Head of Programmes, Dr Rachel Macdonald, would like to thank all those who have been instrumental in supporting our Mentoring programme over the last fifteen years as we celebrate this anniversary.
In the beginning we were funded by the Department of Health to set up the programme and support Clinician Scientists. We are now funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), ensuring that we can continue to offer post-doctoral clinical academics the opportunity to select a mentor, and take advantage of our training and guidance.
'Mentorship is hugely valued by clinical academics as they progress through their medical research careers and NIHR has invested in the AMS scheme since its inception. We have many examples of successful NIHR researchers who have benefited from this scheme and I would encourage all our eligible award holders to take advantage of the truly excellent mentors on offer, which now include NIHR's own Senior Investigators and Research Professors.' Dr Lisa Cotterill, Director, NIHR Trainee Coordinating Centre
Over the years we have continued to grow the reach of the programme and are grateful to the support we have received from the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to open the programme to clinical academics in these regions. We have also successfully paired clinical academics on secondment to industry, through a partnership with GSK. Dr Duncan Richards, VP Head of Translational Medicine at GSK, agrees that offering this support to clinical academics at this stage of their careers is critically important:
‘The nature of therapeutics is evolving rapidly with the emergence of, for example, bioelectronics, nucleotide therapies, and immunoglobulin fragment drugs. This exponential expansion is a huge opportunity for young researchers but can be confusing. Mentorship from Fellows of the Academy, many of whom have cross-sector experience, can provide the perspective and inspiration that can be so enabling for those early in their career weighing the different opportunities available.’ Dr Duncan Richards, VP Head of Translational Medicine, GSK
In 2013 the Medical Research Council (MRC) joined as a funding partner, which has opened up our Mentoring programme to non-clinical biomedical researchers, who also benefit hugely from mentoring. And more recently, with the support of the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation, Arthritis Research UK and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, we can offer mentoring and training to all our applicants and award holders through the Springboard and Starter Grants for Clinical Lecturers schemes.
All this generous support has also allowed us to develop a suite of resources including information sheets, films and webinars, to complement our Mentoring Masterclasses. We also run regular career development events around the country offering training and networking to a range of researchers across all career stages. The support from DH/NIHR was critical to establishing the programme, and now our family of funders continues to maintain our activities to date. We are grateful to this long term investment and recognition of the value of mentoring and support for researchers. We know that mentees have really benefited from this opportunity.
'The Academy's Mentoring scheme has provided me with invaluable support since my appointment as an Academy Senior Clinician Scientist in 2003. Being able to get independent advice from Professor Sir Graham Teasdale, inside my speciality but outside my region, has been vital in helping me to grow my research and clinical practice, with progression to a NIHR Research Professorship and Chair of Neurosurgery in Cambridge.' Professor Peter Hutchinson, University of Cambridge