Dr Harriet Blundell
Clinical Research Associate
Harriet began working at the CIDG editorial base in October 2017, and is a medical doctor with an interest in tropical medicine and international public health. She recently completed her Masters’ degree in tropical and infectious diseases at LSTM. Her thesis involved using an open-access geographical information system to characterize areas of co-endemic onchocerciasis and Loa loa in Central Africa. She has volunteered in Egypt, Nepal, Tanzania, and Uganda. She has an interest in humanitarian aid work and is currently developing clinical guidance for the management of common medical conditions affecting refugees living in temporary settlements.
1. What drew you to CIDG originally?
As a junior doctor with experience volunteering overseas, I was interested in how evidence is translated into clinical practice, particularly with respect to international health policy and practice.
2. How would you describe your job at CIDG to a child?
Humans travel all over the world – many choose to, some are forced to. Some people that are forced to move end up living in camps where conditions can be horrible and make them sick. We are looking for the best, evidence based, treatments for people living in camps.
3. What gets you out of bed on a workday?
The eclectic supply of coffee in our office, from most corners of the globe!
4. What has been your most exciting achievement with CIDG?
Getting a young scientist grant to attend the migration health workshop in Oman, with departmental support this enabled me to conceptualise the current challenges in developing evidence-based guidance for refugees and migrants.
5. What has your experience with CIDG added to your CV?
It has enabled me to apply and develop the research skills I learnt during my Master’s degree at LSTM last year. Skills I have developed that are central to my project have included: guideline quality assessment, guideline screening, guideline mapping and academic writing. I have also been involved in post-graduate teaching (attending the SEDA course and teaching on MSc, DTM&H and DTN), examining postgraduate assignments, and reviewing master’s level research applications for the research ethics committee (REC).
6. If you were stranded on a desert island with only one Cochrane review to read, which would you choose and why?
The longest one = most amount of paper for lighting a fire!
7. What do you get passionate about?
Travelling and experiencing new cultures/ways.
8. How do you recharge after a hard day’s work at CIDG?
Going for a swim.
9. What advice would you give to new starters at CIDG?
Drink coffee / tea often and chat to people from other departments. Bouncing ideas off other people will give you new perspectives on how to tackle issues in your project – even if the colleagues you speak to aren’t directly involved in it.
10. What three words would you use to describe your role at CIDG?
Challenging, dynamic, and enjoyable.
11. What two attributes are most important in your job?
Meticulous, but not too OCD! To be able to manage own workload/project.
12. Which type of animal do you think would make a good Cochrane Editor?
Not sure! Octopus?
The CIDG editorial base is located at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, UK. The CIDG is led by Professor Paul Garner (Co-ordinating Editor) and Deirdre Walshe (Managing Editor). Over 600 authors from some 52 countries contribute to the preparation of the Cochrane Reviews. They are supported by an international team of Editors, each with topic or methodological expertise.
The CIDG’s main areas of work are on determination of the effects of interventions on the prevention or treatment infectious diseases of relevance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. The aims of the CIDG are to impact on policy and research in tropical diseases through the production of high quality and relevant systematic reviews, and to lead developments in review quality improvement and effective dissemination of findings.