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Your path in research: Lauren's story

Lauren Hewitt is a Scientific Research Project Manager at the University of Manchester and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Greater Manchester. This is her Your Path in Research story.

I come from a psychology background, having completed my undergraduate degree in Newcastle and postgraduate degree in Clinical and Health Psychology in Manchester. My postgraduate project investigated the psychological effects of neoadjuvant radiotherapy for patients with soft tissue sarcoma. This enabled me to understand the principles of a successful scientific research project, including the many ethical considerations, necessary NHS approvals and day-to-day project management requirements. 

I started to work in radiotherapy-related research at the University of Manchester shortly afterwards in various project support roles and progressed to my current role as Research Project Manager in Neurooncology two years ago. This role involves the development and management of multiple international projects, from outlining the research strategy, submission of grant applications, budgeting, reporting to funders, leading on interactions with stakeholders, to the set-up and oversight of early-phase clinical trials in glioblastoma and translational research activities. 

The best thing about working as a Project Manager in research is that you can appreciate how the research directly translates into patient benefit. As the point of contact between the funder, scientists, and the clinical teams, you see how everyone’s vision is aligned to the same end goal – to improve outcomes for patients.

My advice to someone who wants to have a career in research is to not be put off by the different avenues you could go down. You will find a niche and develop an interest in your own specific area of research, which can be hugely rewarding. 


The NIHR’s Your Path in Research campaign highlights how people can make research part of their career. Go to the NIHR website for more information on how to get started.