New research study seeks to get more people moving in Gateshead

A Gateshead health researcher has been awarded a fellowship and aims to use the funding to get more people active in their daily lives.

Dr Louis Goffe, Research Lead at Gateshead Council and an Associate Researcher at Newcastle University, has been awarded an Advanced Local Authority Fellowship (ALAF) as part of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Local Authority Academic Fellowship Programme.  The ALAF scheme offers fully-funded opportunities for post-doctoral researchers within local authority settings.

Dr Goffe’s research seeks to identify strategies and activities that can encourage underrepresented groups in Gateshead to participate more in walking and cycling to ultimately reduce health inequalities.

The active travel study will also provide improved insights for local authorities and central government bodies on how they can be more supportive in creating healthy and equitable environments for communities across the country.

On the inspiration behind his research, Dr Goffe said: “A long time ago I had a job where I had to commute by car and hated it.  I subsequently made a pledge to myself to always find a job where I can get there under my own steam, either walking or cycling – and have since then felt the benefits of this both physically and mentally.

“When I joined Gateshead Council, I was inspired by the brilliant work that was being delivered on active travel by passionate officers in both public health and transport, as well as by our community partners. I therefore wanted to develop a programme of research that would support their efforts, help reduce health inequalities and combine my love of walking and cycling.”

This grant award will enable Dr Goffe to provide significant and high-quality research into the council’s active travel programme and evaluate the impact that the programme will have on under-represented communities across Gateshead. It will also be fully funded by the NIHR and come at no cost to the council.

Alice Wiseman, Director of Public Health at Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council, said: “We are delighted that Louis has been awarded this prestigious fellowship, which is further evidence of the amazing work we’re doing within our two Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRCs) in Tyneside.

“Our close partnership between Newcastle University and both Gateshead and Newcastle Councils shows that our region is a great place to do public health research that is truly rooted in, and with, our communities.

“Louis’ successful application is another great example of this and shows our dedication to increasing our capacity for high quality, local and impactful research to help our communities to thrive.”

Support from NHIP Academy

Dr Goffe received support from NHIP Academy throughout the application process for the NHIR fellowship. This included interview support and improving his networks with academic colleagues for career development.

Following this, Dr Goffe now provides support for others applying for fellowships through the academy and was recently part of a team delivering a mock interview for a candidate on one of NIHR’s doctoral fellowship programmes.

He added: “For anyone else who would like to apply for a fellowship, I’d advise you to get in touch with NHIP Academy for support. I’d also recommend chatting to as many previous fellows and senior academics with experience of the process first before you apply.

“Fellowships are about widening your network, so reach out to those you have not connected with previously to see if they would be keen to support. Remember you are an incredible resource to them as much – if not more so – as they are to you.”

You can also listen more about Louis’ research on the Early Career Researcher Stories podcast.

 


For more information on the NIHP Academy, visit NHIP Academy – Newcastle Health Innovation Partners.

For more information on Health Determinants Research Collaborative (HDRC) Gateshead, visit www.gateshead.gov.uk/HDRC.

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