RESEARCH TRAINING in the North East and North Cumbria

First class research opportunities  

The North East and North Cumbria is recognised as a hub for delivering first-class research across the breadth of basic science discovery through translational research to clinical trials and applied health research.

Our region is recognised as a leader in the delivery of formal, high quality research training and has dedicated integrated clinical academic training pathways. For those trainees who decide that the research should be a larger part of their training our programmes offer out of programme research opportunities, doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships.

The region is a national role model for trainee led research developing both career researchers and trainees who contribute to a research ready workforce.

Research and evidence-based medicine are part of the day to day professional roles of doctors and dentists and therefore is integrated in to training.

Medical school

Granule Course

An online and face to face course designed to equip researchers with the practical skills to recruit patients into randomised surgical trials. 

By completing this course you will:

  • understand why we need randomised controlled surgical trials

  • understand how to convey clinical equipoise, explain randomisation and address patient preferences

  • be able to successfully recruit to randomised controlled trials in surgery


On completing this on-line programme you may find it helpful to attend further skills-practice sessions offered by GRANULE. The online program is available on the NIHR Learn. Access to NIHR Learn is openly available to staff who work for the NHS, UK universities, and other publicly funded organisations conducting and supporting clinical research.


To enrol in this course please visit:


Academic Foundation Programme (AFP)

Around 20 doctors across the NENC join the AFP each year. This two-year programme includes two four-month blocks of research or occasionally medical education (one block per year).

The programme in NENC offers better protected research time than all other AFP programmes in England and gives new doctors the opportunity to develop an interest in research in a clinical area of their choice. It is a trainee-centred programme providing a good ‘first-step’ opportunity for those who wish to enter integrated academic training.

General professional training for dentistry is currently in the design phase and will provide similar opportunities to engage in research over a two-year period in practice and hospital. It is hoped that following this, academic components will be introduced into Dental Foundation Training  and Dental Core Training programmes in line with the recommendations of the national Advancing Dental Care programme.

Core Training

Trainee collaboratives

In the North -East and Cumbria we have a number of specialties in medicine, surgery, dentistry and mental health who have trainee led research collaboratives.

Our trainee research collaboratives have successfully developed and ran their own clinical studies, national audits and research training. Collaborative research is accessible to all trainees throughout their training and caters to all levels of interest. It offers the opportunity to be involved in high impact clinical research that is often not possible as an individual researcher.

Our  trainee collaboratives (CORNET, NOSTRA and INNCARNET) have successfully bid to host the National Research Collaboratives Meeting at the Sage in December 2019 and will be showcasing frontiers in trainee collaborative research @NRCM2019


Out-of-programme research 

Out-of-Programme Research (OOPR) can be taken at any time in specialty training (i.e. training undertaken after the foundation programme in medicine and the DFT and DCT programmes in dentistry).


OOPR is usually two or three years in duration and the trainee should aim to achieve an MD or a PhD. Ideally trainees obtain a training fellowship in national competition from Medical Research Council, Wellcome, National Institute Health Research or a national research charity.

Sometimes trainees are funded from less formal sources such as local charities, industry or as part of other large research grants. This is a critical step in the clinical academic career pathway and provides the opportunity for a trainee to receive high quality research training and to start to develop a strong personal research interest and to establish how much they wish to be involved in research throughout their career.



The ‘Greenshoots’ scheme provides the opportunity to support and develop motivated consultants, nurses, midwives and allied health professions to become Principal Investigators. Aside from the opportunity to gain a research qualification (through the Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Research), the scheme ensures mentorship from experienced colleagues. 

For more information about the Greenshoots scheme please contact:

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