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Virtual Research Engagement

Experts funded by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) engaged audiences across the country with the first Faculty of Medical Science virtual Research Coffee Morning.

An audience of 93 joined a virtual event to listen to two of the researchers from the NIHR Newcastle BRC funded project MIlkMAN. Drs Antoneta Granic and Christopher Hurst discussed the pilot study that examined the feasibility and accessibility of milk consumption after a resistance exercise session for older adults at risk of sarcopenia – read more about MIlkMAN here.

The event was the first of its kind to be hosted by engagement teams at Newcastle University’s Faculty of Medical Science (FMS) since Government lockdown, and with the rise of online alternatives taking the place of public events, it was a perfect opportunity to share vital research findings with the public.

The hour long event was jointly hosted by the NIHR Newcastle BRC, Engage FMS, VOICE and the AGE Research Group (Ageing, Geriatrics and Epidemiology) at Newcastle University. In the first part of the session Principal Investigator Dr Antoneta Granic and Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr Christopher Hurst provided the background and summary findings of the MIlkMAN project. This was then followed by a feedback from participants, who shared their thoughts on the benefits of being part of a research study.

All participants were then allocated to virtual breakout rooms to discuss exercise motivators and barriers during lockdown, after which all delegates came back together to share findings: participants discussed lack of space and equipment and poor motivation as being key barriers to home exercise, yet agreed that sharing progress with a friend, joining online classes, or even engaging in more non-traditional activities such as gardening, can be great motivators. The event finished with a short Q&A of questions gathered throughout the session.

Involvement Manager with the NIHR Newcastle BRC, Kasia Kurowska commented:

“This was an excellent toe-dip into hosting an online event, as we saw great engagement from our delegates and received great feedback.

Letting the public know about our research is a fundamental part of what we do at the NIHR Newcastle BRC, and we understand the importance of being able to reach a wide variety of people, whatever their circumstances, and during lockdown restrictions, we wanted to make sure we continue to reach out to anyone interested in our work”.

Engagement Support Coordinator with FMS, Charlie Wilkinson, commented:

“It was fantastic to see so many people not only join our digital event, but to so actively get involved with the discussion. Engaging digitally is new to all of us, and I am over the moon that the public have so eagerly joined us in facing these challenges and embracing the new way of ‘engagement’.”

If you didn’t catch the event, it can be seen here in full:

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