I was recently asked by someone whether it is worth the trouble to apply for an NIHR doctoral research fellowship. My answer was emphatically: YES! I have been even more grateful than ever recently for my NIHR doctoral research fellowship funding. I was just recently reflecting on this as I boarded a flight from London to Chicago 3 days ago. My funding for my fellowship included a 2 week observership at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center (CNADC) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. And here I am in Chicago.
I arrived in Chicago on Sunday evening and started at the CNADC on Monday morning first thing. This is also my first time in America and my first experiences have been exciting. Not only is CNADC a brilliant melting pot of multidisciplinary minds all interested in PPA, but everybody is so friendly and interested in my skills and experience (and my accent). CNADC are an interdisciplinary center focusing on research across many areas but with a special focus on PPA and superaging (adults above the age of 85 years who demonstrate no cognitive decline at all- exactly what we would all love to be). There are biologists, neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, neurologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists and more all working together (see their website link below):
People with PPA travel from all over America to participate in research at the CNADC. My first day included a tour of the amazing university and hospital site in the center of Chicago. Viewing the beautiful suite where patients are seen (the suite was designed by service users). The hospital here is amazing, I would definitely recommend it to friends and family. Not least for the amazing cafes and restaurants in the hospital building. I also chatted at length with neuropsychologists about the tests and measures they do with their participants.
I anticipate an enjoyable and productive visit here in Chicago at the CNADC. I am looking forward to hearing more about their communication research project “Communication Bridge” and making links with other like-minded researchers.
If anybody asks me whether to go for an NIHR doctoral research fellowship I would highly recommend it. The fellowship is exciting and affords so many amazing opportunities I would never have previously anticipated.