From wedding to conference to honeymoon

How Alex Rose, Principle Clinical Psychologist, worked at the RHN, got her first PhD publication, planned her wedding and got married, all in one year

This has been a busy year for Alex Rose. From completing the data collection in her PhD, submitting articles for publication, attending multiple conferences to present her research, and planning a wedding, Alex’s time has been spread across multiple commitments.

It’s not often you have to focus on collecting PhD data, plan a wedding and honeymoon, get an article published and present at international conferences in quick succession, but that’s exactly what Alex Rose, Principal Clinical Psychologist at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) found herself doing this October.

Alex is a PhD fellow at the RHN, completing her research on the assessment of mood after severe brain injury at the University of Glasgow. She is supervised by Professor Jon Evans and Dr Breda Cullen at the university and Dr Sarah Crawford at the RHN. Alex also worked clinically at the RHN on our rehab ward in our brain injury service three days a week, and has been since 2016. With her other two days a week, she focused on her PhD. Alex works at the RHN in our brain injury service three days a week with the other two days used to work on her PhD.

In September 2021, on a rare break, Alex took a trip to Dingle in Ireland with her boyfriend Dr Ciaran Hutchinson, where he proposed to her at a seaside cliff on the edge of the earth. From there, Alex had to start balancing not only her work at the RHN and PhD research, but also begin wedding planning.

The next month, Alex started writing a chapter on a patient diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s with Dr Mike Dilley and a chapter on Locked in Syndrome with Dr Sarah Crawford, both to be published in a text book on unusual presentations in neuropsychology 2023.

Alex continued to complete interviews and with Clinical Psychologists and Medics to finish her data collection and managed a quick trip home to South Africa to celebrate her engagement in early 2022.

When she returned to London she began data collection for her fourth and final PhD study and presented the results of her systematic review online at the Australian Society for the study of brain impairment (ASSBI) conference in May 2022.

She wasn’t just getting PhD work published. In the summer of 2022, she submitted the results of the RHN service development project, completed with Luke Rendell, Senior Physiotherapist at the RHN. They had spent a couple of years developing and auditing the values-based goal setting process that is no used with all BIS patients at the RHN.

Summer 2022 was filled with data collecting and final touches on papers and chapters she had submitted for publication. With the wedding only months away, plans were in full swing. Alex even found the time to have a little Hen Do in Soho while she and her husband made the finishing touches to their wedding plans.

Alex and Ciaran married on 8 October 2022 at the Barbican Conservatory with their French bulldog Rosie at their side. The weather was perfect, and friends and family from around the world joined them to share their joy. Other attendees also included a number of Alex’s RHN family, who celebrated their special day alongside them, including Luke who had to help her with her wedding shoes.

Alex and Ciaran on their wedding day with French bulldog Rosie

Finally, the pair could take some much needed time off to enjoy their honeymoon.

But not before Alex made a trip to Maastricht to present at the World Federation for Neuro-rehabilitation – Neuro-rehabilitation Special Interest Group (WFNR NR – SIG). She presented the work completed with Luke Rendell on value-based goal setting at the RHN, and also managed to win the social media influencer prize and become part of the WFNR-NR SIG social media team.

Alex presenting in Maastricht

Following this presentation, three days of networking and talking neuro research, she joined her husband in Frankfurt to head to their honeymoon in Crete. The next day Alex and Luke’s article was published in The Neuropsychologist: A values-based approach to goal setting in neuro-rehabilitation following severe brain injury: an audit of service development.

Since then, Alex has returned from her honeymoon and attended the SSR conference in Glasgow where she presented her systematic review results, and won the best poster prize for her surveys of clinical psychologists working with severe brain injury. A week later, her systematic review article was published in Clinical Rehabilitation: A systematic review of mood and depression measures in people with severe cognitive and communication impairments following acquired brain injury – Alexandra E. Rose, Breda Cullen, Sarah Crawford, Jonathan J. Evans, 2022 ( Alex then rounded off her year by presenting her PhD progress at the RHN open lecture with over 150 people attending.

Alex at the SSR Conference in Glasgow

Now that her data is collected, in 2023, Alex will be focused on writing up her PhD results and pursuing further publications while maintaining her clinical work on the neuro-rehab ward at the RHN. She will also have a second wedding celebration and Honeymoon in South Africa, and she may even get a few more conference presentations for good measure.