Tanya Shlovogt

tanya photo   

Director of Research Quality, Head of the Joint R&D Office at South London and Maudsley and the IoPPN 

I am responsible for bridging research governance and management oversight across the Trust and the IoPPN and driving forward the Research and Development strategy.

What is your working day like?  

There is no average week but that’s what I love about the work – you’re always on your toes and learning something new.  

What’s your role?  

As Director of Research Quality at South London and Maudsley and Institue of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), I am responsible for bridging research governance and management oversight for the Trust’s and IoPPN’s research activities across the two organisations, ensuring all research within the Trust meets national quality and governance standards and regulatory requirements.  

I also help to lead  the Trust R&D strategy, which is aligned to the Trust’s overall strategy - to be a catalyst for change and for all service users to have the opportunity to choose to participate in research appropriate to their interests, supported and informed by research-engaged clinical staff, who feel ownership of all research taking place.   

As part of delivering the R&D strategy,  I help to make sure there enough opportunities to take part in research by ensuring that studies are set up quickly and efficiently, that there is sufficient funding, as well as raising awareness and promoting research  . My role covers the whole research lifespan, to enhance awareness and engagement of research across staff, patients, carers.   

What do you enjoy about helping bringing research to life? 

I’m most passionate about bringing research into practice and making research accessible to everyone. There are so many ways to do this – whether it’s by drawing on the latest evidence or learning and using research skills, or simply pointing others to the opportunities there are in taking part in research.  

It’s so important to break down the ivory tower around research and academia and to demonstrate what a powerful tool it can be in everyday situations, and for making improvements to services.  

I would like all clinicians to feel like they can inquire into their own ideas for improved care and treatment and find ways to research their own practices. 

Similarly it is important that we begin to see research as an opportunity for service users as it opens up access to new treatments and care. Research is very much seen like this in cancer trials and we would like it to be the same for mental health research. So I would also like all staff to speak to service users about research and the opportunities that are available to them, especially within such a research rich environment as the Trust and IoPPN.  

Who do you work with? 

I work closely with Carrie-Ann Black, (Head of Nursing for Research and Quality) Professor Fiona Gaughran, (R&D Director),  the Joint R&D Office which includes Research Governance and the central R&D Delivery team to develop and implement the R&D strategy. 

More broadly, I work with colleagues across the King's Health Partnership including King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and the King's Health Partners Clinical Trials Office. I also work with colleagues from NIHR infrastructure locally, such as the NIHR Maudsley BRC, the NIHR King's Clinical Research Facility and the NIHR Clinical Research Network. 

Why did you want to work at South London and Maudsley Trust? 

Having worked in Sussex all my life I was drawn to London to experience the infrastructure and the many partnerships available within the Trust and King’s College London. The amazing work going on across IoPPN and South London and Maudsley research groups and centres creates a fantastic environment for innovating, enhancing, and implementing ideas for research support and management.  

The Trust’s research strategy is to ensure all service users have equal opportunity to take part in research , and for all staff to be aware of and take pride in  research carried out in the Trust. I believe research should be accessible to all and that we should actively find ways to remove the barriers to not only designing and delivering research in the NHS, but also the barriers to participation and involvement.  

I’ve worked in mental health research for most of career,  and was driven to improve mental health services and the wellbeing of others. I started working in research about 20 years ago, and witnessed  the power of research as a tool to make big system changes and improvements for patients.  I now have the  opportunity to deliver change through research on a larger scale, at a Trust with a world-renowned reputation for delivering mental health care and research.  

What does research mean to you? How would you explain your role? 

Research to me means an opportunity for service users, carers and staff to have their voices heard about mental health services, care and treatment. Research covers a huge range of different activities, which means anyone can get involved. from reading a journal, to signing up to a study. 

What’s great about research is that anyone can make it part of their own job. At its essence, it’s about bringing new knowledge into how you do things, making changes, and seeing what works. 

What do you love about your role?  

 I love having the opportunity to make a difference to patient care and outcomes. I truly believe if we can speed up the research process, making it easier for academics to fund and then test their ideas for research and getting the evidence into practice, then patient care and outcomes improve, so the NHS gets more efficient, and staff are happier. 

What is your vision for research at the Trust?  

My vision very much aligns to the Trust strategy: to increase awareness of and engagement with research. Ideally every clinician in the Trust would know about the research going on,how everyone  can contribute to improving the research offer for service users, to improve practice through research outcomes and how to develop  ideas for research (should they wish to). This vision would see all service users and carers offered  research as part of their care pathway.