Newcastle receives national award to help develop and support careers in Clinical Education research

Newcastle has received funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to continue the Incubator for Clinical Education Research (ClinEdR) that was first established in 2020 to develop the capacity of clinical education research nationally.

The NIHR Incubator programme encourages networking, training and career development support for health and care professionals. Each incubator works with stakeholders to help them identify barriers to research capacity for their community and identify solutions.

This ClinEdR incubator is one of ten NIHR supported incubators that are set to begin in January 2024 following a highly competitive award process. The ultimate aim of this incubator is to contribute to the health and care needs of society by enhancing the education, training and development of health and social care practitioners and the structures and contexts in which they work and learn.

In doing so, the incubator looks at developing careers for clinicians who want to move into educational research alongside their clinical careers. There is a particular focus on nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs) roles which often lack opportunities within clinical education research. The Incubator is also continuing its training programmes that have had huge success with a range of tailored, interactive in-person and online events.

Over the next three years, the Incubator will be working towards a long-term goal of establishing a sustainable permanent structure to support the work of new and established researchers in clinical education.

The previous work of this Incubator, during the 2020-2023 period, saw the activities achieve an Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Commitment to Institutional Scholarship Award which recognised the programme as a whole on a national level and further advances the reach and influence of the incubator.

The incubator will be led by Professor Gillian Vance, Professor of Medical Education at Newcastle University, Dr Bryan Burford, Senior Lecturer at Newcastle School of Medicine and Professor Janice Ellis, Professor of Dental Education at Newcastle School of Dental Sciences.

Professor Gillian Vance, said:

“At a time when the NHS Long Term Workforce plan places emphasis on ‘Train, Retain and Reform’, there has never been greater need for high quality clinical education research. The renewal of the Incubator allows us to continue our work – growing and supporting a community of researchers, so that they have the skills, networks and opportunities to succeed in this field.

Professor Janice Ellis, said:

“Having started the Incubator in 2020, this renewal not only recognises and validates how important it is to support career development in clinical education research, but also acknowledges the success of the Incubator to date.”

Dr Bryan Burford, said:

“The Incubator has achieved real impact in its first three years. In February 2023, we held an event to identify priorities for clinical education research, attended by over 50 representatives of regulators, funders, and members of the public, as well as researchers. This has led directly to the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research programmes issuing its first funding call specifically for research into education and training.”

Dr Amy Brown, NHIP Academy Manager, said:

“The ClinEdR Incubator has made a great impact during its first few years, and it is fantastic that the work taking place is being recognised on a national scale. Clinical education spans across all of our work in NHIP Academy, where we are dedicated to unlocking career development opportunities for the next generation of health and care researchers. The renewal of the incubator means that the academy can continue to work with the ClinEdR Incubator team to build on this momentum and we look forward to working together on this.”

Associate Dean of NIHR Academy, Professor Anne-Maree Keenan said: “I am delighted to announce the funding for these 10 Incubators which will help overcome barriers to early career researchers in these areas. They will work closely with the community to address their needs and play an important role in supporting under-represented groups and areas of research most in need.

“I am excited to see the positive changes they can make. They will help the NIHR shine a spotlight on these crucial areas and think creatively about how to solve the issues that they face.”

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