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Prof Karl Staples

Dr Dan Owens

R&D Clinical Research Fellows Lead

Dr Dan Owens identifies and promotes training opportunities for research fellows in Southampton.

Dan is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the NIHR Southampton Clinical Research Facility (CRF).

He is also a paediatrician in the children's emergency department at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) and currently undertaking a PhD.

Drawing on his own experience

During his time as a research fellow in the CRF over the last five years, Dan has worked with many different people in the research and development (R&D) department at UHS.

He says this makes him well placed to help others navigate the sometimes ‘slightly confusing’ world of being a research fellow. This includes helping them contact the right people and follow the right processes.

Dan has greatly enjoyed his own experience of being a research fellow. It has given him new skills and opportunities he wouldn’t otherwise have had. These include management, leading teams and trying to deliver projects over the course of many years.

Dan’s PhD is an investigation of mid-infrared spectroscopy for medicine detection to help improve dosing data in children. He is also a PI for children’s vaccine studies in the CRF and clinical studies in the children’s emergency department. Dan’s goal is to improve children’s clinical care by investigating technologies and strategies that make it safer, more efficient and less invasive.

Supporting Southampton’s research fellows

Dan is responsible for overseeing the clinical research fellows at UHS, after taking over the role from Dr Kristin Veighey. He intends to use his role to inspire and support other research fellows.

This includes keeping track of how many fellows there are and where they go, but he is also a point of contact other than their supervisor.

Dan says that, for him, being a research fellow at UHS is the best job he has ever had. He is now trying to give others the same experience.

Focus on the future

Dan’s advice for current research fellows in Southampton would be to get involved in whatever you can, and get to know as many different people as possible along the way.

In addition to learning about research itself, a role in research will help develop your understanding of finances, management and collaborative working that are vital wherever your career takes you. This requires creativity and a willingness to learn new skills beyond your clinical work, but it is a satisfying and tremendously useful journey to take.

If you would like to learn more about the research opportunities available, please book onto the SoAR Researcher Advice Clinic. You get in touch with Dan by contacting SoAR.

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