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There are a number of Clinical Research Training opportunities that support clinically active doctors to undertake a full-time higher research degree (PhD/MD) with the ultimate aim of consolidating their research into more senior research positions, such as a Clinical Lecturer.

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Recruitment

A number of different funding bodies provide clinical research training opportunities and programmes of academic research, such as the Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome Trust, and British Heart Foundation (BHF). Each opportunity will have a different recruitment process. Details about the application will be available on each of the funder’s websites.

The application and recruitment of those undertaking a self-funded higher research degree (PhD/MD - not  funded programme/ scheme) at Imperial College will be agreed by the candidate and their proposed supervisor. Candidates considering undertaking a self-funded academic research degree (PhD/MD) should consider carefully, with advice from their proposed supervisor, how they will meet the financial requirements throughout the duration of their research. (More information about doctoral study can be found on the Imperial College website.)

General features of a Clinical Research Training Fellowship include:

  • the research training to be conducted full time.

  • the Fellow takes a formal break from clinical training (‘OOPR’ Out of Programme Research) for the duration of the PhD/MD.

  • the Fellowship duration is usually in the region of two to four years.

Eligibility

CRTFs undertaking a programme of academic research supported by a funding body such as the Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation (BHF) will have different eligibility requirements. Details about eligibility will be available on each of the funder’s websites.

Those undertaking a self-funded academic research degree (PhD/MD) at Imperial College will need to confirm eligibility requirements with their proposed supervisor.

It is not necessary to have been in an ACF post to apply for a CRTF.

Contract

CRTFs will hold a full-time contract with Imperial College London, located within an academic department.

HR contracts will be issued by the CRTF's Imperial College HR department and by the Joint Research Office (JRO), often coordinated on a departmental level. Where relevant, the funding body may also issue a contract alongside the award letter.

There are often a number of requirements, checks and different forms to fill out - trainees are advised to establish who their departmental/programme administrators are from their supervisors, to assist them with these tasks at both Imperial College London and the awarding funding body.

Funding and bursaries

CRTFs may be eligible to apply for other potential sources of funding over and above their PhD funding and should seek advice from their supervisor.

CATO does not currently offer any additional funding to CRTFs, however CRTFs are most welcome to attend events organised through the CATO office.

 

Events

CATO trainee forums and meetings

During the course of each year, the CATO team organises a number of educational events and other activities which CRTFs are very welcome to attend. These are provided to disseminate information, present trainees with opportunities to ask questions, share information and encourage networking, social interaction and support.

Courses and development

CRTFs undertaking a programme of academic research supported by a funding body may be required to attend courses as part of the compulsory requirement of their funding award. A number of research-, personal- and professional development opportunities are provided Imperial College London, which CRTFs may find helpful. These are provided by the Graduate School and the Education Development Unit.

Support and resources

In addition to their PhD supervisor there are other individuals who can help and support clinical research training fellows during their PhD's at Imperial, including the following:

Departmental administrators and managers 

Each of the schools, institutes and departments at Imperial College has administrative divisional/specialty teams who will be able to help CRTFs during their time at Imperial College. To find an up to date list of contacts, visit the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine web pages and search for the administration teams in the Departments section of the Faculty of Medicine.

Other clinical academic trainees and clinical research training fellows

Through the events organised by CATO and other occasions arranged by each specialty/division CRTFs will have an opportunity to meet and network with other trainees and CRTFs following academic programmes at Imperial. CRTFs are encouraged to take full advantage of these opportunities to meet and stay in touch with others who are in similar situations to themselves, to share experiences and offer and benefit from some peer support.