Trainee Emergency Research Network (TERN) Fellowship 2020

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) is launching the second round of the RCEM TERN Fellowship scheme. This scheme will fund 50% of the successful applicant’s time over a two year period subject to progress.

Applications are invited from trainees or clinical fellows in Emergency Medicine at ≥ST3 level or equivalent who wish to develop this exciting project, with academic support and mentorship from the previous TERN fellow, college professors and the RCEM research committee.

TERN aims to improve research opportunity for all trainees, advanced practitioners and fellows in emergency medicine by facilitating multicentre research projects selected and designed by trainees. Such networks have been hugely successful in the allied specialties of anaesthesia, neurosurgery and general surgery leading to increased research awareness, improved academic training, co-authored publications and changes to clinical practice 1-3. Network projects present a strong opportunity for both academic and non-academic trainees to engage with national research, thus maximising output and impact from non-clinical time. Although still in it’s infancy, TERN has already delivered a trainee conceived and designed national portfolio adopted project across 109 UK sites; successfully collaborated with Australasian colleagues to deliver an international headache project; secured NIHR partner funding for a 2020 research study on a JLA priority topic; submitted several articles for peer reviewed publication.

This fellowship scheme supports TERN through dedicated funding to support project development, co-ordination and delivery. Academic mentorship for the project and fellowship will be provided throughout the post by the RCEM Professors and local supervisors. Assistance with infrastructure, meeting rooms, communications and networking will be provided through use of the RCEM facilities and a modest dedicated budget line.

This scheme is an ideal opportunity for those who have a desire to engage with academic emergency medicine and consider development of a portfolio career. The role will offer significant exposure to project development and delivery, including liaison with research design services, ethics committees, research and development services and use of the IRAS platform. Previous research experience in these areas would be advantageous but is not essential. Applicants could take up this role either on a Less than Full Time training basis, or as a dedicated and prearranged OOPFR placement.

Potential applicants and their host organisations should note that the RCEM TERN Fellowship Scheme is a personal award designed to contribute 50% of an individual’s base salary costs (the remainder being provided by the applicant’s supporting consortia).

Following completion of the Fellowship, the successful applicant is expected to have designed and delivered at least one clinical research study through the national TERN network, and significantly enhanced the visibility and co-ordination of TERN. Additional goals considered may include the following:

  • Educational plan for raised awareness of academic opportunity and engagement options for emergency medicine trainees
  • Close working with RCEM learning to support development of the research page
  • Development of stakeholder lists and Involvement in collaborative relationships
  • Peer reviewed publication of completed projects arising from the fellowship, and presentation of key findings at RCEM meetings, e.g. the Annual Scientific Conference and Academic Trainees Day
  • Bespoke training plan including a potential higher research qualification such as a M.Sc program, Masters in Public Health or modular training in clinical trial design

Evidence of the above will be sought through interim and final report monitoring. Support for formal research training will be considered during the fellowship in line with individual commitment and career trajectory.

Research projects undertaken as part of TERN will be included on the NIHR portfolio. Local Research Design Services (RDS) support all NIHR portfolio project research proposals. In addition, NIHR portfolio adoption will facilitate the engagement of clinical research nursing teams based in every hospital to assist with data collection, research governance and oversight.


  1. Applicants for a TERN fellowship must be able to demonstrate that they have previous experience of project leadership and delivery
  2. Applicants should have experience of committee working, including organisation, identification and delivery of established objectives
  3. Applicants must be medically qualified and a trainee in Emergency medicine
  4. TERN fellowships are intended to fund individuals for 50% dedicated project time alongside a clinical emergency medicine work program. Applicants who will be receiving any external fellowship funding and/or participating in a programme of fellowship work from August 2020 to 2022 (medical doctorate, academic clinical lectureship, educational fellow, leadership fellow etc.) are not eligible to apply
  5. Only one application to the RCEM Fellowship Scheme is permitted in each round. Multiple applications will not be accepted.


  1. The Fellowship is designed to be undertaken on a 50% part-time basis, alongside clinical work in higher specialist training, or as part of an OOPFR placement. The RCEM is not able to fund awards of any other duration or profile.
  2. The RCEM award will contribute 50% base salary costs over a 2 year period. The award will not fund additional costs such as those occurring through reduced out of hours (OOH) work; it is envisaged that those applying will maintain OOH clinical work in order to continue receiving their full banding entitlement.
  3. The Fellowship does not include, or pay for, any activities other than the salary costs covering research, academic training and travel expenses proposed in a successful application. All clinical study leave, professional leave and additional expenses will fall within the remit of the employing host organisation or deanery.
  4. It is an expectation that RCEM awards will be on the NIHR portfolio and thus eligible for CRN infrastructure and nursing support. This eligibility will also facilitate access to advanced research training at the discretion of the applicant and supervisor.

Application Procedure

Fellowships will be made based on open competition. A single fellowship is offered in this round.

Applications must be received by 10th January 2020; interviews will be held towards the beginning of February following peer review and scoring. The successful applicant is expected to commence the post from August 2020.

All documents must be submitted in English.

To apply, please send your CV with a covering letter highlighting how you meet the essential and desirable criteria for the post to by 5pm, Friday 10 January 2020

Interviews will be held in London at College buildings in February. Successfully shortlisted applicants will be notified as soon as feasible


1. Chari A, Jamjoom AA, Edlmann E, et al. The British Neurosurgical Trainee Research Collaborative: Five years on. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 2018; 160(1): 23-8.
2. Jamjoom AA, Phan PN, Hutchinson PJ, Kolias AG. Surgical trainee research collaboratives in the UK: an observational study of research activity and publication productivity. BMJ Open 2016; 6(2): e010374.

3. Kolias AG, Cowie CJ, Tarnaris A, Hutchinson PJ, Brennan PM, British Neurosurgical Trainee Research C. Ensuring a bright future for clinical research in surgery with trainee led research networks. BMJ 2013; 347: f5225.

(i) Essential Criteria


Assessed by

Current appointment as a trainee or clinical fellow in Emergency Medicine in UK or Republic of Ireland (RofI).

CV /College Data

Commitment to the specialty of Emergency Medicine, demonstrated through career path, continuing professional development and examination.


Enthusiasm for project development and delivery

CV +/- interview

Evidence of sustainability planning for the duration of the project (Out of program time prearranged, or trust clinical fellow role secured) *

CV +/- interview


(ii) Desirable Criteria


Assessed by

Previous relevant committee experience, either through RCEM or EMTA

CV +/- interview

Critical Appraisal Examination training, and/or success by examination


Higher qualification in research or education (MSc or equivalent)


Familiarity with social-media based communication, engagement and knowledge translation strategies

CV +/- interview

Evidence of team co-ordination and leadership within clinical role, organisational role within trust or external role

CV +/- interview

Evidence of prior academic writing (through publication, presentation, abstract writing, blog posting or local project)

CV +/- interview

Evidence of national trainee liaison roles

CV +/- interview

Evidence of previous research engagement or activity (such as research governance training, good clinical practice training and/or formal research design/delivery)

CV +/- interview


* A letter signed by the applicant’s Educational Supervisor and local training program director should be provided in support of these criteria where relevant.