In 1995 I joined the General Practice Unit (as it was then) as the ‘Research Adviser’. Health care and general practice were new fields for me.
Perhaps not surprisingly I found that I needed to learn much more and, fairly quickly, about current research issues and research practices in health. Perhaps less obviously but I think even more importantly I needed to understand why practitioners might choose to become involved in research given the many other pressures on their time. What concerns drove their interest, and in what ways might the process be either a positive or negative experience? What did these mean for those of us within the academic community?
I felt privileged to be welcomed to the Fenland Research Group and to draw on the support and experience of its members as I began to find answers to some of these questions.
Whilst Fenland contributed to an enviroment suitable for the appointment of the Foundation Professorship, I’d like to think it formed part of the broader narrative about the evolving partnership between the practitioner and academic communities in ensuring that high quality research is conducted in a climate of mutual respect and cooperation.