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Case study: Your Path In Research - Fenella Johnson, Research Administrator and Champion, North Devon Hospital

Case Study: Fenella Johnson

Fenella Johnson is a Research Administrator and Research Champion at North Devon Hospital, part of Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Here she talks about how no two days are the same in research and why she thinks health and care research is vital.


Q: How did you become involved in health and care research?

A: During my degree, I developed a keen interest in research and knew I wanted to pursue this as my career. As I approached the end of my studies, I made applications to health and science organisations in order to gain experience in the field and learn more about each stage of the research process. My work placement and subsequent employment within the R&D team at RDUH reinforced my passion for research and enabled me to progress within the role.


Q: Why did you get involved in research?

A: I find research fascinating! It is exciting to know that the work that we do in research is making a positive impact on health and healthcare for current and future generations.


Q: What do you enjoy about working in health and care research?

A: It might be a bit of a cliche, but no two days are the same in research. There are always new studies being opened and new things to learn.


Q: How can research benefit/add to your career?

A: Research allows you to stay up to date on the most current knowledge surrounding health and healthcare, informing new treatments, diagnostic methods and therapies. It allows you to continue learning and working towards better outcomes for patients.


Q: Why do you think health and care research is important?

A: Without research, health and healthcare would not move forward. There would be no new treatments or diagnostic tools, no information on the safety or efficacy of particular drugs or therapies, and no advancements in the prevention of disease. Research is vital, for everyone.


Q: What are your hopes for your career in research?

A: I hope to continue progressing within my research career, and to further my knowledge of the delivery of research in health and care settings.


Q: Why is it important more people become involved in delivering health and care research?

A: The more people involved in research, the greater impact can be made on the health of the population.


Q: What impacts have you seen research make in health and care?

A: I have seen new treatments and therapies tested and developed that have the potential to make a huge positive impact on patients, now and in the future. Research continues to move healthcare forward and I am excited to see how it progresses in the future.


Q: What would you say to someone thinking of starting a career in research?

A: Get involved in any way you can, whether it is working directly within the research team, or offering to support with specific studies in a clinical setting - there are many different ways to be a part of research.