Wellcome Trust invests £5 million to launch the careers of clinician researchers in northern England

The Universities of Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield will receive £5M over the next five years to combine their strengths in biomedical and health research.

The 4ward North Clinical PhD Academy will be created.

The Academy, in collaboration with The Francis Crick Institute in London, will award and oversee 25 Wellcome Trust fellowships to allow the best clinical trainees from around the country undertake a PhD. Additional bursaries and awards are available to help the next generation of clinician researchers make the all-important transition to a successful postdoctoral research career.

The international selection panel at the Wellcome Trust was particularly impressed by the innovative way in which the universities had come together to create a single collaborative entity in which the fellows will access the best of the combined research supervision, cutting-edge facilities and mentorship.

Professor Neil Hanley, Chair of Medicine at The University of Manchester, who led the bid with Professor Phil Quirke at Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds and colleagues from Sheffield and Newcastle, said: "This was a great team effort over two years. The competition was tough and to have won the warm backing of the Wellcome Trust and collaboration of the Francis Crick Institute for our plans really illustrates that by working together we can improve our clinical academic training and research opportunities for the brightest trainees."

Professor Paul Stewart, Dean of Medicine & Health at the University of Leeds and Chair of the overarching 4ward North board was delighted with the news. “This is a tangible example of the national outreach of the Francis Crick Institute – its partnership with the academic excellence of the N4 consortium will deliver a stepwise change in training tomorrow’s clinical researchers”.

Sir Keith Peters, who helped establish the collaboration with the Francis Crick Institute, said: “As the Francis Crick Institute opens its doors at its new campus, it is wonderful to join up with this exciting research opportunity in northern England. Inspiring the next generation of clinicians to undertake research in the best settings is critical and it is a pleasure to be part of the Wellcome Trust 4ward North Clinical PhD Academy.”

Click here for further information about the Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD awards.

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