Early Researcher Award

The EAPC is pleased to announce the outcome of the ‘Early Researcher Award’ competition for 2015. The first prize winner is Dr Kathleen McLoughlin (Ireland), with runner-up prize goes to Dr Julie Kinley (United Kingdom), and joint 3rd prizes goes to Dr Tora S Solheim (Norway) and Dr Amara Nwosu (United Kingdom). The Awards Panel of Professor Carlo Leget, Professor Mogens Grønvold, Dr Stephanie Stiel and Dr Nicoleta Mitrea were pleased to receive 13 applications by the deadline. The standard of applications was very high, with a small group of outstanding candidates. Applications were assessed on the published criteria; namely evidence of sustained engagement with research in palliative care, evidence of emerging grant capture, an increasing portfolio of published research papers and other factors that indicate international esteem. The accompanying statements of support were also scrutinised.

The panel are delighted that there are so many excellent emerging researchers who will contribute to the development of palliative care research and practice.

ERA – 1st Prize

Dr Kathleen McLoughlin is a Psychologist with a special interest in the field of palliative and end of life care from a public health perspective.  Her interest in this area dates back to 2002 when she was involved in conducting a palliative care needs assessment, noting in particular the fear and stigma associated with palliative care.  In 2005 she secured the Health Research Board / Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) Building Partnerships for a Healthier Society Research Award to further investigate attitudes toward palliative care, a study that subsequently formed the basis of a PhD in Psychology, awarded by Maynooth University (MU) under the supervision of Dr Sinead McGilloway.  This research, together with Kathleen’s passion for health promoting palliative care, served as the catalyst to the development of Ireland’s first Compassionate Communities project at Milford Care Centre (MCC).  

Kathleen has held senior posts in research and education in the Irish healthcare service, the IHF and MCC. In 2014 Kathleen was recognised for her passion and commitment to palliative care and named CMG Irish Healthcare Person of the Year.  She currently holds the 2014 All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care / Irish Cancer Society Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, based between MU and MCC and is working with an international team of researchers to investigate social and practical supports for people living at home with advanced life-limiting illness. 

Kathleen is a member of the All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care Research Network, the Irish Association of Palliative Care, the All Ireland Palliative Care Early Researchers Forum and is the website designer for Public Health Palliative Care International.  She is a guest lecturer on several undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Ireland.  Kathleen is married with two children (one of whom featured on the EAPC blog following the death of his Goldfish!), five show and hunting dogs and lives in the Tipperary hills.


Kathleen McLoughlin

As the First Prize winner Dr. Kathleen McLoughlin will give a plenary lecture during session PL7 on Saturday, May 9, from 15:00 titled "My Contribution to Palliative Care Research".

ERA – 2nd Prize

Julie Kinley is the Nurse Consultant for Care Homes working at St Christopher’s Hospice in London.  She was appointed into this post in 2013 to lead and manage the Care Home Project Team. As well as having a research, audit and education role this team provides practice development and clinical services to over 100 care homes.

Julie initially joined the Care Home Project Team at St Christopher’s in 2008 as the research practice nurse. Her remit was to identify models of facilitation to support the sustainable implementation of the Gold Standards Framework in Care Homes programme. Answering this has involved undertaking two research studies; a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial and a mixed methods study (PhD). The findings from these two studies, providing knowledge about process as well as outcomes, inform the model of practice the Care Home Project Team now delivers to implement end of life care programmes and then sustain the resulting cultural change in practice.

The majority of Julie’s nursing career has been in Specialist Palliative Care. She worked in this field for over 20 years. Her early career, grounded in clinical practice, highlighted to her the contribution that such a role provides to the generation and implementation of research based findings; a concept often referred to as knowledge translation. By this she means not only the transfer of research findings into clinical practice but also the importance of clinical practice driving the direction that research takes. It is this that drives her research interests.

Julie Kinley

ERA – Joint 3rd Prize

Dr Amara Nwosu’s PhD research involved the use of bioelectrical impedance vector analysis (BIVA) to assess hydration in hospice inpatients with advanced cancer. Dr Nwosu successfully defended his PhD thesis in December 2014 and was subsequently appointed as an Academic Clinical Lecturer (ACL) in the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute Liverpool (MCPCIL), University of Liverpool, UK. For this research, Dr Nwosu was awarded the Association of Palliative Medicine’s Twycross Research prize for 2014. Additionally, he was awarded the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Conference prize on two occasions in 2012 and 2014.

Dr Nwosu has research interests and publications about the use of technology to facilitate research dissemination and engagement in palliative care. Dr Nwosu produces the MyPal palliative care podcast, a podcast about palliative care and technology (available from iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher). In 2014 he was awarded a grant from the ‘Friends of the University of Liverpool’ to develop digital media to enhance dissemination of palliative care research outputs from the MCPCIL.

Amara Nwosu

ERA – Joint 3rd prize

Tora S Solheim obtained her medical degree in 2003. She completes her training as a specialist in oncology in 2015. She obtained her Ph.D. on cancer cachexia in 2014 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Currently she works as a consultant at the Oncology Department St.Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim and holds a research position at St.Olavs University Hospital. Her main research area is pathophysiology, classification and treatment of cancer cachexia.

Tora S Solheim