Vicky Knowles, BTA Research InternOur research intern and volunteer, Vicky Knowles, explains what research projects she's working on and her experience of being part of the BTA research team.

As a research assistant for the BTA I’ve been given the opportunity to help with several different projects. Initially, my internship spanned one month and I was primarily involved in a study focusing on the impact that tinnitus has on the lives of professional musicians. Further into the role I was presented with more tasks to be involved in, gaining a broad understanding of the extensive research that the BTA does.

Currently, I’m enjoying the chance to be involved in projects that span across both key research areas – the search for a cure and methods in managing tinnitus. In addition to the musicians with tinnitus study, I’m involved in work that examines how Covid-19 is affecting individuals with tinnitus.

Within these projects I have the chance to fully immerse myself and apply the skills I learnt in university. My interest is with qualitative research and I was lucky enough to be paired with a fellow fan of qualitative analysis; this was the perfect opportunity for me to apply my skillset and contribute to publishable studies. I have performed a thematic analysis on several datasets, and I feel comfortable (and encouraged!) to take initiative when producing work.

Once my actual internship ended, I became invested in the work I was doing - it wasn’t a difficult choice to carry on with the role as a volunteer! Before the internship my knowledge of the BTA and tinnitus in general was very scarce, but now I feel that I’ve gained a great insight into how the voices of an often-forgotten group can be heard. Hopefully, my career will follow this path and I will have future chances to gain experience in a research area that I’ve found has piqued my interest.