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Trainee Research Network

The National Institute for Health Research (the research arm of the NHS) Ophthalmology Specialty Group has given its approval to support a national strategy in collaboration with the College for supporting Trainee Research Networks.

Trainees often work on local audits or research projects in respective units. These typically involve small patient numbers and have very limited clinical impact. Short rotations and changes to placements often conspire to leave projects half-finished. By harnessing the support of more experienced researchers and the resources of many trainees, the aim is to produce large, well-designed studies that change clinical practice. This model of trainee research collaboratives in other surgical specialties and anaesthesia has been extremely successful. Combining prospective data from multiple centres has resulted in excellent studies published in high impact journals.

The Clinical Research Network comprises of 15 Local Clinical Research Networks that cover the length and breadth of England. Each local Clinical Research Network delivers research across clinical specialties. The Ophthalmology Specialty is one of 30 specialties which bring together communities of clinical practice to provide national networks of research expertise. It is made up of research-interested clinicians and practitioners at both national and local levels. Their job is to ensure that the ophthalmology studies that are included in the national portfolio of clinical research receive the right support to ensure they are delivered successfully in the NHS.