Ernest Cutz is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, and a former senior pathologist in the Department of Paediatric Laboratory Medicine and Senior Research Associate at the Hospital for Sick Children's Research Institute.
This year’s Nobel prize for Physiology and Medicine, awarded to Drs. William Kaelin, Gregg Semenza and Sir Peter Ratcliffe for discovering details of how the body’s cells sense and react to low oxygen levels, is a remarkable feat for several reasons. The Nobel Committee cited the discoveries as ”one of life’s most essential adaptive processes”. The laureates' research answers profound questions about how the body works, helping to inform potential new therapeutic targets to treat cancer and other diseases. While I rejoiced in this remarkable accomplishment by these exceptional clinician-scientists, I was reminded of a colossal failure of the grant review process for medical research funding in Canada. ...continue reading →
Domhnall MacAuleyis a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
How do you create a successful school of primary care research? Measuring outputs through academic papers, presentations at international meetings, and the general impact of research, the UK primary care community has had remarkable success. The ten year celebration meeting of the School of Primary Care Research (SPCR) in England was an opportunity to reflect on their achievements and try to pick out the key factors in that success.
It wasn’t always this way. As an academic and an editor I know the struggle that researchers had in the early days. There were few grants, ...continue reading →
Richard Hobbs is Director at the National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research (SPCR), and Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at Oxford University in England
Structured academic training opportunities for clinical and non-clinical scientists is seen as a key deliverable by UK research funders. Each of the big national funders (MRC, Wellcome, NIHR) therefore have schemes for early career applicants on pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, more established researcher grades, and even at professorial level. There are differences between funders in what the schemes expect and what they offer (such as what topics are accepted, how long the fellowship operates for, what element of clinical work can be added, whether research funds are also provided, etc). However, there are broad similarities ...continue reading →