Dr Karen McConnell
Dr McConnell's research interests focus on the prevalence and characteristics of cerebral palsy in children and adults, the efficacy of therapeutic interventions for the cerebral palsy population, and patient and public involvement in research.
She is currently working as Research Fellow to the Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register (NICPR) which aims to establish a systematic approach to the monitoring and surveillance of cerebral palsy in Northern Ireland and to support research into the condition.
Details of any grant/funding connected with the research
What is your ideal Research outcome?
Whilst an ideal research outcome is to publish relevant, high-quality research in peer-reviewed, scientific journals, I would ultimately like my research to result in positive outcomes for children and young people with cerebral palsy.
Principal Investigators: Dr Claire Kerr and Dr Oliver Perra
Why did you choose your current post and why at Queen’s?
I chose my current post as Research Fellow to the NICPR as I am a paediatric physiotherapist with a keen research interest in the area of neurodisabilities, in particular cerebral palsy. Queen’s was the best choice as it holds the only funded cerebral palsy register in the UK.
How have you been supported at Queen’s?
Queen’s has supported me by creating the Postdoctoral Development Centre, providing a range of high-quality training courses and facilitating inter-disciplinary networking opportunities. Queen’s has also provided excellent professional support to help me develop my own research ideas and grant applications.
In what ways have you developed at Queen’s?
I have developed some independence as a researcher as I successfully received funding from the Medical Research Council’s Proximity to Discovery Fund to establish my own industry-academic collaboration. I have also developed my teaching skills and was recently awarded Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.
Can you describe the postdoctoral community in the School and at Queen’s?
The School of Nursing and Midwifery provides a welcoming and supportive environment for postdoctoral staff to develop themselves personally and professionally.
Where do you hope your current post will lead?
I am eager to develop an independent researcher career focusing on improving the lives of people with cerebral palsy.
Anything else you would like to add or advice to new Postdocs?
Get involved in the postdoc community and avail of any networking opportunities!