Accessibility statement

York researcher awarded Academy of Medical Sciences funding for emerging leaders

Posted on 20 March 2024

A researcher from the Department of Psychology is to receive funding from The Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard scheme for emerging leaders.

Dr Alex Pike will receive the funding from The Academy of Medical Sciences that has awarded over £6.6 million to 54 exceptional biomedical and health researchers through its Springboard scheme. The grants will support Alex and other early career scientists to establish their independent research careers over the next two years. 

Dr Pike studies the relationship between feelings of control, self-efficacy and eating disorder symptoms. She investigates why those with eating disorders often feel a lack of control over their actions, whether they subsequently seek greater control and how this relates to their illness. The results could improve eating disorder treatments. 

“I'm absolutely delighted to be one of this year's recipients of a Springboard award,” said Dr Pike. “As a new lecturer, this funding will allow me to pursue a line of research I've been excited about for some time - examining how those with eating disorders learn about and value feeling like they are 'in control'.

“People with eating disorders often say that the sense of 'control' is an important driver of their symptoms - and yet we don't understand why this happens. Hopefully this research will allow us to refine our understanding of these complex disorders, and in the future lead to treatments that address this important issue for patients.”

Springboard provides awards of up to £125,000 to help newly independent biomedical scientists to launch their research careers. Along with the funding, Springboard recipients benefit from the Academy’s mentoring opportunities and career development programmes. 

Professor James Naismith FMedSci, Vice-President (Non-Clinical) at the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: “Scientists face immense challenges as they begin their careers, and the Academy recognises the hurdles early career researchers must navigate as they establish themselves, which is why initiatives like Springboard are vital. Through this unique programme, we are extremely pleased to support 54 exceptional scientists with our largest-ever round of funding.

"The Academy, together with our partners, is committed to cultivating the next generation of biomedical research leaders and ensuring they have the resources and support necessary to realise their immense potential. By providing substantial financial backing and access to invaluable career development opportunities at this critical stage, we can enable talented researchers to deliver breakthroughs and innovations to improve human health." 

Notes to editors:

The Springboard programme is supported by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), Wellcome, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.