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Three wonderful weeks with the ELFE team at INED in beautiful Paris!

I am Emma Butler, a paediatric occupational therapist who embarked on beginning a PhD after almost 20 years in clinical practice. I am based at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) in Dublin and I am funded by the Health Research Board on the SPHeRE programme. I am interested in any and all research that affects the lives and development of children but am particularly passionate about social justice and preventative intervention rather than a ‘wait to fail’ approach.

I was delighted to receive a grant from the COORDINATE TAVS programme to visit INED in Paris. This enabled me to not only have a wonderful visit working with a very welcoming team but also to have support with my application to use their data and access to it at no cost. From this opportunity, I hope to write a paper entitled “biopsychosocial risks in pregnancy and their impact on child developmental outcomes”.

My stay in Paris was from 11th March – April 1st 2023. Despite lots of strikes, the whole trip went swimmingly. I travelled with my husband and two daughters (aged 9 and 12) and they explored everything that Paris had to offer whilst I went to work and then in the evenings and weekends we made the most of our time together taking in yet more sites, fabulous cuisine and an amazing experience visiting Mont-Saint Michel and the stunning town of Saint Malo.

Big shout out to my wonderful supervisor in INED Jean-Louis who recommended Saint Malo – a real gem! Jean-Louis was also incredibly patient and giving with his time both virtually before I arrived and for the entire duration of my visit. The entire team could not have been more friendly, supportive and welcoming. It was also St. Patrick's day whilst I was at INED and we married French and Irish culture eating oat biscuits and donning green berets at the weekly team meeting.

This trip is something that neither I, nor my family will ever forget. I would highly recommend applying for a TAVS grant, the professional and personal rewards are immeasurable.

Thank you!


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