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UHNM radiographer awarded prestigious national research fellowship

A radiographer from University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has beaten hundreds of other applicants to be awarded a prestigious national doctoral fellowship.

Eric Onwuharine, an MRI radiographer at the Royal Stoke University Hospital has secured a National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical and Practitioner Academic Doctoral Fellowship.

An aspiring clinical academic, Eric will begin his three-year research as part of his PhD into improving prostate cancer pathways in the spring.

The fellowship is hosted by UHNM’s Centre for NMAHP Research and Education Excellence (CeNREE) with support from a joint supervision team from Keele University and UHNM.

Eric, who has worked at UHNM for 16 years, will continue his clinical role at UHNM during his research.

He said: “I have been working towards becoming a clinical academic for several years, and to get to that level you need to do a bit of research. As a result, I decided to apply for an NIHR research fellowship.

“My research will look into changing the existing prostate cancer pathway both locally, nationally and internationally. Currently, every patient who receives a prostate MRI scan receives a contrast dye injection, but research suggests this is not always needed. My proposal will look into whether radiographers can take on these reviewing and decision-making tasks in the place of radiologists. Reducing the number of contrast injection appointments will improve both patient experience and save costs for the NHS.  


“It feels great to have been awarded this fellowship after years of hard work. I owe my gratitude to the CeNREE team at UHNM and the academic supervisors from Keele University for their help and guidance in putting together a successful proposal.”

Dr Alison Cooke, Assistant Director of Nursing, Research and Academic Development at CeNREE said: “Eric has done incredibly well to have been awarded this competitive and prestigious fellowship, succeeding against beating hundreds of other applicants to be one of a very small number of people nationally to receive funding into his research. He has managed to find an original, clinical research question that needs answering and will benefit patients not only here at UHNM but potentially internationally.  We’re really looking forward to seeing where this takes him and research in the Trust.

“Eric’s success builds on from our four staff who have been awarded pre-doctoral NIHR fellowships, with CeNREE currently supporting over 100 members of staff at UHNM to develop their research to be in a position to apply for future fellowships, so we’re hopeful for further good news in the future.”


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