A specific example of this is the Clinical Bridging Fellowship scheme that was launched in 2013. These provide a unique opportunity for the best clinical academics to prepare advanced fellowship applications to external funding bodies. The annual one year Clinical Training Fellowship Programme that our BRC instituted in 2008 served as the blueprint for the recently launched Francis Crick Clinical Fellowship scheme that is now being rolled out nationally. STEM is one of only two such structures in the world and exists to support multidisciplinary teaching and training at the translational interface.
Specifically, STEM comprises:
- Nine rounds of annual one year Clinical Training Fellowships (CTFs), with a success rate of >90% in securing external peer reviewed fellowships (MRC, WT, CRUK, BHF). 87 CTFs have been trained to date;
- Four rounds of PhD studentships. 76 students have been trained to date;
- Three rounds of allied health professional studentships have been launched with 25 students trained;
- The first intercalated BSc in translational medicine and pharmacology is now fully integrated with the medical school curriculum.
“The BRC-funded fellowship was invaluable as it provided me with the opportunity to be trained in new laboratory techniques which I hadn’t previously experienced. The fellowship allowed me to generate essential pilot data that I used to then apply for my BHF-funded PhD.”
Ash Patel, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College London
STEM has proven highly successful in achieving these objectives during the 2012-2017 period of funding. To date, our fellows have achieved 189 publications, 60 as first author.
At STEM we have invested in individual career development for researchers at different career stages and on different career paths. We’ve tailored this support to help the career development of our translational scientists.
We believe in supporting scientists in a way which works for them, for example through tailored mentorship, flexible working, or alternative funding paths.
This is what our researchers say about their experience within our NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.
“The translational approach was the main thing that attracted me to the BRC. The ‘bench to bedside’ approach, being based in the hospital and working closely with clinicians made it feel like I learned so much more. I was quite lucky to be exposed to the science in a real context. It makes it not just theoretical. It was the best of both worlds.”
Charlotte Lee, Medical Science Liaison, Ferring
The STEM cluster board comprises senior members from our partner NHS Trusts and Health Schools within King’s College London in order to provide integration and mentorship of the training platforms for our clinical and non-clinical trainees.
It has oversight of the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre’s Clinical and Research Training Fellowships and PhD Studentships.
“Traditionally pharmacists find research the most difficult area to get a foot in the door with. By doing the BRC fellowship, I got quite a unique opportunity to up my research skills and to show that pharmacists can conduct research not just at a data gathering, entry or support level. Actually at a principal investigator level and lead on study design and dissemination.”
Lynda Cameron, Senior Pharmacist in Critical, Care, Guy’s and St Thomas’
“The biggest thing for me was the real research experience it gave me. This stood me in good stead to apply for more funding and go on to do more research.”
Nick Byrne, Medical Physicist & NIHR PhD Candidate
Claire Dossi, Research Training Programmes Manager