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Spotlight: Acting Office Manager Lauren King

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CRN South London’s Acting Office Manager, Lauren King, talks about her pride in supporting health and social care research and how the Network is a home away from home. Lauren was recently nominated for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Operating Officer’s Award.

The aim of this monthly spotlight blog series is to celebrate, highlight, educate and inform the public about the diverse range of people who support vital research studies from within our region. We are proud of everyone who plays their part in contributing to improving the health of the population.

What do you do?

My role involves operating as a personal assistant to both our Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Operating Officer, line managing the administration team and the day-to-day running of the office, such as helping to troubleshoot any IT or equipment issues. I minute high-level meetings and some of our specialty meetings, as well as having oversight of invoices, contracts and payments.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a warm-hearted person who cares about others. I work closely with all of the teams and do my best to help out my colleagues. The Network is very much like a family. The office is a home away from home, and it is genuinely a delight to be able to catch up with my colleagues again.

Why did you join CRN South London?

A friend, working within Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, saw the job advert and encouraged me to apply for the role. I didn’t know anything about research or the role of the NIHR going into the interview process. I was called a couple of days after my interview and was offered the job. Over time, I have worked my way up into the Acting Office Manager position, and would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past five years.

What are you interested in?

My interests include writing, crafts and gaming. It is nice to be able to wind down with a narrative driven game such as Assassin’s Creed or get lost in a creative project.

Why are you involved in research?

The work is quite rewarding. I’m not involved at site level, but we do help to support the people on the ground who are delivering high quality health and social care research for the people of south London. It is great to be able to play my part in helping our researchers and their teams to change lives for the better.

Why is research important?

Without research, the country would be in a very different position in terms of the pandemic to where we are at the moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has really raised the public profile of research, and it has been nice to see the researchers get the recognition they truly deserve. Therefore, I’d encourage anyone to take part in a clinical trial as you’re helping researchers make the world a better place. Visit the NIHR’s Be Part of Research website, Join Dementia Research service and the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry to find out more about the opportunities that are available.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.