North West London Research Symposium

CATO runs a number of events to support the development of clinical academics/researchers across the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre.  The events are for clinical staff from all AHSC partner members:  Imperial College London (ICL), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT), Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust (RBHT) and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (RMH) who are either already doing or interested in undertaking research.

On this page you will find details about upcoming CATO events, materials from previous events and other news that we hope will be of interest to you.

Current CATO Events part 2

Coming Soon

More CATO Events to be confirmed

Coming Soon

More CATO Events to be confirmed

Previous Event Highlights

CATO Masterclass - 1 November 2018

The CATO Masterclass: “Maximising the success of your PhD” and “How do Universities and Funders assess the success of your research” took place on the Thursday 1 November 2018 in the Wolfson Education Centre at Hammersmith Hospital.

This event was attended by over 50 delegates many of whom are already currently doing PhDs as well as other Medics and Healthcare Professionals in clinical academic roles.

Our Speakers from the evening have kindly agreed to share their presentation slides below:

Prof Iain McNeish: “Maximising the success of your PhD”
(Professor Iain McNeish PDF)

Prof Stephen Curry: “How do Universities and Funders assess the success of your research”
(Professor Stephen Curry PDF)

If you are interested in attending future Masterclass events, please keep an eye on our website for the latest news.

Academic Opportunities for Junior Doctors: 23 October 2018

This year’s Academic Opportunities for Junior Doctors event provided an array of information about how academic trainees could kick-start their academic careers. The event was aimed at those already in a clinical academic training post and thinking about next steps, or those currently in clinical training and considering applying for a clinical academic post. 

The event topped last year’s numbers, with 80+ delegates attending from a variety of specialties and career stages, seeking information and advice on the opportunities available nationally and locally and tips on developing a successful career in academic medicine.

Professor Waljit Dhillo, NIHR Imperial BRC Training Lead, chaired the programme together with Professor Jeremy Levy, CATO Director from the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre.

Kiri Tan from the Wellcome Trust gave an overview of WT opportunities and Professor Waljit Dhillo talked about the research training and Fellowships offered by the NIHR.  Professor Anne Lingford-Hughes (ICL) gave tips about getting through a Fellowship interview.  There was also a talk from Dr David Owen, a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London, about his career path and his research.

Dr Jenna Stevens-Smith and Dr Harry Leitch (Institute Of Clinical Sciences) spoke about the Chain Florey Fellowships and PhDs. We also heard from Dr Andrew Edwards (Imperial College London) about the Imperial MRC Centre for Molecular Bacteriology and Infection PhD Fellowships (CMBI).

We have included the presentation materials below from speakers who have given us permission to do so.

 Speaker presentations from 23 October 2018

Preparing for a Pre-doc: 2 October 2018

The “Preparing for a Pre-Doc Fellowship” for Healthcare professionals took place on Tuesday 2nd October 2018 at Charing Cross Hospital and attracted ~20 participants from across the AHSC. This event was designed for any healthcare professional outside of medicine who is thinking about applying for a pre-doctoral fellowship later this year or early next year.

Staff from Imperial College London, Imperial College Health Charity and Royal Brompton Health Trust attended the afternoon event. They listened to informative talks form Professor Mary Wells and Dr Caroline Alexander who discussed possible fellowships and what the reviewers look for. They also heard from past applicants Adine Adonis (IHC Pre-Doc Fellowship) and Juliet Albert (NIHR PCAF Fellowship) about their experiences through the process. The second half of the afternoon gave the attendees a chance to look through sample Fellowship application forms and consider the information they need to obtain and discuss their ideas with their peers and session leads.

All attendees found the session valuable and the majority of the applicants indicated they plan to apply for a Pre-Doctoral fellowship in the 2018/19 application round.

Presentations from the speakers are available below:

Prof Mary Wells - What are pre doctoral fellowships?

Dr Caroline Alexander: What do judges want?

Prof Mary Wells: Pre-doctoral Fellowship Groupwork

NWL Research Symposium: 27 September 2018

The North West London Symposium for Healthcare professionals took place on Thursday 27 September 2018, over 130 delegates attended from a range of trusts and specialties. This event was co-chaired by Prof Mary Wells and Dr Caroline Alexander with a Keynote presentation from Prof Greta Westwood “A partnership model to increase nurse, midwife and AHP clinical academic capacity and capability”.

The delegates heard talks from Anne-Marie Russell and Lina Johansson on the “Research challenges and experiences across the spectrum”. Two NWL colleagues were also invited to present their research; Dr Donna Kennedy spoke about her research on the “Association between Neuropathic Pain Phenotype and Outcome of Carpal Tunnel Surgery” and Ruth Barker on “Gait speed and mortality following hospitalisation for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a prospective cohort study”.

This event also showcased the research across the NWL area through a poster presentation session with 40 posters that had been selected to attend this event, the researchers were available to answer any questions about their research ahead of the poster voting. Following the exhibition delegates voted for their favourite research poster and Geraldine O’Gara, Nurse Researcher at the Royal Marsden Hospital, was announced as the winner. Her project looked at different ways to provide ongoing support and guidance to women in two African countries following treatment for breast cancer to help manage the consequences of treatment and reduce the risk of the disease coming back.

Please see the presentations from the event below. We look forward to seeing this event develop and highlighting more of the great research North West London Healthcare Professionals over the coming years.

Anne Marie Russell: A Research Journey

Donna Kennedy: Everything you always wanted to know about audit

Donna Kennedy: Neuropathic Pain Phenotype and Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Dr Caroline Alexander: Preparing for a Fellowship Application

Prof Greta Westwood: A partnership model to increase clinical academic capacity

Rachel Matthews: Implementation Science- How do you implement research?

Ruth Barker: Gait speed and mortality

Article: Inspiring healthcare research projects showcased at Imperial Symposium

CATO Research Symposium - 27th June 2018

CATO Research Symposium – 27th June 2018

This year’s CATO Research Symposium showcased an array of inspiring projects from researchers at all career stages, Academic Foundation Doctors, ACFs,  trainees in a clinical research training fellowship/PhD, CL or other post-doctoral researchers, and Health Profession (Non-Medical) clinical academics.  The event topped last year’s numbers, with 60+ delegates attending, representing a broad range of specialties and professions.

Throughout the symposium, participants showcased their work through oral presentations and posters. This year, CATO encouraged trainees to think about their use of plain English when presenting their research for a non-clinical, non-scientific audience.  This subject was particularly relevant for those considering their next career stage and potentially submitting grant fellowship applications which all require lay explanations.   All submitted abstracts for the Symposium were required to include a plain English summary.

CATO Research Symposium Programme 2018

The programme was chaired by Professor Jeremy Levy, CATO Director, who also delivered a segment entitled “Is Plain English Really Plain English?” with Lenne Lillepu, Professional Development Consultant (Fellows), PostDoc and Fellows Development Centre, ICL

The trainees/researchers invited to deliver oral presentations were:

  • Francesco Fiorini (Academic Foundation Programme Trainee)
  • Philip Hartley (Academic Foundation Programme Trainee)
  • Amit Kaura (Academic Clinical Fellow)
  • Matyas Fehervari (Academic Clinical Fellow)
  • Sarah Collins (Non-medical clinical academic)
  • Risheka Ratnasabapathy (Clinical Research Training Fellow)
  • Shu-Tsen Liu (Clinical Research Training Fellow)
  • Katrina Pollock (Clinical Lecturer)

Delegates were also given an inspirational keynote presentation from Professor Eric Alton, Chair of Respiratory Medicine and Gene Therapy at Imperial College London, who spoke about his pioneering research which has evolved from understanding the basic pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis, through mice models into human gene therapy.. Prizes were awarded based on the submitted research abstracts.  The award categories were

  • 1 prize for the plain English summary
  • 2 prizes for the best oral presentations
  • 1 prize for the best poster

Big congratulations go to our three winners, Amit Kaura (awarded x 2prizes), Risheka Ratnasabapathy and Georgia Woodfield.

Feedback from delegates about what they gained from attending included:

  •  “The presentation by Professor Alton was fantastic and lots of people were talking about him this morning in the lab. The lay summery writing component was really useful too especially the feedback from your non-medical/non-scientific family members which really put the way in which we relay our research into perspective”
  • “I’d like to say that it was a brilliant afternoon. The admin in the lead up to the event was well organised and Kieron has been really helpful. There was a good range of researchers present and the talks were varied in both topic and background of the academic”
  •  “The whole experience was doubly useful as it was good practice for any upcoming poster/oral presentations at national and international conferences both for presentation style and how to field questions from the audience.”
  • “Thank you for a great meeting today. I was impressed by the standard of the science presented and the commitment and conviction of everyone involved”

Presentation materials

We have included the presentation materials below from speakers/ who have given us permission to do so.

 CATO:Writing for the public



CATO Masterclass: "Using Genomic Data" 8 May 2018

‌The CATO Masterclass: "Using genomic data” took place on 8th May 2018 at Hammersmith Hospital.

This event provided information on the use of genomic information both in clinical practice and clinical academic research, and gave an update on the 100,000 Genomes project and how clinical academics can use/access 100,000 Genomes.

Presentations were given by speakers with unrivalled experience in Genomic Medicine.

The event was attended by 35+ Clinical Academics from across the AHSC.

Please see the top of the CATO events page for information about other upcoming CATO Masterclasses / events.

Speaker presentations from 8 May 2018.

Dr James Ware: "Using genetic information to guide treatment choices" James Ware (PP)

News stories

ACF scheme successful in developing careers in research

A study has been conducted to examine the impact of the NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) model, over its first 10 years, in developing clinical academic careers by tracking the progression of ACF trainees.

The full report can be accessed on BMJ Journals here.

Imperial Researchers develop skills to communicate research

Imperial Researchers develop skills to communicate research

In July 2017 two researchers were nominated by Imperial to attend the NIHR Doctoral Training Camp.   This highly regarded annual 3-day event is delivered by the NIHR Infrastructure Team.  The Training Camp provides participants with a unique opportunity to develop key research skills and the chance to mix with people from different research backgrounds and levels of expertise.  

To read reviews from Imperial attendees at the 2017 Training Camp, which focussed on ‘The Art of Communication’ please read these blogs: Anne-Marie Russell   Jerusa Brignardello

North West London Research Symposium for Health Professions

North West London Research Symposium for Health Professions:  September 2016 (Imperial College London, South Kensington campus) 

We were joined by over 100 healthcare professionals from the North West London area (and beyond), representing a wide range of professions and institutions; all interested in discussing and learning more about research. We do hope you were able to take away useful insights from all of the presentations, research posters, and workshops.

To read more about this event and to access the event materials then please read here

Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD programme

Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Programme

Imperial has been awarded a 5-year Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD programme, making it one of only seven schemes to have successfully obtained funding. The scheme will be supported by the Imperial Clinical Academic Training Office and the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre which will provide funding for additional fellowships. The first cohort will be recruited this winter, to start in autumn 2017.

For more information on this new programme please go to the Imperial College News article here.