Welsh Government

2016 conference major success

10 November 2016

Health and Care Research Wales held its annual conference last month with more than 300 delegates filling the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff, along with a myriad of partner exhibition stands and guest speakers.

Researchers, academics, scientists, members of the public, Welsh Government and clinical staff from across Wales attended the event which, this year, focused on ‘research with impact’.

The event was hosted by Health and Care Research Wales director Professor Jon Bisson and our keynote speakers Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales and Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Social Services and Public Health, welcomed everyone to the day and spoke passionately about the impact the newly formed Health and Care Research Wales has already made on the research landscape in Wales.

The guest speakers spoke with enthusiasm and hope about the future of research in Wales and the difference it is making for patients across Wales and beyond.

Guest speakers

  • Professor Steve Jones, Emeritus Professor of Human Genetics, University College London
  • Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Director of Research: Impact and Engagement, Cardiff University
  • André Tomlin, National Elf Service
  • Professor Malcolm Mason, Professor of Cancer Studies, Cardiff University

Workshops were also held for participants to delve into the meaning of ‘research with impact’ and consider the impact of public involvement on research, policy and on practice.



A competition was launched prior to the conference to celebrate research in Wales. Contributors were asked to send in images of anything they associate with research in Wales, whether that meant people, young, old, indoors, outdoors, medical, non-medical, laboratories, technology – wherever and however research takes place.

There were more than 40 entries, and a huge mix of informative, creative and inspiring images based on the theme of Research in Wales.

This was judged by Prof Jon Bisson, Faye Chamberlain (professional photographer and artist in residence of the Football Association of Wales) and a member of the Health and Care Research Wales communications team.

There were four categories, the judges decided upon a special mention for artistic merit and there was an overall ‘photo of the year’. The category winners were:

  • Up close: Wendy Scrase (BCUHB) with “Handling Age Well”
  • Connecting winner: Barbara Moore, Health and Care Research Wales with “Research improving all our tomorrows”
  • Everyone’s different winner: Lewis Waggett, (BCUHB) with “Why we do research”
  • Special mention for artistic merit: Michele Davies (BCUHB) with “A spoonful of medicine”
  • Photo of the year winner: Lewis Waggett, (BCUHB) with “Why we do research”


Each winner was awarded with a canvas print of their entry and an engraved trophy to take home.

Magazine name

Another competition awarded on the day was naming the brand new bi-annual magazine featuring news and features about health and social care research in Wales. The lucky winner was Lisa Seale, Senior R&D manager from Hywel Dda University Health Board and the winning name… @ResearchWales.

Best interactive stand

Voting took place throughout the day to choose the winner of the ‘best interactive stand’ at the event. The BRAIN unit, manned by research manager Dr Laura Bunting received the most votes and was crowned overall best stand. Laura and the team asked guests to unleash their creative side and set up canvas paintings to decorate for displaying at the BRAIN unit in Cardiff.

We’d like to thank everyone who came along on the day to support the event and especially to our wonderful speakers, who gave their time so generously to support the day. We have been collating your feedback from the event and you can take a look at thoughts and learning from this year’s event on here soon.