Bringing the community to you

Getting back to work, with their fuel in hand

As we re-launch in our new home we’re excited to share more of the stories you want to hear from MRC and the medical research community.

My visual impairment stops me cornering people in corridors to ask about their work, so the community is the next best thing.

Hearing this subscriber’s perspective of why they value our blog posts from the community really made me stop and think. It’s often exactly those cornering-people-in-corridors and coffee room chats that are the most valuable.

But whether their occurrence is restricted for you by a health condition, the social-distancing limits of a pandemic, or the technical constraints of Zoom, it’s the spontaneous community interactions that are difficult, near impossible, to engineer.

A community view

So, it’s been heartening to hear that we’re doing something to help fill that space for some of you. We may only be a small corridor. But if we can help give you a means of listening in to updates, views and perspectives from across the wide-ranging medical research community, then we’re doing our job. For example, from:

  • researchers
  • health professionals
  • charities
  • organisations
  • patients.

You value hearing directly from guest authors and want to hear human stories about what people are doing, their backstory and journey. We’ll continue to bring you these personal perspectives from the people we fund, their collaborators, our partners and beyond, including:

  • tips for making health research more inclusive
  • personal experience of using patient and public involvement to shape research.

The whole story

The news is now so short and full of sound bites, having an expert take the time to give an opinion helps me understand the whole story.

We’ll work harder to source more of these opinions to help give you an insight into varied medical research areas, specialisms and viewpoints.

Over the next few months, we’ll be hearing:

  • why engineering is vital for advancing medical research
  • why we need to continue studying and treating fungal infections post-COVID
  • about the importance of team science for tackling COVID-19.

Behind the scenes

In response to your feedback we’re also busy commissioning posts that cover your top four most popular themes of:

  • insights from behind the MRC scenes on priority areas, our long-term plans, application tips and how to engage with us
  • real-world implementation and impact of research
  • current and new medical research
  • topical responses to current news.

As we’re starting afresh, we haven’t brought any old posts with us, but you can find them in our archive. We’ll also be dusting off some of the most popular posts over the coming months.

Due to technical reasons we don’t currently have comments enabled but we hope to add this functionality in the future. In the meantime, we welcome any feedback through our blog email address.

Provide feedback to insightblog@mrc.ukri.org.

To quote one of our subscribers who describes themselves as an interested member of the public:

We are all members of a community.

Hopefully we can all look forward to resuming more in-person interactions again, but whether it’s in their absence or alongside, we’ll keep doing the next best thing of bringing the community to you.

Top image: Credit: shapecharge / Getty Images

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