There are Audiology Champions in each of the 15 local Clinical Research Networks (CRN). Their primary role is to raise awareness of current and upcoming hearing, tinnitus and balance studies on the NIHR CRN portfolio within their region. They also promote the NIHR audiology portfolio at national and international professional meetings and conferences and lead, coordinate and support training in research skills. They do this by:
- Organising or contributing to NIHR CRN portfolio development workshops relevant to hearing, tinnitus and balance care.
- Train and mentor audiology colleagues to become an Associate Principal Investigator on NIHR CRN hearing, tinnitus and balance related studies.
NIHR Audiology Champions support the local Clinical Research Specialty Lead by ensuring the ENT specialty broadens its reach to the full range of hearing healthcare professions.
There is an increasing number of studies opening on the NIHR portfolio that require specialist audiology expertise. Audiology Champions speed up the set-up process of these studies and ensure they are delivered to the highest standard.
If you would like to know more about any ENT studies on the NIHR portfolio or learn more about getting involved in research please contact your local CRN.
The introduction of Audiology Champions in each local CRN has:
- Increased the number of sites delivering audiology studies.
- Increased the number of participants recruited into hearing studies from 491 in 2018/2019 to more than 970 participants in 2019/2020.
- In CRN East Midlands, a full-time Audiologist was appointed to provide specialist, dedicated support for recruitment to portfolio studies as well as act as a Champion in the region. This resulted in increased recruitment to non-commercial studies by 160% and improved the recruitment to time and target (RTT) of non-commercial studies from 40% to 88%.
- The Audiology Champions delivered a session at the British Society of Audiology conference in 2018, on navigating the pathway into research from the clinics into academia.
- The CRN North Thames Audiology Champion was awarded an Action on Hearing Loss Grant of £10K to conduct a study monitoring hearing and serum prestin levels in patients undergoing cisplatin treatment for cancer.
- An article was published in the British Academy of Audiology magazine in 2018/19 highlighting the Audiology Champions contribution to the ENT portfolio.
- An article has been published in the journal of Hearing Research: ‘Early phase of trials of novel hearing therapeutics: avenues and opportunities.