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The CSP Charitable Trust was set up to support and advance physiotherapy education and research. Frontline takes a look at what it can do for you.

Nature and role of the Trust
The CSP Charitable Trust was established in 1980 as an independent charitable organisation whose core aim is to support the advancement of education and research in subjects relevant to physiotherapy practice. The trust allocates awards annually to
physiotherapy students, physiotherapy assistants and physiotherapists who are members of the CSP.

In 2004 alone the trust allocated nearly ?200,000 to members, providing funding for nine research projects managed by both novice and experienced researchers and 147 individual applications for professional development activities.

Who supports the CSP Charitable Trust?
An annual donation from the CSP is complemented by occasional bequests and legacies from members, member groups and external organisations. The value of this support is clear to see in the recipients' comments below.
Previous bequests are supporting current CSP members on academically accredited courses in rehabilitation, manipulation and neurology and providing student physiotherapists with financial help to do overseas electives.

How is the money allocated?
The trust authorises three independent CSP committees to oversee the allocation of awards. The scientific panel oversees allocation of annual funding for research projects to novice and experienced researchers, annual awards for student research abstracts and a four-yearly award to support presentations at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy.

The educational awards panel oversees allocation of annual funding for a range of education and research activities (courses, presentations, study visits) to physiotherapy assistants and qualified physiotherapists. The Joe Jeans memorial fund panel oversees allocation of funding to students wishing to develop expertise and understanding of physiotherapy practice on overseas elective placements.

All of the panels follow a robust process of application review and approval and panel members are experts in the fields of clinical practice, education and research. They are selected from the CSP membership and
appropriate external organisations.

Who can apply for funding?
The following groups of members can apply for awards specific to their category. Depending on the nature of the award,  applications can be made by individuals and groups.

Student members

  • Presentation at CSP Congress
  • Overseas elective placements Associate members
  • Nationally recognised, academically accredited courses such as N/SVQ, BTEC, Open University, ITEC and foundation degree awards Qualified members
  • Research projects of relevance to the physiotherapy profession
  • Academically accredited courses, such as   postgraduate modules, masters and research  degrees
  • Dissemination of research at national and   international conferences
  • Study visits to international physiotherapy   centres of excellence
  • Large-scale developmental projects to   advance the physiotherapy profession.

What previous recipients have to say
The Baroness Robson travel scholarship supports qualified members undertaking study visits to physiotherapy centres of excellence overseas. One member used this award in July to do a summer school course in conversation analysis (a social science methodology used to analyse human communication and behaviour) at the University of California. She says: 'The experience was absolutely marvellous - very hard work, but very rewarding.

My current work uses conversation analysis to look at how patients and physiotherapists communicate with one another about why particular treatment activities are recommended or proposed, and at patient involvement in communication during physiotherapy sessions. Both my research skills and confidence have had a big boost. I am looking forward to putting what I have learned into practice, and to keeping in touch with fellow students, particularly one who is a speech and language therapist researcher in London.'

The international lecture fund enabled a member to present a paper at the Ninth International Congress of Surgery of the Shoulder and First International Congress of Shoulder Therapists in Washington DC in May 2004. He says the trip was highly rewarding. 'I was able to expand my presentation skills by giving my first peer-reviewed paper to a hall of 500 shoulder surgeons; an experience I am unlikely to forget! I was able to raise the profile of physiotherapy by giving a paper at such a respected conference and I was able to network extensively, building close links with physiotherapists and surgeons from around the world.'

A recent recipient of an award for the BTEC professional development award for assistants says: 'The course has enhanced my competence and I am more willing to undertake a rotational post now.

I hope to carry on with further education as the course has encouraged me to aim higher and to achieve my full potential.'

A student who received the Joe Jeans memorial scholarship used it to part-fund an overseas placement in a respiratory unit in a hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, in summer 2004. She says the experience improved not only her clinical skills but also 'gave me greater confidence in myself and my abilities and helped me to see the great need for physiotherapists all over the world, giving me a greater passion for physiotherapy'.

A physiotherapist funded by the Charitable Trust to undertake a masters-level module found the course helped her to develop on both a personal and professional level, ensuring she now utilises up to date research and treatment to ensure best practice. As well as improving her clinical knowledge, she says she is now much better at communicating with patients and colleagues alike.

One of five novice researchers who currently hold grants from the CSP Charitable Trust Physiotherapy Research Foundation scheme B awards is carrying out a validation study as part of her PhD, investigating the clinical significance of ultrasound measurement of muscle architecture in patients with traumatic brain injury.

The study is a pilot for a larger project which aims to investigate the effect of preventive splinting on muscles. She is finding the grant extremely helpful: it allows her time to concentrate on her research and buy the equipment she needs. This grant has allowed her to formulate some initial ideas for her PhD and has helped to start a research funding track record to help her get more money for future research.

Full details of the range of activities funded by the trust, including annual application rounds and eligibility criteria, will be available on the Charitable Trust section of the new CSP website, due soon: www.csp.org.uk/director/about/thecsp/
charitabletrust.cfm

In the meantime, contact the Society's enquiry handling unit on 020 7306 6666 or email enquiries@csp.org.uk

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Article Information

Issue date

17 August 2005

Volume number

11

Issue number

16

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