Wellcome invests £5 million in research training for clinicians in new PhD Academy

  • New PhD Academy will train the next generation of clinician scientists
  • 25 fellowships will be awarded thanks to £5 million funding from Wellcome
  • The 4ward North Clinical PhD Academy will be run by the Universities of, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield

Wellcome has awarded £5 million over the next five years to create the 4ward North Clinical PhD Academy, a joint initiative between the Universities of Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield.

The Academy will award and oversee 25 Wellcome fellowships to allow the best clinical trainees from around the country to undertake a PhD, supported by the world-leading facilities and researchers of the four host universities. Trainees will also benefit from a collaboration between the Academy and the new interdisciplinary Francis Crick Institute in London. Additional awards and bursaries will also be available to help this next generation of clinician researchers make the all-important transition to a postdoctoral research career.

Professor Chris Newman, Faculty Director of Research and Innovation for Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield, said: “This new academy is great news for young clinicians who are starting their research careers. It will offer our most talented trainees the opportunity to develop their research skills with some of the foremost biomedical and translational researchers in the country. The Academy will provide the best possible start to the research careers of the next generation of clinician scientists.”

Professor Neil Hanley, Chair of Medicine at the University of Manchester, who led the bid, said: “This was a great team effort over two years. The competition was tough and to have won the warm backing of the Wellcome Trust and collaboration of the Francis Crick Institute for our plans really illustrates that by working together we can improve our clinical academic training and research opportunities for the brightest trainees.”

Sir Keith Peters, who helped establish the collaboration with the Francis Crick Institute, said: “As the Francis Crick Institute opens its doors at its new campus, it is wonderful to join up with this exciting research opportunity in northern England. Inspiring the next generation of clinicians to undertake research in the best settings is critical and it is a pleasure to be part of the Wellcome Trust 4ward North Clinical PhD Academy.”

Click here for further information about the Wellcome Clinical PhD awards.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2016 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

Sheffield has five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.


For further information please contact: 

Sean Barton
Media Relations Assistant
University of Sheffield