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Meet the scientist - Dr Jack Holman

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Dr Jack Holman is a Senior Research Fellow in the University of Nottingham's Hearing Sciences group. His research aims to improve the lives of people suffering from hearing loss.

Knowing that you are working at the edge of knowledge in your area is really exciting. Then knowing that these new findings can make an actual difference is even better.
Dr Jack Holman
Jack Holman

I’m responsible for…

I'm part of the University of Nottingham Hearing Sciences group, based in the Scottish Section at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. My research aims to improve social and emotional well-being for people with hearing loss. As a Senior Research Fellow, I am also involved in mentoring PhD students, supervising medical school undergraduates through their research, operational planning and public engagement.

My typical day…

We usually have several studies on the go at any one time. Typically, I could be brainstorming ideas with the wider research team or international collaborators, piloting new protocols, running participants through experiments, or presenting our results to academics and stakeholders. Although I must admit, there is at least a small portion of every day dedicated to writing!

The best thing about being a researcher...

Undoubtedly, interacting with members of the public. We have a great relationship with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde audiology and are incredibly lucky to have fantastic volunteers of all hearing abilities who take the time to participate in our research. The enthusiasm and dedication of our participants reminds me exactly why we do what we do and is all the motivation I need.

The worst thing about being a researcher...

I can truly say there isn’t a part of my job that I entirely dislike. Some days I could be stuck in a data analysis rut or be struggling to write a manuscript. Yet other days I could be totally engrossed in my new findings or hammer out thousands of words. If I had to pick one thing, I suppose I am not a big fan of looking in people’s ears before running an audiogram, but my wife is a nurse so I really can’t complain about that!

I love my job because…

All sorts of reasons. Knowing that you are working at the edge of knowledge in your area is really exciting. Then knowing that these new findings can make an actual difference is even better. The pandemic showed me that one of the things I love most about the job is the face-to-face interaction with people. There’s a slogan up here that 'People Make Glasgow', and it’s true in a micro sense as well. The humour and sincerity of participants and colleagues make it a great job.

I want to be remembered for…

I want to make an important difference to people’s lives, as I’m sure all researchers do. Almost as important to me is being a good colleague. In a work sense I try to be as helpful as possible on a day-to-day basis, and on a personal level I try to be approachable. We spend a huge amount of our lives in work and I know I value my colleagues for making it a better environment.

My Plan B… (If it wasn’t this job – what else would I be doing?)

Growing up I was always certain I would score the winning goal for Scotland in the World Cup. Unfortunately, the only thing less likely than me playing professionally is Scotland actually qualifying. Given my love of sport and my love of analysis, I think being some form of sports analyst was a more likely plan B.

This research has been made possible by gifts in Wills and donations to the former Medical Research Council (MRC) Institute of Hearing Research, including the generous support of Esme Gray, in memory of her son Stuart Gray. Stuart was working at the MRC Institute of Hearing Research in 1977 when he was tragically killed in a road accident nearby. Esme donated part of her estate to support hearing research in Stuart’s memory.

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