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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Doctors and Dentists

Developing expertise for doctors and dentists

Where do you see yourself now and where would you like to be?

Explore the tabs to find out about opportunities to become more involved in research for each stage of your career.

Medical students are welcome to get involved! You can recruit patients to clinical trials following appropriate training and with appropriate supervision. You can refer to this list of clinical trials that you can get involved in via the Associate Principal Investigator scheme. This list is regularly updated.

Anyone wishing to join a study and help recruit patients must first complete their Good Clinical Practice training, which is available online or as a face-to-face course. You can book this training via the NIHR Learn website. You will will need to have an NIHR Learn account to access the course. Information about NIHR Learn, including how to access the platform, can be found in the NIHR Learn Help pages.

There is also a "GeneRAtiNg sUrgicaL rEcruiters for randomised trials" (GRANULE) course specifically designed to help you learn how to recruit patients into surgical trials.

Another way to develop your expertise is to consider undertaking an intercalated bachelor degree. Once you have completed it, you resume your original medical or dental degree. You can find out more about these opportunities by contacting your local university.

Academic Foundation Programme

Around 20 doctors and dentists across the region join the Academic Foundation Programme (AFP) each year. This two-year programme includes two four-month blocks of research, or occasionally medical education (one block per year). Applications for the AFP open earlier than the normal foundation programme, so you will need to prepare early. More information about the AFP in our region can be found at  Faculty of Medical Sciences - Newcastle University. Further details on how to apply are available in the NIHR Integrated Academic Training Guide.

The AFP offers you more protected research time to develop an interest in research in an area of your choosing. It provides an excellent first step for trainees who are interested in developing an academic career.

A general professional training course for dentistry is currently being designed and will provide similar opportunities to engage in research over a two-year period.

E-learning

NIHR Learn also offers a range of online training resources; you need to log in to access the resources. Click here to find out more about the training and resources offered on NIHR Learn.

Participants will need to have an NIHR Learn account to access the course.  Information about NIHR Learn, including how to access the platform, can be found in the NIHR Learn Help pages.

Academic Clinical Fellowships

Interested in developing your research CV and career? Then the Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) can be a great first step.

ACFs spend 25% of their time in research and 75% in clinical training. The appointment is for up to a maximum of three years and is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). ACFs can be seen as additional posts that allow more flexibility and opportunity to develop research skills and experience; they are essentially supernumerary posts.

ACFs are the first formal stage of the Integrated Academic Training (IAT) programme. The purpose of an ACF is to help trainees to apply for doctoral training fellowships from a research council, major research charity, or the NIHR to undertake a PhD or MD. For more information about IAT in our region go to Faculty of Medical Sciences | Newcastle University. For information on how to apply, please refer to the Integrated Academic Training Guide.

Trainee collaboratives

In our region, we have a number of specialities in medicine, surgery, dentistry and mental health which have trainee-led research collaboratives.

Collaborative research can be accessed by all trainees throughout their training and caters to all levels of interest. It offers you the opportunity to be involved in high impact clinical research that you often can't access as an individual researcher.

Local trainee research collaboratives have successfully developed and run their own clinical studies, national audits and research training. Please see the interactive specialities collaborative body map on the Find Your Place website for information on local and national trainee collaboratives

Recruitment into clinical trials

You can refer to this list of clinical trials that you can get involved in via the Associate Principal Investigator scheme. This list is regularly updated.

There are lots of clinical trials going on across our region in all specialities – so there are plenty of opportunities for you to get stuck in!

To recruit to clinical trials, you must first complete their Good Clinical Practice training, which is available online or as a face-to-face course. You can book this training this training via the NIHR Learn website. You will need to create a free account using your NHS or university email account to access the learning content. There is also a "GeneRAtiNg sUrgicaL rEcruiters for randomised trials" (GRANULE) course specifically designed to help you learn how to recruit patients into surgical trials.

It can be difficult to know which studies are going on in which trusts. If you are interested in taking part in patient recruitment, get in touch with your hospital’s research and development teams. You can refer to this list of clinical trials that you can get involved in via the Associate Principal Investigator scheme. This list is regularly updated.

Research in the NHS course

This course will help you develop your research skills and gain a better understanding of the NIHR Clinical Research Network and how research works in the NHS. It will also tell you about clinical research careers and other opportunities available to you. This course was commissioned by Health Education England North East (HEE NE) and is developed and delivered in collaboration with Newcastle University and the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria. The course can be booked via this link.

Doctoral Fellowships/Out-of-programme research

Out-of-programme research (OOPR) gives you the opportunity to receive high quality research training and decide how much you wish to be involved in research throughout your career.

Doctoral fellowships can be undertaken as part of the integrated academic pathway or as OOPR. Further information about doctoral training opportunities in our region can be found in the clinical academic training for doctors and dentists - Newcastle Health Innovation Partners.

OOPR can be taken at any time in speciality training (after the foundation programme in medicine and after the dental foundation and core training programmes).

OOPR is usually for two or three years and the trainee should aim to achieve a master’s degree or a PhD. Visit Health Education North East for information on how to apply and academic training.

Associate Principal Investigator Scheme

The Associate Principal Investigator scheme helps you to become a future principal investigator and also promotes engagement in NIHR portfolio research. A principal investigator (PI) is responsible for running a research study at a local site.

Your trust's research and development department can advise you on studies that are currently running at your local hospital that you can get involved in via the Associate Principal Investigator scheme.

PI training is also available on NIHR Learn and a PI Essentials course for trainees is run twice a year. A calendar of NIHR events can be found here.

Clinical lectureships

The NIHR Clinical Lectureship (CL) is a post-doctoral award that provides a clinical and academic training environment for doctors and dentists to establish themselves as independent researchers and leaders.

These posts allow medical and dental trainees to apply for a clinician-scientist advanced fellowship from the Medical Research Council, Wellcome, the NIHR, or a national research charity.

To apply, you must have submitted a PhD or MD thesis and be in a higher training programme. The posts are funded by the NIHR and are supernumerary. More information about clinical lectureships can be found here.

NIHR In-Practice Fellowship

The NIHR in-practice fellowship (IPF) provides pre-doctoral academic training to fully-qualified general practitioners, general dental practitioners, and community dentists.

This award will equip you with the skills and experience to prepare an application for a competitive, peer-reviewed doctoral level research training fellowship. You may have received little formal academic training at the point of application, but should be able to demonstrate your commitment to a career as a clinical academic.

As an awardee, you will split your time equally between a clinical position and the academic training funded through the award.

Greenshoots

The NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria's Greenshoots scheme supports consultants, nurses, midwives and allied health professions to become Principal Investigators and gain a research qualification (through the postgraduate certificate in clinical research). Please contact the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria's learning and development team for more information.

An excellent local resource to help you develop expertise as a doctor or dentist is the Find Your Place website.

The website's research roadmap shows three different career paths: 

  • the integrated academic pathway for trainees who intend to be career academic researchers
  • trainees who wish to take specific blocks of time to do research
  • research opportunities completed alongside training

Most medical royal colleges provide guidance of how to develop your career in research.

Here are details from the excellent Royal College of Physicians' "research and innovation hub".

The General Medical Council (GMC) also promotes the value of research for patients, healthcare professionals and teams, and NHS.