One of the most successful schemes for capacity building and training in translational and experimental medicine, the Clinical Training Fellowships, has been running for over 10 years at our NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ BRC.

The one year pump priming scheme has enabled the BRC to develop a whole cadre of successful clinical fellows, funding 47 fellowships to date. The fellowships give medically qualified clinicians, usually shortly after completing their core training, one year ‘out of programme, to focus on research and training in experimental medicine.  The year ‘out of programme’ gives the Clinical Training Fellows protected research time to generate pilot data, and to work on competitive applications to external funding bodies to prepare their research project for PhD. To date 70% of our Clinical Research Fellows had been awarded further competitive fellowships from institutions like the Wellcome, the MRC, the NIHR and various charities such as the British Heart Foundation.

As well as generating £5.9 million of leveraged funding for research across our BRC partnership, the fellowships have enabled a variety of different career pathways for the CTFs across clinical academia, the NHS, and industry.

Talking about the clinical training fellowships and the opportunities that these open to medically qualified clinicians, Mr Ashish Patel, a past fellow and now a Clinical Senior Lecturer at King’s College London and Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust said: “I would never have known that I had a natural inclination of doing translational research and I would have stayed in clinical training.”

Commenting on the success of the programme, Dr Kate Blake, Director of R&D Strategy at Guy’s and St Thomas’ added: “The BRC team would like to thank all the supervisors who have supported the clinical training fellow cohorts to date, and look forward to continuing this hugely successful scheme going forward.”