Launch of CanTest Travelling Fellowships

Junior Faculty are being invited to apply for the recently launched Travelling Fellowships scheme. These awards will fund visits that enhance skills and expertise in cancer early detection research, as well as fostering links and collaborations across international boundaries.

One of the principal objectives of the CanTest Collaborative is to mobilise knowledge across its research centres and related health systems to support improvements in cancer diagnosis in primary care. To achieve this, UK and international Junior Faculty members can apply for funds to spend time in other parts of the Collaborative, attend conferences or courses, network with senior and junior peers, acquire exposure to specific methodological approaches, or form collaborations with other researchers and specialists in their topic area.

CanTest Director of Faculty, Dr Fiona Walter, says of the scheme:

“ Our aim is that, over the next year, all our CanTest Junior Faculty will take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to visit other CanTest institutions, learn new skills and extend their professional networks and collaborations.”

Two Junior Faculty, have already tested out the scheme, with visits to Exeter, Cambridge and Washington.

Dr Garth Funston, based at the University of Cambridge, visited CanTest colleagues at the University of Washington – a leading centre for ovarian cancer detection research – to explore how routinely collected data, such as imaging test results, can be used to investigate the use and effectiveness of ovarian cancer tests in primary care. He also visited the University of Exeter to learn how to get the most out of Clinical Practice Research Datalink data, as well as best practice in data management. Dr Funston said:

The CanTest Travelling Fellowship has given me a unique opportunity to meet and learn from primary care and ovarian cancer experts, and to enhance my understanding of the data I will be working with during my PhD. Spending time with fellow researchers also provided the opportunity to develop new project ideas and build international collaborations, which I am really excited to pursue.

Clinical PhD student, Dr Sam Merriel, based at the University of Exeter, spent a week with the Cancer Group within the Primary Care Unit at the University of Cambridge. This team have expertise in the methods Dr Merriel will be using as part of his PhD, including qualitative interviews and Patient-Centred Outcomes research. In addition, Dr Merriel was able to meet with urologists, epidemiologists, and public health specialists to discuss his PhD and opportunities for working together on future studies. Dr Merriel said of the Fellowship scheme:

“The opportunity to embed myself in a primary care research unit at another institution gave me a unique insight into how other research groups pursue their goals of improving cancer outcomes for patients through research and education, as well as giving me access to world-class methodologists and experts in the field.”

If you are a member of Junior Faculty (both core-funded or working on affiliated projects), you can find out more on our Travelling Fellowships page, or by contacting Dr Valerie Sills, Programme Manager (Faculty & Finance).

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