BGS announces new initiatives to support researchers

18 October 2023

The BGS is pleased to launch two new initiatives to support healthcare professionals and academics with an interest in undertaking research in the field of older people’s medicine.

One of the BGS’s five strategic ambitions is to promote research and the application of evidence-based knowledge to clinical practice in the care of older adults. The BGS is therefore excited to announce a new Research Hub, Research Project Grant and a new Vice President of Research and Academic Affairs.

BGS Research Hub

The new BGS Research Hub is a suite of resources bringing together new and updated content from the BGS website, spanning the entire research journey. 

The Research Hub provides practical and accessible advice for those who are ready to start their research career, or who are already involved in research but looking to take the next step. This free-to-access content is curated by the BGS Research and Academic Development Committee (RADC). The aim of the hub is to guide new and experienced researchers through the research process, from funding, ethics, and literature searching, right through to publication and presentation at professional conferences.

Videos featuring academics and clinicians from across the multidisciplinary team have been included to help inspire people who might be undecided about getting involved in research, offering an insight into the varied roles and backgrounds of those involved in age-related research. 

The new hub is the latest in the BGS’s series of content hubs, which already include the highly popular Frailty Hub, Delirium Hub and Quality Improvement (QI) Hub. As with the existing hubs, it is intended to act as a ‘living’ resource that will grow and evolve over time.

BGS Research Project Grant: New for 2023

The BGS will shortly be accepting applications for grants to support researchers undertaking projects in the field of older people’s health and care. These grants will support research-related activities undertaken by BGS members who work in the field of geriatric medicine or have an interest in ageing. Eligible applicants include non-consultant grade doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and pharmacists.

Each grant of up to £10,000 may be used for either clinical or non-clinical research, with up to two grants available per round. Applications for the first round open on 1 November 2023 and close on 1 March 2024. More information, including details of eligibility criteria and an application form, can be found here.

New BGS Vice President, Research and Academic Affairs: Professor Miles Witham

The Society is delighted to announce that Professor Miles Witham is the next BGS Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs. He will take up the post in November 2023, when the current Vice President, Dr Emily Henderson, demits from the post.

Dr Emily Henderson is our outgoing Vice President of Academic Affairs. For the past three years Emily has led the Research and Academic Development Committee (RADC). Emily has been instrumental in the planning and development of the Research Hub and pushing forward the BGS's agenda for research into the health and care of older people.

The BGS Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs plays a key role within the British Geriatrics Society. The role includes leading the Society’s work to promote research into ageing and older people’s healthcare, and the application of evidence-based knowledge to clinical practice across the continuum of care.

Miles Witham is Professor of Trials for Older People in the AGE Research Group at Newcastle University. He is co-lead for the Ageing, Sarcopenia and Multimorbidity Theme, NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, theme lead for Ageing and Long-Term Conditions, NIHR Newcastle MIC, and honorary Consultant Geriatrician at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust where he works as a community geriatrician.

His research focuses on ageing, sarcopenia and multiple long-term conditions (MLTC) using both clinical trials and routinely collected health and social care data.

Professor Miles Witham said:

I'm delighted to be taking up the post of BGS VP for Research and Academic Affairs and I look forward to building on the great work that Emily and colleagues have delivered over the last three years. The COVID pandemic has reminded us all just how important research is to underpin high-quality care for older people, and initiatives like the new Research Hub and Research Grants are an important part of building our capacity to support more and better research. I look forward to continuing our work to train the next generation of our researchers, get more colleagues involved in research from across all disciplines and professions, and raise the profile of research so that older people, clinicians and policymakers get the best possible evidence to inform care.”