The high quality podiatry-focused research activity undertaken at GCU is unrivalled in Scotland. The podiatry team currently has a broad portfolio of ongoing research, with some staff members making a continued and sustained contribution to high quality research activity within the University, as evidenced by the REF 2013 submission.
GCU has an international reputation for research in foot and ankle biomechanics and rheumatology. The research activity of the podiatry staff team is closely aligned to the established research groups within the University:
- Musculoskeletal and Neurological Rehabilitation Group (D. Turner, R. Barn, M. Abbott)
- Active Living Research Group (S. Baird, D. Turner)
- Diabetes Group (S. Baird, D. Turner, R. Barn)
- School Education Research Group (W. Smith, D. Turner)
External competitive research funding gained by the podiatry staff members in the past five years is in excess of £750,000. Investment through Arthritis Research UK from 2007 (Arthritis Research UK Senior Lecturer in Podiatry, AHP training fellowship and equipment grant funding) has resulted in a programme of research which investigates the pathway that leads from inflammatory arthritis within the foot and ankle to pain, loss of function, deformity and related disability.
Following significant investment through Arthritis Research UK equipment grant funding for ultrasound machines, a programme of musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) research activity at GCU has been initiated. Despite being in the early stages, this research has impacted positively on the design of local foot care services and patient management, raised awareness of MSUS in AHP practice and has the potential for a future REF impact case history. In the past 12 months the podiatry staff team have published over 10 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In the past five years, members of the podiatry team have supervised seven podiatrists at PhD level, thereby making a substantial contribution to building research capacity and capability in podiatry research.
The strong research expertise within the podiatry staff team provides the opportunity to firmly embed research throughout the undergraduate programme and create a number of authentic research encounters (meet the researcher, research placement, research options) in order to try and create vibrant research culture within podiatry and better prepare those who may wish to pursue an academic/research career in the future.