NCOR Director- Dr Dawn Carnes

Dawn has a background in psychology and osteopathy. She practised osteopathy for many years in the private sector and the NHS. In 2002 she undertook a PhD exploring aspects of chronic pain. Since completing her PhD she has remained working in research conducting both quantitative and qualitative research. Her interests centre around the management, treatment and care of those with musculoskeletal pain. She manages a variety of research projects and a list of her publications is provided below.

In May 2012 Dawn was appointed Director of NCOR. Her role is to manage and develop NCOR, work with a variety of stakeholders to devise strategies and advocate and promote research awareness and research amongst osteopaths to advance and optimise patient treatment and care.

 Dr Dawn Carnes – Publications


NCOR Senior Research Officer – Carol Fawkes

Carol Fawkes graduated from the British School of Osteopathy in 1988 and was awarded the Diploma in Osteopathy; she graduated from the British College of Acupuncture in 1992 with a Licentiate in Acupuncture.

Carol was awarded a PGCert in Evidence based in Health Care in 2006 from University of Oxford and completed an MSc in Health Care Research Methods at Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2005.  Her final dissertation investigated patient satisfaction with osteopathy in private practice.

She was appointed Research Officer for the National Council for Osteopathic Research in 2004.

Carol’s professional responsibilities involve running a network of research groups in the United Kingdom.  These small groups undertake a variety of small projects and have investigated a variety of topics including contraindications to osteopathic treatment, referral patterns by osteopaths, minimum requirements in record keeping by osteopaths, consent in osteopathic practice, the osteopathic management of patients during pregnancy and changing demographics in patients with cervical and lumbar spine symptoms during the past 20 years.

Carol has acted as project officer for the development of a standardised data collection tool for osteopathy and was responsible for the administration of a series of studies investigating adverse events in osteopathy.


NCOR Research Assistant – Austin Plunkett


Austin Plunkett

Austin graduated with distinction from the British School of Osteopathy in 2011, gaining a master’s degree. He joined the National Council for Osteopathic Research in 2014 to work as a research assistant. His role currently involves investigating means of disseminating research to the manual therapy professions. He analyses data from several of NCOR’s ongoing projects including patient reported outcomes and patient experiences surveys, and contributed to NCOR’s systematic review of paediatric patients in manual therapies. He was a research advisor to Osteopathy Today, the magazine of the Institute of Osteopathy, the UK’s professional association for osteopaths. Austin also organised NCOR’s 2017 conference on improving the management of persistent pain by manual therapists.