March 31, 2022

Inspired Researcher: Chris Lynch

This is Research Week, when we celebrate our many inspired researchers at Northern Health. 

Chris Lynch is a self-described late starter. He commenced his undergraduate degree at the age of 30, and didn’t begin his PhD until the age of 45, when he received a Northern Health Foundation PhD Scholarship in 2015. Chris completed his PhD in 2021.

Chris says, “I will be forever grateful to the Northern Health Foundation and Northern Health for the support they provided during my PhD Candidature. Few, if any, PhD journeys follow a smooth path, and mine certainly wasn’t, but the support, access, and opportunity afforded to me through Northern Health helped with each step.”

He says the time in between the start of a project and its completion is crucial. “You have to be independent, a self-starter, motivated, and grow in your own confidence of what you are doing and why.”

Research Week celebrates our inspired researchers. Click here for more details and the complete program for Research Week 2022.

“There are other ‘important’ parts of your candidature though, for example, presenting (even if it’s just a poster) as I did at the Northern Health Research Week, recruiting participants for your study, submitting your first publication, being rejected for the first time, being accepted for the first time.”

Speaking of the challenges he faced, Chris says, “I was lucky that the impact of COVID begun just as I was finishing data collection, so I escaped in that sense. Of course, depending on where you are on the PhD journey, pivoting because of COVID can be challenging.”

However, it also gave Chris, “quiet space and time to undertake writing.”

Possibly the biggest challenge Chris faced was when he decided to leave the security of his job as a teacher to commit to full-time studies.

“While the PhD has some support, and offered part-time teaching etc, it was far below where I had come from, and the workload of PhD plus work, was heavy,” he said.

It is also why he is so grateful to the Northern Health Foundation.

“The opportunity they provide, through offering to support a PhD candidate’s research project, can be of huge benefit. It is confidence boosting, as someone else has belief that your work is worthy and has merit,” Chris said.

‘Throughout the long and arduous PhD process, I often drew motivation that I was also doing the work to repay that support from the Foundation. Of course, for my particular circumstances, the financial support was also very important.”

“Whenever I am at Northern and I meet patients, students, and staff, and I feel proud to be part of it and grateful to have been supported by it.”

Pina Di Donato, Acting Executive Director, Public Affairs and Foundation, believes, “funding research is an important part of our mission at Northern Health Foundation.”

“We are pleased to follow the success of our PhD candidates, as are our donors. We are very proud of Chris’s work and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Northern Health Foundation currently support four PhD students and awarded four project grants in 2021.

The Northern Health Research Week Abstract Book 2022 is now available, with details on Research Week presentations and showcasing the research being done by our Northern Health researchers and collaborators.

View the virtual Research Week 2022 posters here and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award for Best Poster.

For more information, please visit the Research Week pages here.