University of Nottingham: New doctoral training programme will train future healthcare professionals

Future healthcare professionals working in mental health and neurosciences will be trained on a new Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) thanks to a £7.24million award from Wellcome.

Led by the University of Nottingham, the new DTP is a collaboration between the Universities of Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham and Warwick.

Wellcome awarded the funding to the University of Nottingham to establish the Midlands Mental Health and Neurosciences PhD Programme for Healthcare Professionals, which will begin its training programme in October 2022.The unique partnership will lead the innovative multidisciplinary training centre that will develop the next generation of NHS research leaders across the workforce.

The programme will also be supported by a number of NHS Trusts in the Midlands including – Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust; Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust; University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust; Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust; Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundations Trust and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Professor Roshan das Nair
Through 25 PhD scholarships focused on mental health (MH) and neurosciences (N), students will have the opportunity to research a ‘theme’ representing the lifespan (children, young people and perinatal MH; common MH; severe MH; dementia; and physical health comorbidity with MH), using specific bio-psycho-social approaches.

Healthcare profession-specific mentors will ensure scholars remain connected to their primary professional groups. Scholars will leave the programme as well-rounded clinical-academics with high-levels of MH&N research acumen, and enhanced communication and leadership skills.

Professor Roshan das Nair from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham and the Institute of Mental Health, is Director of the DTP. He said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award, which is a huge achievement for our four universities and the NHS Trusts with whom we work, and is a testament to teamwork. Our Doctoral Training Programme will advance the mental health and neuroscience research we conduct here in the Midlands.

“This award will enable us to share the excellent resources we have across the partner universities and NHS Trusts to develop the next generation of multidisciplinary clinical academics in mental health and neurosciences, and support their research. Our Doctoral Training Programme will create an ambitious Midlands-based, internationally connected, clinical-academic ecosystem. Through our collaborations, we hope to address the key contemporary mental health challenges our societies face.”

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham, who will be helping to personally supervise the students, said: “This is truly significant funding from Wellcome, and it is testament to the hard work of Professor Roshan das Nair and his team, that they will be able to take forward this ambitious partnership. Now, more than ever, we need more healthcare professionals with expertise in mental health and neurosciences and with this DTP, we can develop the next generation of NHS research leaders across the workforce.”

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