60 seconds with BrainWaves Postdoctoral Researcher Holly Bear
"BrainWaves will provide us with a unique opportunity to evaluate and implement different interventions in schools in a quick and responsive way."
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO WORKING brainwaves?
I am a senior postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychiatry. I joined the BrainWaves team as Research Coordinator and Schools Implementation Lead in April 2023.
There are several exciting and interesting aspects of the BrainWaves project, but the creation of a new ‘trials platform’ to evaluate school-based mental health interventions is particularly innovative. Over many years of research, several interventions have been developed and evaluated which can be effective at helping improve the mental health and wellbeing of adolescents. However, research reaching the ‘real world’ can be a very slow and complex process. BrainWaves will provide us with a unique opportunity to evaluate and implement different interventions in schools in a quick and responsive way.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THE TEAM/PROJECT/RESEARCH YOU STUDY/WORK WITH?
I am hopeful and optimistic that this work will have a far-reaching impact by bridging the research-practice gap and optimising intervention benefits for young people. I very much look forward to working with young people, schools, and other collaborators to achieve this and disseminating our findings in due course.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY AT THE TOP OF YOUR TO-DO LIST?
Youth involvement is a key component of the BrainWaves project. We are in the process of setting up a Young People’s Advisory Panel (YPAG). We hope that the experience and perspectives of the YPAG will help shape and guide the research by providing insights and reflections based on their wealth experiential expertise and knowledge.
HOW DID YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
I have always taken things one step at a time and made choices that make me happy. I thoroughly enjoyed the research aspects of my Health Psychology Master’s at King’s College and learned a great deal from the mentorship I received there. I had truly wonderful mentorship from my PhD supervisor, Professor Miranda Wolpert, who solidified my decision to pursue a career in research.
IF YOU WERE NOT IN YOUR STUDY PROGRAMME/JOB CURRENTLY, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING?
I would pursue a career in clinical health psychology, working with children and adolescents with long-term health conditions.