Outstanding Achievement Prize for Holly Dale

Congratulations to Holly Dale who has been awarded the MSc Applied Health Research Outstanding Taught Postgraduate Academic Achievement Prize.

Holly worked with the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group for her dissertation comparing two of the leading tools for the critical appraisal of systematic reviews (AMSTAR2 and ROBIS). This was part of her National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Systematic Review Training Fellowship at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD), University of York (2016-2018). The NIHR Fellowship allowed Holly to combine practical training in key research synthesis methods alongside tuition in applied health research methods as part of her MSc. Holly graduates tomorrow and we are delighted that she has been awarded the University of York, Department of Health Sciences - MSc Applied Health Research Outstanding Taught Postgraduate Academic Achievement Prize.

'One of the major benefits of working in CRD was that I was given the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge I gained throughout my Masters degree in real-time in a dynamic and professional research environment. This set me up brilliantly for later conducting my own research.' 

Since completing her MSc Holly has been successful in obtaining an Medical Research Council (MRC) funded PhD Fellowship investigating the inter-relationships between serious mental illness, stigma, substance misuse and suicidal thoughts based at the University of Manchester.

'As someone whose interest in mental health was originally borne out of lived experience, my primary reason for getting into mental health research has always been to improve patient outcomes and patient wellbeing. For this reason, I feel extremely privileged to have been offered an MRC-funded PhD which seeks to examine how stigma impacts suicidal thoughts and behaviours in people with dual-diagnosis, with a view to building a model of how these factors interact with one another, so that we better understand suicide in this high-risk group. As a patient advocate, I am extremely proud of the fact that Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is built directly into this PhD project, from the questions we ask to how we conduct the research itself. I hope, in the future, that more patients will  be involved in research that is about them, especially in areas which involve stigmatised or marginalised groups. In this way, more research can be done ‘with’ patients; as opposed to ‘for’ or ‘to’ them.'

The Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Team wish Holly all the best for the future and look forward to many years of continued collaboration.

'I am indebted to my colleagues who helped me with the project and my supervisors, especially Dr. Nick Meader, for the time and patience they offered me throughout the conduct of the project!'

Quotes from Holly Dale, January 2019.

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