I am currently solely managing the neck pain projects (recruiting, scheduling, data collection at both the Callaghan and HMRI sites). Though I have some research students with specific roles assisting with various aspects of the projects (one Honours completing October 2015, one
Honours initiating a 2016 Honours project, and one PhD student commencing October 2015), none are fully managing the projects at this stage. Importantly, from the perspective of ‘equal futures’, I am pregnant with my second child due 7th January. This grant will enable me to employ a research assistant as a study manager, and who can help with scheduling participants and data collection one day per week for 8 weeks (data collection in the Movement Lab requires two
people). They will work casually for 3 weeks in November/December to train and hand-over tasks for which they will be responsible. The study has been timed so there are no follow-up appointments in January and thus the RA will work their remaining 5 weeks (one day per week) starting in February. This plan ensures I will not be essential for data collection until March when the baby will be 8 weeks old and I should be better able to manage a few hours of data collection
per week. We do not have family locally, and the impact of the first few weeks can be unknown. I do not want to jeopardise these key projects on which the neck pain team has worked very hard to fund, initiate and complete.
Important for my career as a researcher is following through and achieving outcomes for the research currently funded. The need for robust data is essential for this. This will help in continuity for my career as I have gained quite a bit of momentum in the past few years in neck pain research and collaborations, and I want to ensure the success of the current projects. Having this assistance will ensure the integrity of the projects and assist forward momentum in my career
during this key time.