Grace qualified at the University of Birmingham with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Human Biology in 2008 followed by a Distinction MSc in Toxicology in 2009. Grace took a position as a Research Associate within the Primary Care Department at the University of Birmingham in 2011 where her role was study co-ordinator for a large, national cohort study. She also undertook a secondment at Russells Hall Hospital (Dudley Group NHS Foundation). In 2012, Grace was awarded the NIHR School for Primary Care Research PhD studentship. Her PhD research investigated the long-term impact of mini-stroke and missed opportunities to prevent stroke through a systematic review and two epidemiological quantitative studies. This research is published in high impact journals, including PLOS Medicine and the European Journal of Neurology. The research has informed and is referenced in the Stroke Association’s TIA campaign (2014); the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations (2015); and the NIHR Themed Review of research into the organisation and quality of stroke services (2017). The research was also selected to be published as two NIHR Signals (timely summaries of research relevant to policy makers). Furthermore, Grace won eight prestigious awards for her PhD research (two NAPCRG Pearls; NAPCRG distinguished paper award; Australian Association for Academic Primary Care presenter award; ESRF Investigator Award; RCGP David Morgan Presentation Prize; NIHR poster prize; and Graduate Research Festival highest scoring abstract).
In 2013, Grace was selected as the only UK candidate to participate in the Canadian training programme TUTOR-PHC (Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research- Primary Health Care), a one-year, interdisciplinary research training program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation.