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Dr Holly Sugg won the 'Early Career Researcher Award' at the NIHR Research Awards

Early career researcher recognised with award for depression therapy work

A researcher who has conducted a robust and innovative series of studies on a type of depression therapy has won an award to recognose her work.

Dr Holly Sugg, of the University of Exeter Medical School, won the 'Early Career Researcher Award' at the NIHR Research Awards. Holly has undertaken a programme of development, feasibility and piloting of Morita Therapy for depression.

Morita Therapy treatment was developed from the original Japanese treatment which is unknown in the UK. It offers people with depression a unique and very different conceptualisation of low mood and the impact this has on self and functioning.

Holly has published five papers, involving clinicians and people with lived experience and employing innovative research methods to narrative and numerical data. She has received praise for her exemplar approach from BMJ reviewers and was invited to present a keynote at the International Congress for Morita Therapy in China, September 2019.

Professor Dave Richards, who nominated Holly, said: “These outcomes are well beyond what one would expect from an early stage researcher at the very beginning of her career, with far reaching implications clinically and methodologically.”

Dr Holly Sugg said: “I'm very pleased and grateful to win this award. I have really enjoyed my PhD and research career to date, and it's wonderful to receive this acknowledgement of my work and achievements. It's also great to represent the University of Exeter, and the Medical School specifically, in this way - particularly with an organisation as prestigious as the NIHR."

Date: 19 October 2020

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