The CW Young Fund is now open for applications to its 2022/3 funding round.

The award is there to promote and advance (by charitable means) the development of pharmacy in Northern Ireland by supporting the education, acquisition of knowledge and furtherance of research.

Last year’s recipients of the award have just published (in the Exploratory Research in Clinical and Social Pharmacy journal) the findings of their research into the impacts on care of the growth in exclusively online pharmaceutical services.

We spoke to Dr Aaron Courtenay, Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Ulster, who was part of the team that carried out this research.

Tell us a bit about what your research was about, and how you identified the need for research in this area.

Dr Aaron Courtney - Lecturer in Pharmacy at University of Ulster
Dr Aaron Courtenay

This research was designed partly in response to changes within the community pharmacy sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it became clear very quickly that service provision from community pharmacy in Northern Ireland is very strong across the board. We wanted to identify what was happening in community pharmacy in terms of the wraparound pharmaceutical care that pharmacies across Northern Ireland provide, and to identify ways in which good practice could be collated and shared within the profession.

Community pharmacy has such a strong role to play in healthcare, however this is an area of practice where research can play a larger role in developing and advancing the sector. It is clear that good work is happening and community pharmacy provides quality services, however research is often not undertaken or simply not published when it is. To ensure Community pharmacy develops at pace alongside other key sectors within healthcare we feel it is vitally important that high quality research is undertaken to support and develop.

Why did you choose CW Young as a funder for your research?

This is an established fund within Northern Ireland, known for its capacity to impact on practice. We had identified an area of practice that required support in terms of evidence base development, and we felt this was a good fit. The CW Young fund is a respected fund established for good reasons, and this has shown in the past tangible outcomes. We hope to use this funding to act as a springboard to launch further research studies in the area of community pharmacy and pharmaceutical care.

How did you find the process of applying for funding from CW Young?

Very straightforward to be honest – this was a simple application form with clear sections to be completed.

We chose to have a joined approach with contributing staff from across a number of institutions, this was to help increase scope and reach of the project to ensure we could leverage contacts in the community pharmacy and profession accordingly. On reflection this worked well as we were able to review responses from across Northern Ireland.

What would you say to anyone who is about to apply for funding from CW Young this year?

We would highly recommend the CW Young fund – the application process was robust yet straightforward. The CW Young fund goals are clear and eligibility criteria are listed. The staff involved in the process were very professional in their correspondence, and the funds were administered in a timely manner.


Fatimah Khan, MPharm, Ulster University
Fatimah Khan

We are delighted to have been selected as researchers and would encourage individuals to apply – there is a real opportunity here to receive support, both financial and through professional networking, to develop research and to improve patient care in Northern Ireland.

With the funding we were able to offer Fatimah Khan (at the time an undergraduate MPharm student) a summer placement to undertake the research. Fatimah has developed a range of skills, and has ultimately graduated MPharm at Ulster with a peer reviewed scientific publication under her belt. So the impact of this funding goes further, it has impacted on the professional development of the staff involved in the process.

The deadline for applications to the 2022/3 funding round is 5pm Friday 6th January 2023.

To find out more and apply, click here.