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What people say about clinical academic careers in Wessex

Clinical academics are clinically active health researchers. They work in health and social care as clinicians to improve, maintain, or recover health while in parallel researching new ways of delivering better outcomes for the patients that they treat and care for.


We support clinical academics at all stages of their career through a number of awards that are funded locally or through the national HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme.  

In 2015/16, £163.4k was awarded to 11 successful applicants who will progress research in the following areas; diabetes, heart failure, eye tracking and the deteriorating patient, renal toxicity, self-medication schemes on maternity wards, genetic testing and consent, antimicrobial resistance, early mobilisation, cancer and cancer diagnostics, and congenital heart disease.

This is what some of the successful awardees had to say;

The award will enable me to complete my MA in Education and my ultimate goal of becoming an advanced practitioner in the role of patient and professional education in the field of diabetes.


The award has provided a wonderful opportunity to continue the work I have already started, which aims to integrate nutrition into the care of infants with congenital heart disease to improve growth and parental self-management.  Without such awards, developing and implementing ideas which aim to improve outcomes of vulnerable children would not be possible.


I am extremely grateful for the award, in particular because it has created the potentially career-changing opportunity to strengthen a working collaboration between my department and Southampton University and provides the necessary backing to support future grant applications, for example with the NIHR.


I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you and how much I enjoyed my post-doctoral award. What a difference a year makes. I was awarded my PhD in March 2015; submitted my NIHR (70 page proposal) in April and following shortlisting; peer review and a gruelling 17 professor panel interview in Leeds, I was awarded an NIHR Clinical Lectureship to commence on 1st April 2016.

My HEW Fellowship has been fundamental in allowing me make the difficult transition from a PhD student to a post-doctoral researcher, and culminated in a very prestigious NIHR award. I have been able to progress my development towards my goal of becoming a leader in renal palliative care research and extend and consolidate my clinical skills beyond the care of renal patients.

Having protected time to continue with research activity following on from completion of my PhD has been essential in developing my NIHR funding application.  Although the main output will be the NIHR application itself, there has been significant development of my research concept over the year. I would not have achieved this without this fellowship. I have developed my skills and experience in PP for research. 

I gained a huge amount from approaching the PPI in a more informal way. Thinking a bit differently about PPI and trying our different approaches has been insightful, and helped me to develop a more inclusive PPI plan for the main research.

In 2016/17 we will be piloting an exciting new award that will support team-level research.

If you would like to know more, email Clare.Mander@wessex.hee.nhs.uk

Follow our work and updates using #HEEWessexCAC

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