Skip to the content

Meet our academy - Interns, PhDs and Post-Docs

We all grow throughout our lives, and the our Academy is here to help expand the number of people in Wessex conducting high quality applied health research. It's part of our legacy to the health and social care community across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

This page lists those people who have joined us in their journey to enrich our research community.

There are internships for people starting their research journey, PhD awards for those wanting to develop their experience and research career, and Post-Doctoral Awards to help drive the research agenda in Wessex.

Project Title: A qualitative evaluation of the experiences of individuals with persistent pain participating in online pain management interventions.

Brief Summary of Project: This study aims to explore the experiences of individuals with persistent pain participating in online pain management interventions. It involves a systematic review and narrative synthesis of literature regarding individuals' experiences of online pain management interventions. The study will also conduct up to 10 semi-structured interviews with individuals who have recently undertaken an online group pain management programme within Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust's South West Hampshire Pain Management Service.

Supervisors and Organisations involved:

Supervisor - Dr Euan Sadler. School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton. Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. Ageing and Dementia Theme.

Supervisor - Dr Lindsay Welch. School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton. Long Term Conditions Theme.

Organisations – NIHR ARC Wessex, University of Southampton, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Search strategy document

See what Justin thought about his internship and what it means for the future

Project Title:Effects of previous traumatic pain memories on the current pain experience for people with haemophilia

Brief summary of project: Haemophilia is a life-long condition which can cause repeated bleeding into muscles and joints, leading to synovial hypertrophy, destruction of the articular cartilage and haemophilic arthropathy. Due to a lack of treatment in their youth, many adults with severe haemophilia will have experienced multiple painful bleeding episodes, and research suggests that 50% of people with haemophilia (PWH) report experiencing chronic pain. Currently, the factors that drive and influence the chronic pain cycle in this patient group are poorly understood. Many PWH display physical and psychological symptoms which could be linked to post-traumatic stress but there is very little mention of this concept in the literature. This six month internship project consists of a scoping review of the literature and some initial patient and public involvement (PPI) work, to help inform further patient-centred co-designed research. The overarching aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the interaction between psychological and physical influences on chronic pain, to help improve the care we provide and to improve the health, wellbeing and health outcomes for PWH.

Supervisors and organisations involved:

Academic Supervisor: Dr Debra Gray, University of Winchester

Mentor: Dr David Stephensen, Clinical Academic, Deputy Director of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Supervisor: Dr Kelly Hislop Lennie, University of Southampton; Long Term Conditions Research Group 

Hear what Anna has to say about her internship journey


Project title: A systematic review of the effects of medical and allied health professional staffing focussed on junior doctors shift patterns and it effects wellbeing and burn-out

Brief summary of project:I am writing a systematic review and am gathering data on Junior Doctors from Dorset County Hospital via a survey on the topic of shift-work, and how this may, or may not, impact upon burnout amongst this cohort. I will be focusing on burnout, fatigue and well-being. The overall aim is to identify features of shift-work and the rostering process that may contribute to burnout, so as to encourage the implementation of change where possible and improve the working-lives of Junior Doctors. I am also involved in the on-going Pan-Dorset rostering and job-planning project which has a focus on the rostering system for Junior Doctors. I hope to bring my research findings to this project so as to positively contribute to the improvement of rostering for Junior Doctors across Dorset.


  • Alastair Hutchison, Medical Director and Consultant, Dorset County Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Peter Griffiths, Chair of Health Services Research, NIHR Senior Investigator, University of Southampton
  • Zoe Sheppard, Head of Research, Dorset County Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

See what Cheska has to say about the internship


Sofia Michopoulou

Project title: Biomarker Research Assessing Inflammation in Neurodegeneration (BRAIN)

Brief summary of project: This project aims to improve the diagnosis of dementia and enable early identification of patients who are likely to experience rapid progression of their symptoms. There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and it takes on average over 2 years from symptom onset to diagnosis. Systemic inflammation is a driving force that accelerates dementia progression. Markers of inflammation from body fluids may help evaluate dementia progression. This project will measure targeted biomarkers of inflammation in patient samples and assess their value in early diagnosis of dementia.

Supervisors and organisations involved:

  • Academic Supervisor: Prof Jessica Teeling, Experimental Neuroimmmunology, University of Southampton
  • Clinical Supervisor: Prof Chris Kipps, Consultant Neurologist, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ageing and Dementia Theme

Project title: How are the physical health needs of older people addressed in older peoples mental health (OPMH)? - A systematic review of literature

Brief summary of project: My aim is to develop my research skills by completing a systematic literature review looking at how the physical health needs of older people are addressed in those with mental health diagnosis. This systematic review will enable me to search for relevant literature, and extract and discuss the findings. This will enable me to gain evidence to inform clinical practice within the trust.

Supervisors and organisations involved:

  • Supervisor - Michele Board - Academic supervisor Bournemouth university
  • Abby Barkham – Clinical Supervisor Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Liz Taylor supporting manager, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ageing and Dementia Theme

Naomi's Internship journey


Megan Pound - ARC Intern Autumn 2020

Project title: Co-production with and for vulnerable young people

Brief summary of project: 
This was a 3-month part time internship resulting in 3 key outputs; a podcast discussing the 'Tracking Vulnerable Children in Schools' project introduced due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, a blog post exploring how co-production could benefit Portsmouth as a 'restorative city' and a report following from my interviews with young care leavers, discussing their experiences of service provision in care, which also fed into the larger PSCP Neglect Deep Dive report and findings.

Supervisors and organisations involved:

Supervisor: Wendy Sims-Schouten (University of Portsmouth)
Organisations: Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Partnership and Portsmouth City Council

Read her blog here


Cherish Boxall is a Clinical Trials Manager in Southampton and her internship project looked at SWAT priorities to improve the evidence to inform recruitment and retention practice in clinical trials.

Here's what she thought of the internship


Emma is a dietician looking at the development of a Nutrition Support Pathway for patients with Liver Cirrhosis

Jan is a paediatric Occupational Therapist in Poole.

Project: Are school motor skill programmes that are designed by occupational therapists, physiotherapists and/or educational psychologists but delivered by school staff effective in improving the motor skills of typically developing children aged between 4-11years with motor skill difficulties and therefore improving functional tasks? 


Project title: Developing and evaluating the feasibility of a community-based health literacy intervention to empower socially disadvantaged parents/carers of children aged 0-4 years to manage minor childhood illness and confidently navigate health services

Brief summary of project: The project consists of a programme of applied health research which aims to improve health literacy in order to empower socially disadvantaged parents/carers of young children (0-4) to manage minor childhood illness and navigate health services confidently. This project will adopt a mixed-method approach to meet the aim and objectives. A systematic review will be conducted to synthesis the findings on the effectiveness of community-based health literacy interventions for parents. A community-based health literacy intervention will be developed and evaluated using feedback from focus groups and workshops with the target population and health/allied health practitioners who work with socially disadvantaged parents. Patient and public involvement will be sought throughout this research project. A small research study will be conducted to test the feasibility of this intervention. 

This research project will provide a valuable contribution to the field of community-based health literacy interventions. The development of such an intervention, which is accepted by socially disadvantaged parents, could empower, and increase confidence and skills to self-manage minor childhood illnesses, increase knowledge to access appropriate support/services, and reduce unnecessary healthcare attendance. This in turn could reduce costs to the NHS, reduce family stress, and reduce health inequalities through the improvement of health outcomes for children.  

Supervisors and organisations involved:

Director of Studies: Dr James Faulkner - University of Winchester 

Supervisor: Dr Margaret Husted - University of Winchester 

Advisor: Dr Simon Fraser - University of Southampton 

Advisor: Dr Sanjay Patel - University Hospital Southampton, Healthy Communities Theme

Listen to her latest Podcast - Finding the Power in Empowerment - Episode One - Long Term Conditions- Sam and Lynn are joined by guests Holly and Mick. 

Project title: The PD Life Study – Exploring the treatment burden and capacity of people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers

Brief summary of project: Treatment burden is the effort of looking after your health and its impact on you. High treatment burden can lead to poor quality of life and difficulties adhering to treatments. Treatment burden is balanced by capacity, which is the ability to manage treatment burden. This study will explore the experiences of treatment burden and capacity in people with Parkinson’s (PwP) and their caregivers. We will initially conduct interviews with PwP and caregivers in Hampshire to explore their views and experiences of the factors that influence treatment burden and capacity. This will be explored further in a national survey for PwP and caregivers with support from Parkinson’s UK.  We will then form focus groups with key stakeholders to discuss the findings and prioritise recommendations for change. This study will enable us to develop recommendations of ways to reduce treatment burden or enhance capacity in PwP and their caregivers.

Supervisors and organisations involved:

Supervisor: Professor Helen Roberts, University of Southampton, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Lead Ageing and Dementia Theme

Supervisor: Dr Kinda Ibrahim, University of Southampton, Ageing and Dementia Theme

Supervisor: Dr Simon Fraser, University of Southampton, Long-term Conditions Theme


Alex Smith

Project Title: A COMmunity Pharmacy-based intervention to identify people with undiagnosed Alcohol related liver Cirrhosis (The COMPAC Study)


Primary – Julie Parkes, University of Southampton

Secondary Ryan Buchanan, University of Southampton
Janisha Patel, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Kinda Ibrahim, University of Southampton

Healthy Communities ARC theme