YOU - Imperial College London

Report
Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes
Professor of Addiction Biology
Consultant Psychiatrist, CNWL NHS
Foundation Trust.
MRC Clinical Fellowships Panel
My career path.
• At school, interested in biology not sure about being a
doctor.
• Applied to medical school – 5 rejections
– (Finally) Got in to medical school the following year
• Still ambivalent about being a doctor, so took up offer a
PhD, then post-doc
• Then after 5yrs returned to clinical training
• Awarded Wellcome Clinical Research Training
Fellowship
– 2nd time
• Clinical training completed
• Senior Lecturer, Reader at University of Bristol
• Professor at Imperial College London.
Be clear why you are interested in research
or
why you want to do it
Freedom to pursue my curiosity
Integrated Academic Training Path (England Only)
CCT
Specialist Training
NIHR
Academic
Clinical
Fellowship (281)
Following on
from Academic
Foundation Year
Clinical
Training
1
2
Academic Position
NIHR
Clinical
Lectureship
(207)
3
Research
Training
Fellowship
(355)
HEFCE
CSLA (112)
4
5
Clinician
Scientist
Fellowship*
(142)
Further specialty/
sub-specialty
training
Senior Clinical
Fellowship / Chair
(94)
* There are also 14 NIHR fellowships and 1 MRC bioinformatics training fellowship at the more junior initial post-doctoral level
Schemes.
• Clinical research training fellowship: twice a yr
– provides up to three years' support for clinically qualified,
active professionals to undertake specialised or further
research training in the bio-medical sciences within the UK
for a PhD. A further year’s funding is available for patient
orientated clinical research training fellowships.
• Clinician scientist fellowship: once a year
– is a post-doctoral clinical fellowship providing up to four
years' support. There is also a patient-oriented version of
the scheme that provides up to five years' support, which is
intended for research which requires up to 40 per cent of
the fellow's time to be spent in clinical work.
• Senior Clinical fellowship: once a year
– The MRC’s senior clinical fellowships aim to develop
outstanding medically and other clinically qualified
professionals such that they become research leaders. Is for
5 years
Aims and objectives of the research
training programme
1. to provide (mental) health research leaders of the
future.
2. to provide researchers with the armamentarium of key
skills necessary to address the ambitions set out in the
MRC-led review of (mental) health research.
3. to ensure integration of high quality academic training
with professional development.
4. to build capacity in (mental) health research.
5. to increase the capacity of the research community of
the future to deliver new treatments for (mental) health
conditions and preventive strategies for (mental) illness.
• What’s my likelihood of getting one?
The Institution
The Project
You
Process: selection
• Application checked & validated by organisation
• First assessment of your application.
– CV is important.
• Likely that will be some sifting so that manageable number is sent
out for review.
• Application sent to external reviewers
– Min 2 reviews needed can be 5-6
• A ‘bad’ review does not mean you will not get through
• A ‘good’ review with no meat to it does not always help you
– review by panel members
• After discussion select ~20 applicants for interview
• Interview by panel of ~ 8 board members
• Rank applications, discussion about candidates scored on the
‘borderline’ of funding.
Overview of schemes 1
MRC Research Fellowships for Clinicians
3 /15
Senior Clinical Fellowship
Clinical
Training /
SCL
10-12 /
50
52 awards
(+2x10 Clin
Pharm/Path)
/ ~130
Clinician Scientist Fellowship
Clinical Research
Training Fellowships
Clinical
Training /
ACF
-3
-
Clinical
Training /
CL
Approx Years post PhD
-
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Number of
Live
MRC
PhD Awards
- January
2011
MRC
PhD
studentship
portfolio
& grants
111, 6%
profiles are
aligned
120, 6%
782, 40%
Doctoral Training Grant
MRC Intramural Students
Studentships in Capacity Development areas*
9%
Clinical Research Training Fellowships
MRC Centre Studentships
Industrial CASE Studentships
462, 24%
Planning
When to start?
• It is never too early.
– 2-3 years
• Your CV
– Have you got the appropriate/any publications?
• Takes time
– Have you experience in the techniques you want £1million
for?
– Have you been to a conference, met with key people in the
field?
• ‘I do not know the candidate, but heard them present at a
conference/read their latest interesting/important paper’
• If in doubt speak to someone
– Funding Organisation
– University
– Current award holder
Planning your application.
• Which organisation funds your area of interest?
– Look at strategic aims
– Look to see what they are funding
– Tailor your application specifically to those of the funding organisation
• ‘Not much gets funded in my area’
– why?
– therefore is there a need to fund YOU since you will build your career and
others and therefore this help to build up this important discipline
– rare disease?
• At your institution - who has been awarded one?
– Can you see successful applications?
– Can you see unsuccessful applications?
Preparing application
• Start early
– Read the guidance
– Application submission dates are published well in
advance
– How much notice does your university office want?
• Finance, approvals etc
– Does your Head of Department know YOU and about
the application?
– What other people need to sign off or provide letters
of support for the application?
Your research
Not your supervisors.....
Or their ‘rehashed’ project grant – ‘I’ not ‘we’
Particularly at intermediate fellowships – you need show
independence
What do I look for?
• The candidate
– Achievement and potential of the candidate
• The project
– Does it make sense, do I understand why doing it?
– Feasibility and timeliness of project
– Suitability of location
• Is it interesting / important?
The project.
• Think about a project which is cutting edge,
novel, will address important biological
questions and will fit into a niche.
• Is it what you want to do?
• Can you enthuse others about it?
• Why is it interesting / important to study?
• Why is this the best place to do your research.
The application
• First draft of the application.
– Does it make sense
scientifically?
• Preliminary data?
• Does host lab have appropriate
techniques, data available?
Hypothesis?
If you• can't
write down in a couple
of sentences why
– should you also spend time
• Experimental plan including
somewhere
else ?
a research
aim
is
important,
maybe
it
isn't...
analysis and statistics
– Be specific
• Is there an appropriate
collaborator/group?
What arewrite
your research
If you• can’t
downaims?
a hypothesis, then how do
• Can you do the project in the
•
Why
is
each
one
important?
you know your experiment is designed
correctly?
fellowship period
• What classes of statistical
model will you be working
with (and why is that a good
idea).
– Is it too ambitious
– What happens if expt A leads to
expt B and expt A does not ‘work’
– Is everything in place?
Advice, next iteration.
• Who is going to look at this?
– Your supervisor
– Who else?
•
•
•
•
•
Research Support Services
People who have held fellowships
People who have sat on grants panels
Senior academics
‘someone who does not like you/ is very tough’
– Does it make sense to your best friend / mother / ‘man in
the street’?
– If any of these people raise issues or criticise then you
need to understand why
• You may think they have missed the point but so could a reviewer…….
Other bits.
•
•
•
•
Why do you want an academic career?
Career aims
Who will benefit?
Justification of costs etc
Interview
• Be so good they can’t ignore you. (Steve Martin)
Interview.
• Who is on the panel
– What is their expertise, who is likely to interview you?
– Methods / statistics
• ‘Full’ room
– Panel and staff from the organisation
• Give short presentation
– Are you good at presenting?
– Can you sell ice to the eskimos ie can you convince the panel – remember
most will not know anything about your area of interest – to fund you
• Generally 2 people lead your interview one after each other,
though others can ask questions after them.
– Lasts ~20mins and goes fast
– Body language
– How to deal with difficult questions
• Set up as many practice panel interviews as you can.
And if at first you don’t succeed………
• Getting a fellowship is hard because there are a lot of
good, smart researchers out there applying for them
• Why?
• Feedback
– About project
– About you
– About supervisor/institution
• The process will have helped you develop your ideas
about your research
• Continue to work on your CV, techniques etc
Best of luck.

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