An Edge Hill Professor has appeared in a short film made by the NHS to showcase the talent and drive of women in health and social care research.

Professor Sally Spencer, Director of Clinical Research at the University’s Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI) features in the Wonder Women series produced by NHS R&D North West.

The series of nine films, with one issued every four weeks until September 2019 aim to celebrate some of the unseen elements to health and social care research, and the women who work in this area, as well as encouraging people thinking about doing health research.

In the film, Sally talks about how she first got into research. “Research chose me”, she said as she began her career as a research assistant, doing the data entry involved in a clinical trial, but by the end of the study she was one of the co-authors of the research published in the BMJ.

She also discusses her motivations, and how she makes sure that the research undertaken has an impact on people, on the patients it involves. She talks about the people who were influential on her life and career and about how she encourages women to get involved in research.

She adds: “Research should be something that people who are passionate about improving practice and improving health should do.”

Sally completed her PhD at St George’s, University of London, where her work focused on patient-centred outcome measures (PROMs) in clinical trials. She subsequently joined Brunel University where her research continued in PROMs, trials and systematic review, and she delivered a range of postgraduate teaching programmes.

In 2010 she joined Lancaster University as Associate Director of the Lancaster Health Hub. She was appointed to Edge Hill University in Autumn 2015 with the aim of developing and supporting research across the Postgraduate Medical Institute through collaboration with external public and private sector organisations relevant to healthcare.

She has published many articles in high quality peer-reviewed journals and has collaborated on funded research in excess of £3m to date. She is an editor for two Cochrane Collaboration review groups and the Public Library of Science, a member of the board at the Innovation Agency (the North West Coast Academic Health Science Network), actively involved in a number of ongoing research council-funded research projects and systematic reviews, supervisor for postgraduate research students and provides formal and informal mentorship for colleagues in terms of career progression through research council funding.

Sally’s film also ties into Edge Hill University’s own Wonder Women campaign celebrating the achievements of women. Running since January 2018, Wonder Women marks the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage with a series of events, installations, and activities across campus until December 2018.   Find out more here.