Academic trainees get research funding tips
6 November 2012
Medical academic trainees were told how to fund their research, and given the opportunity to shape future training at a BMA conference last weekend.
Trainees were given guidance on how to get pilot projects up and running, and advised on a wide range of issues at the BMA clinical academic trainees conference in London.
The conference focussed on how trainees could fund their research at different stages of their careers.
Fight for Sight director of research Dolores Conroy updated trainees on funding available from the Association of Medical Research Charities, which funds about a third of publicly resourced research in the UK.
She said: ‘[Fight for Sight] provide some small grant awards to help clinical scientists set up pilot projects, up to £15,000, for clinical research purposes in the field of ophthalmology for 12 months.’
Dr Conway added that Diabetes UK also provided similar-sized 12-month grants to help with the generation of pilot data.
Wellcome Trust head of clinical activities John Williams said his organisation offered clinical lecturers starter grants, which were useful in helping to fund those looking for pilot data.
Medical Research Council clinical training and career development panel chair Ian Hall told trainees of the senior clinical fellowships available to PhD-holders and those with three years of post-doctoral research experience. These provide up to £2m of support over five years.
The conference also heard more about the Shape of Training review, which is looking at workforce and health service needs and the flexibility and scope of postgraduate medical training in the UK.
South east Scotland postgraduate dean Bill Reid, who is on the review’s expert advisory panel, emphasised the importance of the review to trainees, and told the conference that there would be workshops for medical academics to allow them to have their say on training structures.
Academics were also reminded of the work the BMA did on their behalf and the wealth of information available from the BMA library. The library has a Medline literature search, which is available to members.
The conference was organised by the BMA medical academic staff committee and academic trainees.