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Spotlight: Lead Facilitator Francesca Temple-Brown

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CRN South London’s Lead Facilitator Francesca Temple-Brown shares her enthusiasm for working in research and desire to help future patients.

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?

I’m a Lead Research Facilitator working in the Study Support Service team. I support a range of specialties, such as cardiovascular, stroke, diabetes, mental health and neurology to name just a few. We provide support throughout the study life cycle. We help researchers and their teams with a whole range of services from costings and grant advice to site identification and amendment support.

What do you enjoy the most about this role? 

I did a Psychology degree at university, and part of the course focused on neurological disorders and mental health. This knowledge has really helped me to understand the studies I am supporting in more detail, which has allowed me to provide better support. I like being able to help people as well. Even if it’s just by doing something small, for them it might be a big deal.

How would you describe yourself?

I moved to London about two years ago with my partner and started this job about eight months ago. I’m quite outgoing; I like to talk to lots of different people. I’m very sporty, I play netball about three times a week and go to the gym. I really enjoy socialising, going to the theatre and going out for meals.

Why did you join CRN South London?

I used to work on commercial studies at CRN North West London. I learned a lot about the NIHR and how we work together as networks across England, but I felt that I needed more variety. This job has allowed me to understand what goes on with non-commercial studies. South London has a lot of mental health and cardiovascular studies. That’s something I was really interested in before, so I feel very lucky that I get to support the work that is going on in these areas.

What are you interested in?

My partner and I enjoy watching rugby and doing athletics, as well as other sports, and take every opportunity to play as much sport as we can. I really like baking, so it’s a bit of a shame that working from home means that I can’t bring a lot of stuff into work, which I probably would do if we were in the office. My interests also include art, drawing, painting and reading.

Why are you involved in research?

I like helping others and enjoy the fact that my work has a purpose, because the Study Support Service plays a crucial role in supporting vital research that can lead to the discovery of new medicines and treatments for future generations. 

Why is research important? 

Knowledge is definitely power and key in any development. With research, we are helping future patients. Also, it allows patients access to medicines they wouldn’t normally have access to, especially if they come from different countries or if the drugs are really expensive. I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in taking part and making a difference to visit the NIHR’s Be Part of Research websiteJoin 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.