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

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

The new DTP is a collaboration involving the University of Warwick and is led by the University of Nottingham with the Universities of Leicester and Birmingham also collaborating.

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.

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 Swaran Singh of Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick said: “On behalf of both the University of Warwick and the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, I am really pleased that our clinicians from both medical and allied health professions will now have an opportunity to develop their academic skills from these Wellcome-funded PhDs. Mental health research has often not received the funding that it requires, given how common these conditions are and the impact they have on individuals, families and societies. Wellcome’s investment into this area is genuinely welcome and will create a cadre of high-calibre clinical scientists in the Midlands.”

Professor Roshan das Nair from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham and the Institute of Mental Health, is Director of the Centre. 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.”

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.

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