Our Fellows

2022 Cohort

Verity Jones

University of Birmingham

Models of co-production in youth mental health

Supervisors: Dr Sarah Jane Fenton, Dr Nicola Wright, Dr Justin Waring

Verity is investigating whether co-production works in youth mental health, for whom it works and in what circumstances, by using a realist action research approach. She will be seeking consensus on a definition of the current principles of co-production in youth mental health services by a comparison study examining approaches to co-production in two youth mental health services in different contexts (e.g. UK/Australia). Methods  are to be co-designed with researcher-participants (and may include: survey, interview, focus groups and photo-voice).


Since qualifying in 2017 Verity has worked as an occupational therapist in mental health services with adults and young people in Birmingham. She is currently a Wellcome trust PhD candidate investigating models of co-production in youth mental health.

Participation has been central to her work with young people both as an OT and before this as a youth participation development officer for The Woodcraft Folk (2012-2014). Her masters research comprised a qualitative study which aimed to explore occupational therapists’ perspectives on barriers and facilitators to occupation-focused practice in secure mental health settings and record consensus found using nominal group technique.

Edward Palmer

University of Birmingham

Inflammation and psychosis

Supervisors: Prof Rachel Upthegrove, Dr Jack Rogers, Prof Nicholas Barnes, Prof Zia Katshu, Prof Peter Liddle

The focus of Ed’s project is to use techniques such as big data, genetics and neuroimaging to investigate the role of inflammation in psychosis and the development of novel treatments for psychosis. His PhD is nestled within the MRC-funded Psychosis Immune Mechanism Stratified Medicine Study (PIMS), a clinical trial using an anti-inflammatory drug to try to treat the negative symptoms of psychosis.


Ed Graduated from St Georges University of London in 2017, having completed further degrees and studies in Bioethics and Medical Law at Kings College London and the University of Pennsylvania. Before starting his PhD programme, Ed was working as a NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry. His work combines both training and clinical practice in Psychiatry alongside academic research. As well as psychosis, Ed also has research interests in Psychedelic-Psychopharmacology and Bioethics. He sits on the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Clinical Ethics committee and is a Trustee of Tourette’s Action UK, where he is passionate about raising awareness about Tourette’s, improving access to services and empowering people with Tourette’s and other neurodiversities in the workplace.

Jamie Talbot

University of Birmingham

A trans-diagnostic examination of apathy and its dimensions

Supervisors: Matthew Apps, Matthew Broome

Jamie achieved his primary medical qualification from the University of Bristol in 2011 with an intercalated BSc qualification in pathology and microbiology. Having worked in multiple specialities and departments within the NHS, he has worked exclusively in the field of neurology since 2016. Currently an ST6 specialist trainee in neurology within the South West Peninsula deanery, he was awarded a research grant as part of the Wellcome-funded Midlands Mental Health and Neuroscience doctoral training program in 2022. His thesis, entitled ‘A trans-diagnostic examination of apathy and its dimensions’, under the supervision of Dr Matthew Apps and Professor Matthew Broome, seeks to explore the syndrome of apathy in patients with clinical disorders – in particular linking the symptomatology, phenomenology and underpinning neuroscience of motivation deficits, building novel psychological tasks that probe apathy dimensions, and using computational models to better characterise goal-directed behaviour.

Laurence Astill Wright

University of Nottingham

Digital Intervention to promote self management in people with bipolar disorder

Supervisors: Professor Richard Morriss, Stuart Reeves, Grazziela Figueredo

Laurence is an academic psychiatrist interested in testing new treatments through randomised controlled trials. His PhD is focused on developing and trialling a digital mood tracking app for people with bipolar disorder.

This mixed methods PhD includes piloting and refinement of the app followed by a feasibility trial alongside a nested process evaluation. This aims to create a personalised self-management tool that promotes autonomy, insight and relapse prevention in people with bipolar in collaboration with RADAR-CNS – a pan-European project that aims to better measure and predict clinical outcomes in people with mental health disorder.

Naomi Williams

University of Warwick

Research. Autism, Intellectual Disability (Learning Disability) and Clinical Practice in CAMHS: AIDE Study

Supervisors: Dr Hayley Crawford & Dr Helena Tuomainen

The aims of this research will be to explore clinician knowledge, training, and confidence, while examining the current psychological therapies or adaptations used in child and adolescent mental health services. Alongside, understanding the satisfaction and experiences of both parents and autistic children/young people or children/young people with an intellectual disability (also known as learning disability) when receiving support for mental health difficulties. To investigate the triage and psychological treatment pathway for autistic children/young people or children/young people who have an intellectual disability. The target population for this study will be autistic children/young people and children/young people with mild or moderate intellectual disability and a co-occurring mental health difficulty such as anxiety or low mood. A mixed methods approach will be used, implementing the following instruments, a quantitative mental health provider survey for child and adolescent mental health service clinicians, qualitative narrative interviews with autistic children/young people or children/young people with intellectual disability and their parents/carers and qualitative focus groups with key decision makers.

How competent are child and adolescent mental health service clinicians in assessing the needs of the autistic children and young people or children and young people with intellectual disabilities during triage and treatment of psychological therapies?

What are the needs and experiences of autistic children and young people or children and young people with an intellectual disability? 

How are the needs of autistic children and young people or children and young people with intellectual disability considered during triage and treatment in child and adolescent mental health services?


Naomi Williams’ academic discipline is in Special Educational Needs she is the Founder & Clinical Director of Sensory Learning & Play C.I.C. an organisation primarily for Children & Young People with Additional Needs & Disabilities. Qualified since 2011 as a Social Worker, Teacher, Trainer, and Author. Currently employed by Nottinghamshire Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services, Mental Health Support Team as a Clinical Specialist, where no two days are the same. Her additional expertise and experience include Leadership & Management, Bid Writing, Sleep Specialist, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and setting up local community projects, through various initiatives. She is passionate about supporting people to reach their full potential despite past experiences, backgrounds and needs. Her research interests are Early Intervention Mental Health Services, Children and Young People with Additional Needs and Inclusion.

2023 Cohort

David Wenzel

University of Leicester

Understanding the impact of dying using non-invasive advanced respiratory support on patients and their loved ones

Supervisors: Prof Christina Faull, Dr Jennifer Creese, Dr Eleanor Wilson

David’s project seeks to understand the experience of those dying using, or having recently used, non-invasive advanced respiratory support.  This is a challenging and under researched area of care and David will be using a data triangulation approach to understand the final moments of patients viewed from a staff perspective, the stories of their loved ones and an ethnographic exploration of end-of-life care.


David is an ST6 in Palliative and Internal Medicine from LOROS Hospice, he originally gained his undergraduate degree from the University of Leicester in 2016.  He returned to Leicester to complete his master’s in research methodology, which was completed in 2022.
David continues to work clinically within LOROS Hospice with specialist interest in the management of terminal breathlessness and the impact of non-invasive advanced respiratory support on the dying process.

Madiha Majid

University of Nottingham

Narratives of people with intellectual disabilities

Supervisors: Dr Stefan Rennick-Egglestone, Dr Gerald Jordan, Dr Hayley Crawford

Madiha is a Specialty Trainee (ST4) in the Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability (Learning Disability) and currently an Honorary Psychiatry Registrar at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust. She has previously worked as a NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellow during her Core Psychiatry Training. Her special interests include ADHD and autism.

Madiha completed her medical degree at the University of Birmingham and graduated in 2016, also having intercalated in Psychological Medicine. She completed a Masters in Public Health at the University of Warwick in 2022 where her research focused on barriers to healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities.

Her PhD will focus on how narratives presenting feedback from people with intellectual disabilities can be used to improve health services. Through this research, the aims are to understand how narratives for people with an intellectual disability have been characterised in academic literature, what their narratives can tell us about NHS experience and how these narratives of health service experience can be used to improve services.

Anna Bangiri

University of Nottingham

Measuring and Mapping cognitive decline after brain radiotherapy

Supervisors: Prof. Paul Morgan, Dr Stefanie Thust, Dr Stefan Pszczolkowski Parraguez

The aim of Anna’s project will be to delve deeper into the effects of radiotherapy to the brain. She will be looking to measure damage to critical structures within the brain using voxel-based morphometry and correlate neurocognitive testing outcomes with structural changes and doses from patients’ radiotherapy treatments.  


Anna became a registered Clinical Scientist in 2014. She went on to become the Principal SRS Radiotherapy Physicist for the East Midlands Stereotactic Radiosurgery Service that was setup in 2016. The service has treated more than 1000 patients since it was first setup. Anna is passionate about following a career as a clinical academic and was awarded a HEE/NIHR Pre-Doctoral Bridging fellowship by the University of Nottingham prior to getting funded for her Doctoral Training Programme from the Midlands Mental Health and Neurosciences Network. Anna has been the Deputy Lead at the Brain and CNS Expert Clinical Advisory Group since 2021.


Nitish Jawahar

University of Nottingham

Neuroimaging in Adolescent Mental Health

Supervisors: Prof. Dorothee Auer, Prof. Kapil Sayal

Nitish is an academic ST4 speciality trainee based at the Precision Imaging Beacon, and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Clinical Radiology. He previously completed his NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship during his core radiology training at University of Nottingham/NUH, and his subspeciality interests include paediatric neuroradiology.

Nitish completed his Academic Foundation Programme at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust. He graduated with an intercalated Masters in Medical Education, which focused on applications of Natural Language Programming.

Under this Wellcome-funded doctoral training programme, his thesis seeks to explore the potential of Deep Learning in detection of psychiatric conditions using fMRI techniques. This project aims to develop imaging protocols that extract high-yield MR features in way that is feasible and acceptable for young people with mental health conditions

Abs Bashir

University of Leicester

Exploring mental health awareness and support in older age ethnic minority groups.

Supervisors: Dr Sarah Gong & Prof Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska

Abs’ PhD will explore the culturally appropriate support required to meet the needs of ethnic minority communities with mental health challenges. The aspects of their lives contributing to these will be explored, such as social isolation, language barriers, displacement, loss of family ties, and mental health literacy. The research will evaluate perspectives of patients, carers, community leaders and healthcare professionals. The ultimate aims would be to improve understanding and access to provide prompt and effective support and care.


Abs is an Advanced Care Clinical Pharmacist, who has worked in senior leadership roles across thehealthcare industry, particularly Pharmacy, GP surgeries, hospitals and prisons. He is passionate about reducing health inequalities, promoting equitable access to healthcare and believes in strengthening capabilities to engage the communities we live in and offer healthcare provision, Abs is eager to utilise this opportunity to forge academic rigour with clinical application to imporve patient mental health outcomes.