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The annual trainees’ event was well supported this year with over 70 delegates attending a range of talks and poster presentations at the two day meeting on 19 and 20 September.

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Rachel Ryves presents her poster

The Queen’s College in Oxford houses a modern lecture theatre set within old stone walled gardens and magnificent 675 year old architecture. Undoubtedly the popularity of talks such as those given by Sophie Park and Sarah Tonkin-Crine on the academic support offered by Society of Academic Primary Care (SAPC), and the career progressions of Elizabeth Murray and Peter Bower, gave the early career researchers much food for thought when considering their own futures.

I have really enjoyed the conference. It was nice to meet colleagues from other centres  and there was a good split between poster sessions which were kept to time exceptionally well. Very interesting and useful presentation topics."

Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at University of Western England, Andy Ridgway, highlighted the importance of communicating research and pitching a story in 'Disseminating research through the media'.

Jennifer Harrison, HRA Approval Change Manager for the Health Research Authority spoke about the HRA approval process.

Sophie Park, GP and Senior Lecturer in Primary Care at UCL spoke to delegates about Academic pimary care for clinicians. She included a few practical questions for them to consider when developing a five year plan and the trainees enjoyed her interactive style.

Sarah Tonkin-Crine, Health Psychologist and Senior Researcher at the University of Oxford, and Member of the SAPC Executive Committee, spoke about SAPC's PHoCuS group for primary healthcare scientists, a multi-disciplinary research group open to any member of SAPC who is not medically trained. Sarah also spoke about the SAPC mentoring programme. Both described their different career paths and highlighted the need to diversify research skills and change research topic when considering an institutional change often needed in promotion. 

Patient and Public Involvement Co-ordinator at the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, Lynne Maddocks, gave the delegates key pointers to help make the inclusion and engagement of patients and the public beneficial to both the public and the research process in 'PPI - 10 tips to make it easier'. Access the PPI handouts. 

I would have like the PPI session to have been considerably longer. It provided great discussion that was sadly too short."

Nicola Melody, Senior Programme Manager at the NIHR's Trainees Co-ordinating Centre (TCC), highlighted the research pathways supported by the NIHR, outlined priorities for the NIHR and the research capacity development programme within the TCC before talking about the NIHR Fellowship Programme.

Doctoral students Jane Vennik and Edmore Chamapiwa spoke enthusiastically about attending the NIHR Doctoral research training camp held at Ashridge Park every year. And, Georgina Fletcher and Ben Ainsworth spoke about the benefits of applying for the TUTOR-PHC programme held in Canada each year.