FICM-NIHR Awards

NIHR and FICM Logos

Since its inception in 2006, the NIHR has significantly increased the scale of clinical research in the NHS, particularly through the Clinical Research Network. The enthusiastic engagement of NHS clinicians is an essential condition for sustaining and building on this success, particularly given the many competing demands on clinician time and resources. These awards recognise the contributions of NHS doctors conducting research alongside their normal jobs.

We are pleased to announce for a fifth year, the joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and NIHR Clinical Research Network research awards for their Fellows, Members and trainees are open.

You do not need to have been awarded large grants before – we are more interested in what you have done and what your future plans are, and these are the criteria we will use to choose the award winners. We are particularly interested in hearing from researchers who have not received large awards in the past, and who are conducting research without the benefit of dedicated time in their contracts.

Awards & Eligibility

In conjunction with the NIHR Clinical Research Network, the Faculty offers two awards annually that aim to recognise outstanding contributions from NHS Clinicians to the conduct of NIHR Clinical Research Network portfolio research studies. 

There are two awards, funded by FICM, each with a £1000 prize.  The criteria are as below.  The awards are focussed on clinicians who undertake research alongside their daytime activities rather than clinical academics.

Established Clinicians Award

  • Consultants (FFICM or AFICM) of at least 5 years standing at the advertised deadline for application
  • SAS doctors with at least 1 programmed activity in ICM who have passed a relevant postgraduate examination (either in a partner specialty, FFICM or EDIC) at least three years before the advertised deadline for application
Established Clinician applicants must be 
  • NHS clinicians undertaking NIHR Clinical Research Network portfolio studies alongside their usual clinical roles/duties (clinical academics and those holding substantive university contracts are not eligible).
  • One of the following: 
    • Consultants (FFICM or AFICM) of at least 5 years standing at the advertised deadline for application
    • SAS doctors with at least 1 programmed activity in ICM who have passed a relevant postgraduate examination (either in a partner specialty, FFICM or EDIC) at least five years before the advertised deadline for application

Early Years Award

An early career researcher is defined as being health care professionals currently in training posts or within 5 years (excluding career breaks, and extended pro rata for those in less than full-time work) of appointment to substantive NHS (or equivalent) positions. Special consideration will be given to those who can demonstrate they were only able to take up research opportunities later in their career.  

Early Career Researcher applicants must be
  • NHS clinicians undertaking research alongside their usual clinical roles/duties (clinical academics and those holding substantive university contracts are not eligible).  Research can include: 
  • Promoting / conducting clinical research in healthcare locally or regionally
    • Formulating and presenting research questions, such as pilot studies, to regional or national groups
    • Completing evidence reviews or contributing to developing evidence based guidelines regionally, nationally or internationally
    • Undertaking laboratory-based or data-science research (relevant to critical care)
  • One of the following: 
    • Consultants (FFICM or AFICM) of under 5 years standing at the advertised deadline for application
    • Doctors in training on ICM CCT training programmes (Single, Dual or Joint).
    • SAS doctors (Members or Associate Members) with at least 1 programmed activity in ICM who have either not passed a relevant postgraduate examination (either in a partner specialty, FFICM or EDIC) or did so within five years of the advertised deadline for application.

Application process and Judging

  • Applications should be made using the Early Career Researcher or Established Clinician application form. Any additional information submitted will NOT be considered by the panel.
  • Completed application forms must be received by midnight on 3 February 2022. Receipt of applications will be acknowledged.
  • Applications will be assessed by a panel made up of FICM, Clinical Research Network and patient representatives.
  • Successful applicants will be notified within one month of the closing date. We expect a high number of applications and are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Guide to completing your application

Applicants are required to outline their contribution to the leadership (Established Clinician Award) or support (Early Career Clinician Award) to one or more NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio studies with particular weight being attached to:

  • How they demonstrate clinical leadership enabling their organisation to increase its participation in clinical studies;
  • How they engaged with patients to inform them of new opportunities to participate in clinical research;
  • How the involvement of service users and/or carers contributed to the successful delivery of the study

Applicants should set out how they would use the prize money to increase their contribution to NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio studies in future. This may be in the form of support for a personal development plan, or support to develop the trainee network further.

Awards

  • Established clinicians award of £1,000 
  • Early career clinicians award of £1,000

Award Presentations

The awards will be presented at an FICM Board meeting in 2022 (date of face-to-face meeting TBC).  Award winners will be invited to join the FICM Board for lunch and then experience a full Board meeting, which will include a ceremony to present their awards. Travel arrangements will be provided by the NIHR CRN.

Further information

For more information - or if you have any questions about the award, please email: ficmcrnawards@nihr.ac.uk.

Twitter hashtag: #FICMCRNAwards

Previous Winners

Early Years Award

1. Dr Matthew Morgan, Intensive Care doctor, lead for critical care research for Wales, University Hospital of Wales

Read about Matt's journey through science in his blog 'Who still believes in Santa and science?'  on the FICMLearning site.

2. Dr Daniel Horner, Consultant in Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

"I was appointed to Salford Royal in August 2015 on a standard consultant contract, with a previous research interest but no dedicated academic sessions. During my first few years as a consultant and with the support of my trust and colleagues, I conceived and led the formation of a novel acute research delivery team (ARDT), cross covering multiple acute specialty areas. This research nursing infrastructure provides support and engagement 7 days a week across all emergency and critical care areas, staffed by a combination of established research nurses and seconded clinical staff. I took on several observational CRN portfolio studies as principal investigator in order to develop confidence in this new team, including TEST-ITTROPICCALORDITGENOMICC and a NIHR funded study on ICU decision making. Following recruitment to time and target of these studies, I was further supported by my colleagues to deliver a portfolio of interventional research; the consultant team have contributed and continue to successfully recruit to vital randomised controlled trials, including 65 (PI: Dr Paul Ferris), HEMOTION (PI: Dr Jon Greenbaum),  BLINGIII (PI: Dr John MacDonald) and ADAPT-SEPSIS (PI: Dr Jay Naisbitt). Our team also continues to deliver cross portfolio acute work recruited outside of but directly relevant to critical care, such as projects like CENTER-TBIHALT-IT and CRYOSTAT-2.

Our team has since been shortlisted for regional awards and has exceeded external annual recruitment targets for the last 3 years in a row. Our consultant team has also been invited to provide input on trial design for future national collaborative studies. In addition, when the recent pandemic necessitated a refocus of research activity, our team had an established acute care presence making it ideal for repurposing. The ARDT quickly became the core of a trust wide COVID-19 research team, extending into ward based areas to support clinical teams with research activity and engagement. To date, we have recruited 1027 patients over a 12 week period to portfolio adopted and UPH prioritised COVID-19 studies, including observational work, commercial randomised studies and adaptive design platform projects.

During this period of research activity, our team has also focussed on knowledge translation and dissemination of important research findings. I chair regular research meetings for the consultant body where we discuss expressions of interest for new studies, critical appraisal and evidence in practice. I also contribute to several open access online medical education blogs and podcasts, including ICS, Thrombosis UKRCEM learning and St Emlyns. The latter features regular critical appraisal articles and pragmatic evaluation of how to adopt new findings into practice, achieving >3 million downloads to date.

I am delighted to receive this combined FICM/NIHR award as an early careers researcher on behalf of my consultant colleagues, department and the ARDT. I would like to extend specific thanks to Jonathan Goodall as Clinical Director, Louise Harrison as ARDT team manager, Victoria O’Loughlin as Assistant Director of Nursing (R&I) and Professor Steve Woby as director of operations (R&I) for their ongoing support, engagement and advice. We hope to build on this initial success and make research opportunity part of routine care at Salford, to foster evidence based medicine on our unit and improve patient care and experience through appraisal of established interventions and access to novel treatments."

Established Clinicians Award

Dr Marlies Ostermann, Consultant in Critical Care and Nephrology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

"Since its inception in 2006, the NIHR has significantly increased the scale of clinical research in the NHS, particularly through its national Clinical Research Network.

The enthusiastic engagement of NHS clinicians is an essential condition for sustaining and building on this success, particularly given the many competing demands on clinician time and resources.

Led and funded by the FICM, in partnership with NIHR, this award recognises the contributions of NHS doctors to the leadership and conduct of research alongside their normal jobs.

The applicants for this award were asked to detail:

  • how they demonstrate clinical leadership enabling their organisation to increase its
    participation in clinical studies;
  • how they engaged with patients to inform them of new opportunities to participate in
    clinical research;
  • and their contribution to successful delivery of clinical research studies.

And I am delighted to announce that Dr Phil Hopkins from Kings College Hospital, is this year’s FICM/NIHR national research prize winner."

- Professor Paul Dark, NIHR National Specialty Lead for Critical Care
 

Established Clinicians Award

Dr Phil Hopkins, Hon Senior Lecturer in Intensive Care Medicine, Major Trauma & Anaesthesia, King's College, London

" I joined King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2007 and formed the Anaesthetics, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine & Major Trauma (ACET) research group in 2010. The group have a unique profile, cross cutting different parts of the emergency patient/critical illness pathway and driving unique synergies. ACET are consistently one of the best performing NIHR delivery teams in the country. They support NIHR portfolio and adopted commercial and international trials. Whilst the team began as a pure delivery team, they have now have become researchers in their own right, several nurses going on to PhD level research projects. Many of the nurses have published and presented at international meetings, and they have a very strong reputation now for working a a novel progressive way. The team are also inter professional and are integrated with our trainee doctors with a unique linkage of medical training and NIHR portfolio delivery. ​I was delighted to receive the award on behalf of the whole team, and particularly on behalf of my senior research nurses Dan Hadfield, Georgina Parsons, Clair Harris and Sinead Helyar. Finally, I would like to thank all the patients, relatives and staff at King's who have contributed to the UK research output in the critical illness setting."

"In order to ensure sustainability and future high standards in the intensive care medicine service in the UK, we are dependent on high quality research conducted in this field carried out among others, by our consultants and doctors in training. The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine is delighted to work with the NIHR to fund these two research awards. Congratulations to Dr Chambler and Dr Wise." 

- Dr Carl Waldmann, Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine
 

Established Clinicians Award

Dr Matt Wise, Consultant in Critical Care, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

"I joined the University Hospital of Wales in 2005 as Consultant in Critical Care and established a unique research infrastructure within critical care, with a team of research nurses recruiting to studies 24/7.  As Critical Care Research and Development lead for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board from 2010-2015, I increased opportunities for patient participation in critical care research exponentially, optimising  consent and implementing 24/7 recruitment.

Now, Cardiff is consistently amongst top recruiting sites for many studies, with recruitment increasing from less than 45 patients per year in 2010 to a total in excess of 1,800 in the last five years. Moreover, it has been possible to attract a number of landmark trials including SPICE III, SUP-ICU, RGNOSIS and TTM. The Target Temperature Management (TTM) trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013 and has >900 citations to date, with an Altmetric score of 785 it is in the 99th centile of medical articles and was a major contributor to nationals and international consensus guidelines on post-resuscitation care.

I think that effectively communicating the importance of research in emergency medicine, including areas such as critical care, is extremely important. It has been shown to optimise opportunities for patients, relatives and healthcare professionals to participate in portfolio research."

Early Years Award

Dr Duncan Chambler, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine and Anaesthesia, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

“I have been a consultant for 18 months. In that time, I have taken on the role of principle investigator for my Trust to recruit to the SPICE 3 trial. This is a multi-national trial studying two strategies for achieving ideal sedation in critically ill patients. I must credit our research department staff Sarah Williams, Patricia Williams and Stephanie Dukes for guiding me through my first PI role – they’ve taught me a great deal about the CRN, assessing feasibility and the ethics of consent.

Secondly, I have been involved in web-blogging for the past three years alongside Steve Mathieu and David Slessor. The project, called The Bottom Line, produces a weekly critical appraisal of important research digested and summarised for busy clinicians. We now have around 1,500 hits per day and over 1,000 healthcare professionals subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

I’m delighted to win the award, which recognises how non-academic clinicians can engage in the conduct of research trials and the dissemination of research findings into clinical practice. I encourage other newly appointed consultants to engage with their Research and Innovation departments as they will become better clinicians as a consequence."

“Following the great success of these inaugural prizes, we look forward to developing the awards scheme further in partnership with the FICM and encourage NHS colleagues to consider applying in 2017."

- Professor Paul Dark, NIHR CRN National Specialty Lead for Critical Care and Chair of the Judging Panel
 

Established Clinicians Award

Dr Stephen Wright, at Newcastle University’s Freeman Hospital

Early Years Award

Dr James Plumb, ST6 at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Do you want to apply?
Submit your completed Application Form to the Faculty by midnight on 3 February 2022.