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2020 NIHR ACF PES Plymouth Platform Science and Bioinformatics



2020 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Priority Research Themes

HEE Local Office: South West
Medical School: University of Plymouth
Research Theme: Platform Science and Bioinformatics
Specialty Options: Clinical Oncology or Neurology or Neurosurgery

Plain English Summary

The research project(s) the Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) will undertake in support of the theme. The research project would be on discovering biomarkers for brain tumours based on 'omic' methods and bioinformatic analysis and will be building on existing research. The project is led by Professor CO Hanemann, director of the South West Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence.

The applicants for this ACF can be in final core training or ST1-3 in either Oncology, Neurosurgery or Neurology. University Hospitals Plymouth provides a full range of neurosciences services. Also Oncology provides full breadth of clinical oncology site-specialist training. The links in Plymouth, between neuroscience, neurology, neuropathology, neuroradiology and the tertiary referral services of neurosurgery and neuro-oncology and intracranial stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy are a strength.

The training will in Plymouth where both clinical and academic activities occur. The assessment of clinical progress will be competence-based with the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) date tailored to the needs of the individual trainee. Assessment of the trainee's progress will be made at a joint academic/clinical Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP).  The research component of the post will take place in the Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine (ITSMed) and the ACF will be part of an active brain tumour team in the centre. ITSMed provides a permissive environment with core infrastructure platforms for effective trans-disciplinary research. Research time can either be on day release (typically one day per week) or blocks of 3 months within a training year, by mutual agreement. For this project at least some block research time would be useful. The research aims to enable the ACF to submit at least one paper to a good impact peer-reviewed journal, and work towards obtaining funding for a higher degree.

The trainee will have both an Academic Educational Supervisor and Clinical Educational Supervisor.  who will work together to draw up a bespoke clinical and academic training programme appropriate for the trainee's specialty. ACFs are linked via email and social activities to the existing cohort. Biannual networking events are arranged for the trainees and provide a forum for discussing career progression challenges. The trainees also have an active social network, which provides opportunity for mutual support and growth of the clinical academic community.
Academic training will be tailored to individuals' needs but trainees will be encouraged to take part in the University of Plymouth Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry research training programme. Details of the training opportunities are provided in a local `ACF guide' provided to all trainees. All ACFs are supported to achieve up to 60 credits (Certificate Stage) via a range from the MClinRes, MClinEd and ResM programmes. ACFs can also access the extensive early career researcher training opportunities that are provided by the University of Plymouth, via its Researcher Development Programme, with sessions available in each of the four key domains: Personal Effectiveness; Research Governance and Organisation; Engagement, Influence and Impact. Training is also provided in `Applying for Research Funding' to assist trainees in moving on to a PhD.