Sheffield, UK (Scicasts) - A new joint initiative between the Universities of Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield - the 4ward North Clinical PhD Academy - has been awarded £5 million by Wellcome to train future clinicians.

The Academy will award and oversee 25 Wellcome fellowships to allow the best clinical trainees from around the UK to undertake a PhD, supported by the world-leading facilities and researchers of the four host universities. 

“This new academy is great news for young clinicians who are starting their research careers,” said Professor Chris Newman, Faculty Director of Research and Innovation for Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield.

"It will offer our most talented trainees the opportunity to develop their research skills with some of the foremost biomedical and translational researchers in the country.”

Trainees will also benefit from a collaboration between the Academy and the new interdisciplinary Francis Crick Institute in London. 

Sir Keith Peters, who helped establish the collaboration with the Francis Crick Institute, said: “As the Francis Crick Institute opens its doors at its new campus, it is wonderful to join up with this exciting research opportunity in northern England. Inspiring the next generation of clinicians to undertake research in the best settings is critical and it is a pleasure to be part of the Wellcome Trust 4ward North Clinical PhD Academy.”

Additional awards and bursaries will also be available to help this next generation of clinician researchers make the all-important transition to a postdoctoral research career.

Professor Neil Hanley, Chair of Medicine at the University of Manchester, who led the bid, said: “This was a great team effort over two years. The competition was tough and to have won the warm backing of the Wellcome Trust and collaboration of the Francis Crick Institute for our plans really illustrates that by working together we can improve our clinical academic training and research opportunities for the brightest trainees.”

The universities of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield are members of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions.

Further information about the Wellcome Clinical PhD awards can be found here.