The CARL-II Fellows attended our second residential in Sydney, hosted by the University of Technology Sydney and Macquarie University. The Chiropractic Academy of Research Leadership (CARL) Program is a grassroots initiative about positive, forward-looking, credible academic leadership within chiropractic. It aims to link promising early/mid stage career researchers who are dedicated to developing high-quality evidence regarding chiropractic as well as a global research network. CARL facilitates training on a range of mentoring, leadership, networking and research-specific skills relevant to early/mid-career researchers.
It is difficult to describe quite what happens on residentials, I would summarise it as a close-knit week-long bubble where we are supported to be our whole selves, within a group of unique and special friends. We all bring a 5-minute update and a challenge we are currently facing to share and discuss as a group. We have workshops from leaders in thought, research, industry, and creativity. We laugh, cry, and solve problems big and small. We are together from breakfast to bed time, and I think its fair to say we make the most of every minute! Some of the outputs are very tangible – see our recent newsletter – but as we discussed during and after the residential, some of the most important ‘outputs’ are in the community, space, time, and relationships we have with each other. We all are grateful for the support of our funders – including the CRC – without this support, it would not be possible! We are also grateful to our home institutions for giving us the time to attend, and of course to our mentors Greg Kawchuck, Jan Hartvigsen, and Jon Adams who give their time, energy, and passion to lead this programme.
Many of the CARL-I and CARL-II Fellows went on from the Sydney residential to WFC Gold Coast. CARL were extremely well represented on the big stage and the research session, a great demonstration of the success of the programme. At WFC I presented the CRC-supported CRUNCh (Collaborative Research UK Network for Chiropractic) project, led by Michelle Holmes. This project involved extensive qualitative work with key stakeholders from the profession, including chiropractors, professional organisation leaders, education leaders, and researchers who had previous experience of practice-based research networks, followed by a realist review. The final findings of this project will be out soon – keep your eyes peeled! This project was awarded the runner-up poster prize, donated by the NBCE. It was so exciting to have this work recognised, and we are really optimistic about where this work might go next. Thank you again to the CRC for your support with the project and my attendance at WFC.