Roz Gittins from Humankind received the 2019 CMHP-PRUK Research Award for her work exploring the misuse of Over the Counter and Prescription only Medication by people accessing substance misuse treatment services. We asked Roz about her work and her experiences of running this research award, as well as what advice she would give to other applicants.
What got you interested in research?
I really enjoyed the primary research I undertook for my undergraduate Masters in Pharmacy and I’ve had an interest in research ever since. To date this has led to additional study, including a MSc and now a Doctorate in Pharmacy. I have also collaborated with colleagues from different academic institutions, been part of research groups and published associated outputs.
Tell us about what you are currently researching
I am currently involved with a few different research streams. My main one is for my Doctorate in Pharmacy: an exploration of the misuse of over the counter and prescription only medication by people who access specialist substance misuse treatment services.
What have been the challenges of leading a research project via the CMHP-PRUK Award?
For this project the absolute biggest challenge for me has been Covid! Although extensions have been granted obtaining data has remained an ongoing challenge. There’s been several other challenges – such as responding to challenging reviewer critique for publication and undertaking complex library searches. Also juggling professional and personal commitments alongside. However regarding the actual award, it has required additional report writing, but these have not been overly onerous. The application process was very involved but felt robust.
What advice would you give to applicants who are thinking of applying for funding?
Reach out for support and advice with your application if needed. The process is quite detailed but also constructive in that it really helps to focus the mind on what is going to be done and how.
How has funding through CMHP-PRUK Award benefitted you?
It’s made a massive difference on a personal level: it’s meant that I can spend more time focussing on the research rather than working additional hours to be able to fund the work. The funding has also enabled the work to be undertaken more efficiently, for example by paying for a transcriber and also covered remuneration for people with lived experience contributing too.