staff from across ARC South London have been together in person since the start of the pandemic, and of the importance of meetings like this to develop the relationships that underpin the ARC’s work. He also drew attention to some of the important developments in the ARC over the last two years, including the establishment of our Public Research Panel and recruiting new public members to the ARC’s Executive and Board.

After this, there was the Know your ARC 2022 awards, judged by a panel of independent experts, and co-chaired by Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, chief executive, Health Innovation Network and Dr Jayati Das-Munshi, clinical reader in social and psychiatric epidemiology at King’s College London.

In total, there were 48 entries across nine categories – thank you to everyone who put in applications. Many congratulations to the winners who were:

Theme awards:

Communicating your research

The maternity and perinatal mental health theme for their film ‘Gestational diabetes – one prick at a time’, developed by Dr Claire Wilson, capturing the experiences of those with gestational diabetes. 

The judges said: ‘From the perspective of pure content creation for awareness raising, this is a fantastic and powerful entry’

Most innovative patient, public involvement and engagement activity

The palliative and end of life care research theme, including Dr Lisa Brighton, Professor Catherine Evans and the whole Public Involvement Strategy Group for co-developing a public involvement strategy strengthening the theme’s collaboration with diverse communities.

The judges said: ‘This was a well thought out implementation to include, innovate, involve and engage local community through mental health and major disease’.

This team is driven by inclusivity to ensure as many different voices as possible can be heard in research. This work matters in order to deliver and ensure improved palliative and end of life care for more people

Marion Sumerfield, public involvement member, palliative and end of life care theme

This work has made a real difference to the theme strategically, improving the quality of our research and strengthening links between public members and researchers

Dr Lisa Brighton, researcher in the palliative and end of life care theme

Most successful equity, diversity and inclusion activity

Dr Josephine Ocloo, senior researcher and the ARC’s equity, diversity and inclusion lead, and the ARC South London Public Research Panel for their work aimed at achieving more inclusive, diverse and community-based research and practice at the ARC.  

The judges said: ‘Working with the panel, Josephine has demonstrated a presence and expertise, with a wealth of contacts and provides many opportunities for community co-production.’

Commenting on what drives her work in this area, Dr Ocloo said: ‘The need for greater public involvement work is often driven by people who don’t have a voice, but who have some of the most pressing health and care needs and would like to be further involved in healthcare if given a chance.’

Her advice for researchers on how to better involve the public? ‘Link the goals of your research to the needs of diverse communities and ensure that inclusivity starts at the very beginning of the research and continues all the way through it.’

It’s been an absolute privilege to collaborate with the members of the ARC’s public research panel

Dr Josephine Ocloo

Dr Josephine Ocloo, senior researcher and the ARC’s equity, diversity and inclusion lead

Most successful response to the Covid-19 pandemic informed by applied research

The palliative and end of life care theme for their project, Covpall – a rapid evaluation of the Covid-19 pandemic response in palliative care.

The judges said: ‘This research resulted in briefs to inform policy and practice across Europe, and in the UK, including informing the Marie Curie UK Better End of Life 2021 report.’

Research impact

The maternity and perinatal mental health theme for their work on identifying the benefits of continuity of midwife care and their impact on national and international policy.

The judges said: ‘This is a very impressive project with a clear focus and engagement strategy. There have been multiple instances of the work being implemented into guidance and cited across key organisations.’

Professor Jane Sandall, who led this body of work, said: ‘It’s ultimately about improving health and care outcomes for women and families at the greatest risk.’

Pictured above: Dr Hannah Rayment-Jones, Mary Newburn, Professor Jane Sandall and Dr Natalie Wall (left to right)

Individual awards:

Most original research paper

Dr Ioannis Bakolis, deputy lead for the ARC’s biostatistics work, for his paper on the association between air pollution exposure and mental health service use

The judges said: ‘This is a great example of novel linkage and new research in an area which could have major impact.’

We shouldn’t just worry about the issue of localised air pollution, we should act as an organisation. We can intervene and look to support healthier neighbourhoods with better air quality. If we all do this, we can have healthier hearts, lungs and minds

Ioannis Bakolis

Dr Ioannis Bakolis

Most active contribution from a predoctoral researcher

Kaat de Backer for her work in the ARC’s maternity and perinatal mental health theme.

The judges said: ‘Kaat’s work demonstrates a clear commitment to improving outcomes for women marginalised by society who deserve equity and care. Her work is important and promising.’

Most active contribution from a postdoctoral researcher

Dr Josephine Ocloo for her research on how to make research culture and practice more inclusive, including publishing 13 journal papers and editing two book publications since 2020 with a focus on inclusivity in research with international impact in research evidence and practice.

The judges said: ‘It is admirable that Dr Josephine Ocloo has worked hard to ensure inclusivity is at the heart of health and social care research and its impact.’

Most active contribution from a member of professional services staff

Michele Harris-Tafri and Nick Sarson, communication managers at ARC South London.

The judges said: ‘This was a difficult category to judge with a number of strong submissions, but with three nominations, we’ve chosen Michele and Nick for their work leading the ARC’s communications’

Speaking with ARC South London-supported PhD students

The afternoon finished with five ARC-funded PhD scholarship students, talking with Professor Nick Sevdalis about the aims of their research. They were:

Find out more

• Read the programme and summary of award entries

View more photos from the day