Clinical Academic Training

Message from the Head of College and Dean of Medicine

Black and white photo of Professor Thompson RobinsonProfessor Tom Robinson 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of College and Dean of Medicine

As a clinical academic, you will be combining two very important and immensely rewarding careers: 

First, you will be practicing as a clinician, which means that you will be working in an incredibly busy NHS environment that is under significant scrutiny, with a particular focus on record waiting lists or the continuing pressures of urgent and emergency care and cancer treatment. In addition, the everyday NHS work sees the challenges of managing the increasing complexity of multi morbid, often frail health care. On top of this, you will be ensuring that you address the needs of your clinical training. 

Second, you will be embarking on or continuing an academic career, whether in research or education, that will make a real difference to patients and the healthcare workforce.  

In choosing Leicester, you have joined an institution where we are making a real impact from an educational perspective. The Leicester Medical School is consistently ranked in the top ten of UK medical school league tables; for example, in the last year, we were ranked in the top decile in every domain of the National Student Survey; essentially a Top 3 Medical School. In addition, our School of Healthcare is increasing its portfolio of healthcare courses including midwifery with leadership, nursing with leadership, physiotherapy, ODP and radiography with plans for clinical pharmacy (from 2024). 

As a leading global university, we retained our place in the top 20 best universities in the world for clinical medicine in the latest Shanghai World Rankings, being placed 18th and in the top five UK universities, for the second year running. These rankings are based on research output, influence, collaboration, and quality and international academic awards. Of course, the success of clinical medicine (UoA1) in REF2021 has been well publicized, where we were placed second to Cambridge. Our NIHR BRC renewal saw a 2.5 fold increase in funding, supporting six research themes of cardiovascular, respiratory and infectious diseases, lifestyle, personalized cancer prevention and treatment, the environment, and data innovation for multiple long-term health conditions and ethnic health.  

In addition to the BRC and in partnership with our NHS trusts, we are committed to the NIHR mission reflected in our NIHR Clinical Research Facility award in 2016; our NIHR Applied Research Collaboration award in 2019; our NHIR Clinical Trials Unit, which was reaccredited in 2017; hosting the NIHR Clinical Research Network East Midlands since 2014; being awarded one of only five national NIHR Patient Recruitment Centres in 2020; and finally an NIHR Research Support Service in 2023. We also have evidence of engagement across the entire NIHR clinical academic pathway including ACFs, pre and postdoctoral fellowships, ACLs, Advanced Fellowships, and an NIHR Research Professor and many Senior Investigators. 

On a personal level, I started my own academic career as a clinical research fellow at the University of Leicester in 1993 and throughout my clinical academic career have had the strongest support of both this university and of NIHR. 

I wish you every success in your career on behalf of my many colleagues in the College of Life Sciences and on the clinical academic training program. 

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