A7 - View from the front line: supporting the challenges of a clinical academic career path

Day 1 at 15:20 - View from the front line: supporting the challenges of a clinical academic career path


Day 1
Session A
Start time 15:20

Postgraduate researchers 

Code A7

Dr Ellen Donovan, NIHR Career Development Fellow, The Royal Marsden/Institute of Cancer Research

Dr Amy Moore, Researcher Development Manager, Institute of Cancer Research

Dr Elise Glen, Researcher Development Coordinator, Institute of Cancer Research 

Workshop overview: 

Health care research is an interesting interface between universities and professional healthcare disciplines. The NHS is promoting the embedding of research in its activity via the National Institute of Health Research (with a budget of £1 billion). The aim is to create a critical mass of researchers known as Clinical Academics. Nurses and the allied health professionals (e.g., physiotherapists, radiographers, healthcare scientists) are an important group to engage in research but are outside of the traditional career paths of scientists and medics. Whilst there are differences in the barriers and needs of different types of Clinical Academics, there are many common areas with university researcher needs. This workshop aims to explore and understand the differences and draw out the similarities to enable researcher developers to enhance their support for this group. It is approached from the perspective of a clinical academic at the Royal Marsden Hospital and its academic partner the Institute of Cancer Research. This interactive workshop will include opportunity for sharing experiences of supporting others in similar roles and those aspiring to them.

Definition of terms: a clinical academic is a healthcare professional carrying out academic research. An 'allied health professional' is a healthcare professional who is not a doctor, dentist, nurse or midwife. This workshop will focus on non-medical, non-dental clinical academics (which includes allied health professionals).

Workshop topics covered: 

  • What is a clinical academic career?
  • Specific challenges in combining clinical and research work.
  • What do aspiring healthcare researchers raise as issues holding them back?
  • What overlaps are there with researcher needs in the university setting?
  • What are the organisational barriers for supporting clinical academics employed both in the NHS and a university
  • What can be shared to improve the support of all researchers, and particularly those under-represented?
  • Approaches we have taken at ICR/RM to support these unique researcher groups in their career and training.

Themes covered:

  • Developing a pipeline of research talent, including widening participation, strategies to attract and retain research talent, and approaches to mainstreaming equality and diversity for researchers in the research environment 

Workshop outcomes: 

  • Understanding of clinical academic careers
  • Insight into the challenges for those navigating dual clinical and research careers and lessons learned at the ICR/Royal Marsden
  • Insight into the approaches taken at ICR/RM to support clinical academic careers/training and from fellow workshop participants.


Information, structured discussion and group sharing of experiences