I will get back to blogging…in fact, I have a half written blog that is almost ready to go… It’s just that it is sitting on my desk some 5,900 miles away.
In another country.
On another continent.
In another hemisphere…

Indeed. I’m as surprised as you. For someone who has managed to achieve a total academic/industrial/life geographical spread of approximately 25 miles, my current adventure marks quite the landmark!  (Perhaps influenced by location/in-flight entertainment, my mind turns to a certain South American ursine fellow, and I’d like to assure my own “Aunt Lucy” team that I am indeed being very well looked after…)


Identity role model?

So, here I am in Brazil, after day one of our collaborative workshop. Today has given all the participants opportunity to share short presentations outlining backgrounds, institutional key facts, and research highlights, and has been an eye-opening and enthralling introduction to an exciting week. I cannot pretend to do these talks justice in an off the cuff blog, but thoughts milling around my head this evening include:

Passion: all the participants spoke with such passion about their research, institutions and future aims…  How can we fail to produce something meaningful if we harness this?

Diversity yet overlap: apart from the obvious differences from the UK/Brazilian participants, we all also bring wide ranges of experiences; infection prevention, management, clinical skills, educational training, sociology… However, within this diversity there are already emerging themes and points of overlap…and it is only day 1!

Fun: The day has been underpinned by laughter, warmth and blossoming friendships. Surely this is the perfect environment from which to begin discussions about future, meaningful collaborations…?

Looking forward to tomorrow…

(follow our progress on twitter #RAID15)


An open admission…

So here it is.

As we know, I have now safely navigated through the PhD journey, and can officially say I have qualified as a Doctor of Engineering. My thesis, which examines future systems of hand hygiene measurement in healthcare, will soon be available for anyone to read.  Amazing.

Even more exciting (not sure I ever thought anything would top that…which shows you how much a PhD can change you!), we also know that I have now started working for the NHS – with the phenomenal IPCT at UHCW

Now two weeks into my role as IPC Research Practitioner and I have been blown away by how much I am enjoying myself, how diverse the workload and challenges that face the team are, and crucially how overwhelmingly welcoming the team have been.  I never doubted that for a second, but they have surpassed even my high expectations. I have LOVED every moment I have been there, and am so excited about the plans we have been making.  One thing I know for sure…we’re going to be BUSY!

And my admission?

I am SMUG.

I cannot help it. I have tried to battle it, but to no avail.  I just cannot help randomly smiling whenever I think about how much I am enjoying my new post-doc freedom, the ability to offer an “expert” opinion on real world, patient safety matters, and to be given the opportunity to develop research ideas that could make a difference to the way we think in the IP community.  It’s fantastic, and the picture below sums it up beautifully.

Whilst I enjoyed my PhD journey immensely, there is an element of being “caged” – when all is said and done, the main purpose is to develop as a researcher, and ensure you display skills required to earn the qualification.  Once this has been achieved, the freedom is granted to really focus on the research area…and this feels immense!

Having returned from a lovely holiday, it’s been such an exciting week so far – two major headlines:

  1. I officially started my new role as Infection Prevention and Control Research Practitioner with the wonderful IPCT at UHCW. I had an UHCWamazing couple of days, sitting in on meetings, watching team members prepare to spread the love (#IPSWales) planning our summer of research activities, and taking part in my very first team schimee.  Cannot believe I get to do this every week now!
  2. We had our abstract accepted for #IP2014 – we’ll be there sharing our work on how ATP screening may help increase engagement with environmental cleaning… Look for the #TeamGreen poster.  The team have also been successful with other abstracts, but I’ll leave it to them to share that news over on their twitter feed….IP2014



Not sure what next week will bring, but tomorrow I have my final Warwick Women In Science (WIS) meeting before we announce our WIS A Day With…2014 plans, so I am sure there will be plenty more excitement to come…

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