29th April 2021: Meet the Team – Dan Dyball

Dan in the pub about 48 years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is your role within ADVANCE? I am a research assistant. This is something of a jack of all trades job. Do you need to contact a participant about their follow-up appointment? Do you need someone to code data? Do you need a coffee? I do all of those things. And it’s the best damn coffee you’ve ever had. 

What was no. 1 in the UK charts on the day you were born? I just can’t stop loving you by Michael Jackson. 

What jobs have you done before joining ADVANCE? I used to work in psychology. I was an assistant psychologist for around five years after university, then moved to research in 2015. Never looked back – research work is much more my bag. 

What do you enjoy most about your job? Getting into the data analysis and finding answers to important questions. It’s very satisfying to say “look, this group is doing very well / aren’t doing so well and it’s because of this. Here’s the numbers to prove it” and then have clinicians use that proof to amend their practice. 

What are the biggest challenges of your job? Military personnel, serving or veterans, do like to move around a lot. One minute you can be in London, then next you’re in Somalia, or perhaps somewhere even more dangerous, like Glasgow. If you can spare a minute to think about poor research assistants all over the world and donate to us your most up-to-date contact details every now and again, we’d be eternally grateful. 

If we could see all our participants together, what would you say to them? “Who’s buying the first round?” 

What’s your favourite meal? Proper adult meal: Dim sum. Student meal: Plain spaghetti, vegetarian hotdogs, cheese and ketchup. 

What’s your favourite drink? Moscow mule or espresso martini.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I cycle, break my bike, try to fix my bike, fail to fix my bike, buy new bike, repeat.

What’s the last book you read? Probably a statistics book or something science-y. Last fictional book was The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman. 

List three words that your friends or partner would use to describe you. Utterly sarcastic b******.

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