Integrated Academic and Clinical training programme in Psychiatry at Severn Postgraduate Medical Education and the University of Bristol

The School of Psychiatry in Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) in partnership with Bristol Medical School at the University of Bristol, offers a high quality integrated academic and clinical training programme for those intending to follow an academic career pathway in psychiatry. There are two entry routes to academic training: 1) at core trainee level as an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) and 2) at higher trainee (and post-PhD) level, as Academic Clinical Lecturers (CL).

Core academic training

At core training level, Academic Clinical Fellow posts enable trainees to gain their basic clinical training whilst also developing their research competencies and experience. During this three year post, trainees will have a day a week for research and mid-way through their training, six months fulltime for research; this training can also be undertaken on a less than full time basis, with 25% of the overall time for research. Academic staff from the University will supervise academic trainees and it is expected that those wishing to continue their academic career prepare a fellowship application to enable them to undertake a PhD after their core training.

Severn PGME will take the lead in recruitment to ACF posts, with strong support and participation from the University of Bristol.

Higher academic training

At advanced trainee level, those wishing to continue an academic career can be appointed as Academic Clinical Lecturers. NIHR funded Academic Clinical Lecturers will already have a higher degree. ACLs have 50% of their time dedicated to research and teaching whilst also completing their higher training in their specialist area. They will each have an academic supervisor from the University of Bristol. These posts can also be undertaken on a less than full time basis.

The University of Bristol and Severn PGME together arrange and agree the appointment of ACLs; the process is led by the University of Bristol.

Every trainee will have an educational supervisor and clinical supervisor. The supervision arrangements for clinical training will be the same as for non-academic trainees, with weekly supervision with clinical supervisor an initial, mid-point and final meetings with the educational supervisor.

Academic Supervision of ACFs and ACLs

With the help of the academic Training Programme Director (Dr Helen Bould), each trainee will identify a suitable academic supervisor. The best academic supervisor may be a non-clinical academic depending on the research area chosen. The academic supervisor will have an initial meeting with the trainee to agree goals for the trainee to ensure the trainee will meet the expected competencies covering both research and teaching roles. The academic supervisor will meet with the trainee at least fortnightly to help them to develop their research plan and to ensure the trainee is achieving their competencies in academic training. In addition to the initial meeting and regular supervision meetings, the academic supervisor will hold a mid-point review and final review with the trainee.

The academic Training Programme Director will be responsible for an overview of the academic placement and trainee progress. The academic Training Programme Director will meet with the trainee regularly to ensure research plans are developing satisfactorily, to ensure teaching skills are developing, to review supervision arrangements, discuss overall academic career plans and help them prepare for their ARCP. Research competencies will vary depending on the research area chosen by the trainee.

Responsibilities of Academic TPD

To oversee programme and ensure trainees are getting adequate supervision and are achieving the competencies. To assist in preparation for and attend ARCPs.

Responsibilities of Academic Supervisor

To develop a plan with the trainee to meet research and teaching competencies. To meet regularly for supervision to identify and guide specific research project. To complete midpoint and final reviews.

Information on Health Education England South West and the Severn School of Psychiatry

Severn PGME is committed to providing high quality medical training across Avon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The Postgraduate Dean is Dr Geoff Smith. The Head of the Severn Graduate School of Psychiatry is Dr Melanie Merricks. The Core Training Programme Director is Dr Roz Ward. Psychiatric Training is managed by the Severn School of Psychiatry working in close partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and five NHS Trusts across the Severn PGME area. All the posts within the Severn School of Psychiatry have been approved by the GMC.

The Centre for Academic Mental Health, University of Bristol

The Centre aims to promote high quality research and teaching on mental health within the School, the wider University and externally. Moreover, the Centre seeks to provide a sense of belonging, coherence and common purpose for academics working on mental health research across the School. Our research is multidisciplinary and collaborative bringing together expertise in psychiatry, epidemiology, primary care, public health, psychology, statistics, and social science.

There are eight main themes to our research: (1) addiction; (2) depression; (3) neurodevelopmental disorders; (4) personality disorder; (5) psychosis and schizophrenia; (6) suicide and self-harm; (7) immunopsychiatry; (8) eating disorders. As well as strengths in these specific areas, our research utilises a wide range of relevant methodologies including life-course and genetic epidemiology, health economics, statistics, qualitative research methods and anthropological/ethnographic approaches. We have a strong track record in conducting large multi-centre randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and a particular strength in evidence synthesis utilising a variety of methods to address questions on a broad range of mental health topics including treatments, prevalence, risk factors, harms, and decision-making. The excellence of our research was recognized in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The quality and range of research provides an excellent training environment for young researchers.

The Centre for Academic Mental Health also makes a considerable contribution to the Medical School’s demanding teaching programme.

The Bristol Medical School

Bristol Medical School is the largest and one of the most diverse Schools in the University of Bristol, with approximately 1100 members of staff, 1350 undergraduate, 250 postgraduate taught and 240 postgraduate doctoral research students.  The Head of School is Professor Ashley Blom. The Medical School has two departments: Population Health Sciences and Translational Health Sciences. The School is a leading centre for research and teaching across these areas.  Research in the School is collaborative and multi-disciplinary, with staff coming from a wide range of academic disciplines and clinical specialties.

In addition to hostingSpecialist Research Institutes (Bristol Population Health Science Institute and Bristol Heart Institute), major research strengths are reflected in our world-class contributions to two other University-wide research networks (Neuroscience; Cancer and Infection and Immunity.  The Bristol Medical School also boasts specific research strengths including, but not restricted to Paediatrics, Regenerative Medicine, Metabolism, Renal, Pulmonary and Musculoskeletal Medicine.

The 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed the University of Bristol’s position as a leading centre for health research.  Bristol Medical School contributed to three Units of Assessment including UoA1 (Clinical Medicine), UoA2 (Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care) and UoA4 (Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience). The UoA2 submission, comprising predominantly Medical School staff. was ranked 3rd in the UK with 94% of our submitted research outputs rated as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). Submissions to UoA1 and UoA4 were shared with varying degrees of representation with the Faculty of Life Sciences. Respectively UoA1 and UoA4 had 94% and 84% of submitted research ranked as 4* or 3*, which represented increases in each category in the proportions of 4* ranked papers as well in growth in GPA rankings above the previous REF2014.

We have built up extensive collaborations throughout the University including those with the pre-clinical biological sciences, the Dental and Veterinary Schools, the School of Policy Studies, and basic scientists across many Schools and Faculties. Furthermore, we have good links with other Universities and with the NHS, which have resulted in successful applications for National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and other funding.

Within the Medical School are several major research centres, groups and programmes. More details can be found on the Medical School research website.

Following a £21 million award from the (NIHR), the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre Bristol launched in April 2017. The Bristol BRC combines two former Biomedical Research Units in Cardiovascular Research and Nutrition with three new Research Themes (Mental Health, Perinatal and Reproductive Health and Surgical Innovation). The Research Themes are underpinned by Cross Cutting Themes in Translational Population Science and Biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Informatics.

The Medical School has responsibility for the undergraduate medical (MBChB) programme.  Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes within the School provide training and career development for undergraduate and intercalating medical students, academic clinical trainees, other clinicians, and research staff. There are taught postgraduate programmes in Epidemiology, Molecular Neuroscience, Orthopaedic Research, , Perfusion Science, Public Health, Reproduction and Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, and Translational Cardiovascular Medicine. There is an active programme of research seminars in term-time.

The School is committed to delivering a positive working environment for all staff, it holds Silver Athena SWAN Awards in recognition of the ongoing commitment to promote equality, diversity and inclusion within the School.

Most of the School’s staff are currently located in Canynge Hall (39 Whatley Road, BS8 2PS), 1-5 Whiteladies Road (BS8 1NU), Dorothy Hodgkin Building (Whitson Street, BS1 3NY), Oakfield House (Oakfield Grove, BS8 2BN), Southmead Hospital (Southmead Road, BS10 5NB) and Level 7 of the Bristol Royal Infirmary (Marlborough Street, BS2 8HW).

The Department of Population Health Sciences

The Department of Population Health Sciences (PHS) is the larger of the two academic departments within the Bristol Medical School. The Head of Department is Professor Matt Hickman.  The department has over 700 staff across currently four sites, Canynge Hall, Oakfield House, Whitefriars and 1-5 Whiteladies Road.

Bristol’s strength is as a nationally and internationally leading centre for research and teaching in population health sciences and was recently recognised by the establishment of the new Population Health Science Institute, with the Department at its core.

The postgraduate Short Course Programme is free for our staff and is a popular source of intensive short courses in a wide range of research methods and skills currently mainly in Population Health Sciences.

Within the Department are several major research centres, groups and programmes as outlined and which include:-

Centre for Academic Primary Care;

CRUK Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (ICEP);

MRC ConDuCT II (Collaboration and Innovation in Difficult or Complex Randomised Controlled Trials);

MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU);

NIHR Bristol Randomised Controlled Trials Collaboration;

NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West (ARC West);

NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Behavioural Science and Evaluation; NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR);

The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Children’s Burns Research;

UKCRC DECIPHer (Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement) Centre

Translational Health Sciences

The Department of Translational Health Sciences (THS) within Bristol Medical School was formed in 2017 and is mainly comprised of staff from the former School of Clinical Sciences. The Head of Department is Professor Sarah George. The department has around 400 staff across multiple hospital and laboratory sites in Bristol.

Major research and teaching groupings within THS include Neurosciences, Inflammation and Immunity, Cardiovascular, Renal and Musculoskeletal. The Bristol Heart Institute, one of the University’s seven Specialist Research Institutes sits within THS. Researchers in THS are also part of the Bristol Population Health Science Institute. These are the two flagship research institutes in medical sciences and reflect Bristol’s world leading strengths in these fields. Research groups within THS form also part of the recently awarded NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and the Bristol Centre for Surgical Research.

THS offers a large suite of Postgraduate Taught and Research programmes integrating staff’s research strengths, innovative teaching methods and student career development opportunities , including delivery via distance learning.

The Faculty of Health Sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences brings together the three professional healthcare programmes (medicine, veterinary sciences and dentistry) under a single management structure. This allows us to maximise the realisation of cross-disciplinary opportunities in research and teaching under the One Health agenda. The Dean of the Faculty is Professor Jane Norman.

Education in Health Sciences

The teaching of professional health programmes in Bristol has undergone significant change since the Faculty was formed. New undergraduate curricula in medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences all seek to integrate basic science teaching with clinical exposure from the start of the programmes. The route to graduation starts in the University, moves into clinical practice and then to dedicated community-based facilities, where students can apply their skills to a wide range of cases , in preparation for postgraduate practice. All UK and international medical, veterinary and dental students are encouraged to intercalate onto the final year of a wide range of BSc courses in the Faculties of Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Arts, and Social Sciences and Law.

In September 2017 we introduced a new medical undergraduate curriculum (known as MB21), building on a solid foundation of research-led teaching and practical application in healthcare settings across the South West region. This allows us the opportunity to learn from, and incorporate the social, technological and scientific changes that are increasingly influencing the way healthcare services are delivered in the 21st Century. We also provide a range of postgraduate taught programmes and postgraduate research opportunities.

Bristol Veterinary School has recently launched a new curriculum and currently offers three undergraduate degrees and one taught Masters programme, with postgraduate research opportunities and certificate-level courses also available. All are delivered by academics who publish research regularly and share their research activity through their teaching.

We are proud of the quality of graduates from our Medical School, Veterinary School, and Dental School.

Research in Health Sciences

Our researchers performed exceptionally well in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, with at least 80% of our researchers graded 3* or 4* in each of the four medical science categories, and 100% of the impact in both Clinical Medicine and Public Health, Health Service and Primary Care rated as 4*. The Times Higher analysis for research intensity, taking into account the REF grade point average for each member of staff, and the proportion of eligible staff included in the return, places Bristol 6th (n=31) in Clinical Medicine, 5th (n=32) in Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care, and 13th (n=82) in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. This is a significant achievement, and one that drives us forward in our ambition to deliver world-class research with impact locally, nationally and internationally.

The Faculty has focused research in four main areas: Population Health Sciences, Cardiovascular Science, and Neuroscience, with Cancer, Infection and Immunity and Wound Healing comprising the fourth grouping. Two Specialist Research Institutes (SRIs) have been recognised by the University; Population Health Sciences and the Bristol Heart institute. These SRIs collaborate widely and attract researchers from all over the world.

Within Bristol Medical School, the main areas of research include public health, epidemiology, health services research, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, cancer, and infection and immunity. Key externally funded programmes of collaborative research include the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit; the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC); the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC); the NIHR Health Protection Unit; NIHR Schools of Public Health and Primary Care Research; and a NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. The Faculty provides an ideal environment for collaborative research with colleagues in the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, the wider University, and (increasingly) with our colleagues in the GW4 Collaborative group comprising Cardiff, Exeter and Bath Universities.

The University’s Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, together with Bristol Health Partners, is a catalyst for cross-Faculty and inter-organisational translational health research, creating an excellent environment for conducting research that can be rapidly tested and applied in clinical settings. Facilities available across the Faculty include clinical trials units, human imaging, Wolfson Imaging and animal imaging which is based at Langford.