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Case studies

Dr Daniel Parker: Research Assistant

Dr Daniel Parker completed a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy and Cell Biology in 2008 at the University of Liverpool and a Master’s degree in biomechanics in 2009 at the University of Manchester before going on to study for a PhD in foot and ankle biomechanics at the University of Salford from 2009 to 2013. Working within this multidisciplinary field for almost 10 years has allowed him to develop a good understanding of both engineering principles and the function of biological systems. He has contributed to research throughout his pre-doctoral career as an author of research publications in peer reviewed journals and has presented his work at international conferences. He has also been involved in the writing of three grant applications to support his future research career at the University of Salford.

As an early career researcher Dr Parker has worked for the University of Salford as a post-doctoral Research Assistant on an EPSRC/Innovate UK funded research project. This industry focussed project is investigating the application of additive manufacture (3D printing) to the production of foot orthotics, and has led to the development of a class one medical device.

Dr Parker has been lead researcher on work to conduct pre-clinical testing, benchmarking the product against existing state of the art technology. His work contributed to a successful application to the medical device authority to conduct a clinical investigation and he is now overseeing the conduct of a randomised controlled trial of the device within the NHS.  

This project has built on an existing research skillset whilst allowing Dr Parker to take more responsibility in the management and running of an interdisciplinary research project and advance as an early career researcher. He will continue to look for funding opportunities to pursue his own research, using the meetings relating to funding applications for the ECR group as a starting point.

Outside of his research project Dr Parker is supervising two postgraduate students working within the area of foot orthotics. He also contributes to the teaching of undergraduate Anatomy and Physiology for the Podiatry program at the University.  Dr Parker has benefitted from the discussions at the ECR group in particular the career journeys of multi-disciplinary researchers.

Dr Daniel Parker

Dr Claire Mercer: Lecturer

Dr Claire Mercer qualified as a Radiographer in 1995 and progressed into the field of Mammography in 2000. She developed into advanced practice and QA Radiography in 2004, followed by Superintendent and Programme Manager for Breast Services in Bolton in 2006. She completed her MSc (Advanced Medical Imaging) with distinction in 2011. The following year Claire was appointed into the post of Lead Radiographer for Breast Imaging at University Hospital South Manchester and gained her PhD (by published works) at the University of Salford in 2015 whilst working full time in this role. Her research work was centred on practitioner variation in breast compression and between 2010 and 2015 Claire published 8 peer reviewed papers in this field.  Presenting her work at conferences, Claire has won prizes for both oral and poster presentations.

Claire was employed as a lecturer in the University of Salford in August 2015 and as an early career researcher is also collaborating with the successful WoMMeN team led by Dr Leslie Robinson at the University. “This team is focused on breast screening and is driving forwards key changes using social media as a tool for interaction with service users and practitioners”. Together the team have recently won the Society of Radiographers Best Radiography Team Award and are developing papers for publication.

Dr Claire Mercer has recently been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Early Career Research Scholarship and through this Claire’s research will seek to extend her PhD work on practitioner variation in breast compression and aims to provide a standardised pressure controlled positioning protocol for use within breast services. Claire states, “I am extremely proud to be awarded this scholarship. This will enable me to network and share expertise with scholars and reflect on my developing research area. The scholarship offers a tailored training programme and support for bid writing activities and I am certain that this will prove invaluable for me as an early researcher and assist me to develop my career to the next level. I am very enthusiastic about progressing onto the next stage of my career and working with my mentor Professor David Howard”.

Outside of her research project Claire is involved with the supervision of MSc and PhD students and is module leader for Postgraduate Mammography within the Postgraduate Advanced Medical Imaging Programme of which she will be Programme Leader from January 2017.

Dr Claire Mercer