Top five tips from the UK’s National Paediatric Academic Trainee Weekend

The UK’s National Paediatric Academic Trainee group organised a conference to talk about how to get on in academic paediatrics. Now, there are academics of very many flavours in paediatrics and child health, and it’s always great to see more folk turning to the (en)light(ened) path of never believing anything and ending every conversation “but more research is needed”.

One of their inaugural attendees, Hadeel Hassan (@Bezoonah) wrote up 5 key learning points…

I attended the 1st National Paediatric Academic Trainee Weekend (NPATW) at the Ashbridge Business School on the 12th and 13th of September 2014. It was an informal and interactive event attended by paediatricians at different stages of training. The two days covered a variety of topics from patient involvement to writing and critically appraising grant applications.

Here are my top five tips from what I learnt:

  • Speak to children/teenagers before commencing your research. Involving them from the start will help make their experiences less daunting. Check out the video and Young Persons Advisory Group for more information.


  • Think about the key message in your presentation. We know you’ve poured your soul into the research, but you do not need to inform your audience of every little point!


  • Present simply. Just because you are talking to an ‘expert audience’ does not mean they will understand your research. Clearly explain concepts/results/abbreviations.


  • Read a previously successful grant application before writing your own. This will help guide what and how you need to write that successful bid. Obviously don’t plagiarise!


  • Start thinking about your PhD early. Transforming your research idea into a well thought out application will take time. Don’t forget pilot data and Patient and Public Involvement (PPI).


Many thanks to Catherine Wedderburn and Danielle Wagner for organising the event. I hope there will be a #NPATW15!

– Hadeel Hassan

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