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Trial Governance Placement Scheme launch: March 2023

Placement Scheme

The Centre for Trials Research (CTR), Cardiff University is delighted to be working in partnership with the Health Research Board -Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) in Ireland, to launch the new Trial Governance Placement Scheme from March 2023. This is a fantastic opportunity for the CTR to forge a collaboration with international colleagues and to share knowledge and best practice in trial governance from our perspective as a Clinical Trials Unit, and ultimately to build capacity in this area in Ireland. The scheme will provide opportunities across a broad portfolio of research within Wales, UK-wide and internationally across our 4 divisions:

  • Brain Health and Mental Wellbeing
  • Cancer
  • Infection, Inflammation and Immunity
  • Population Health and Social Care

Dr Rachel McNamara, Director of the Brain Health and Mental Wellbeing Division at CTR is the Cardiff University academic lead for the Scheme, which offers Researchers based (and resident) in the Republic of Ireland the opportunity to gain experience of trial governance processes from an international perspective. The scheme has come about in response to a focus on structured training in trial governance in Ireland and is open to anyone working in the fields of health and/or social care in Ireland. Irish Researchers involved in trials (across roles and professional disciplines, including Principal Investigators, Trial Managers, Statisticians, Clinicians, social care professionals) will be paired with a Mentor at CTR.

Once selected (through an open call), Irish Mentees will be placed with and/or across trial teams as observers to gain experience of the breadth of committee structures necessary for the delivery of high-quality trials in health and social care, including:

  • Trial Management Groups (TMGs)
  • Trial Steering Groups (TSCs)
  • Independent Data Monitoring and Ethics Committees (IDMCs)
  • CTR Risk Assessment Group (RAG) – (which reviews trial-specific risks and associated mitigation strategies across CTR’s portfolio).

We aim to match Mentees with trials within their area of interest or expertise, which could be thematic (e.g., cancer trials) or methodological (e.g., complex intervention trials).

Through the mentoring Scheme, Mentee’s progress towards their placement learning outcomes will be facilitated– including intended impact of the training on future career goals in trials. The mentoring process will also provide networking opportunities for Mentees and foster future collaborations. An optional travel bursary of €500 per Mentee is available for travel to facilitate any in-person networking meetings. The programme also provides an exciting opportunity for CTR staff (who will have access to Mentor training as part of their wider job role) to develop their skills as Mentors and to foster international partnerships.

The HRB-TMRN plan to make approximately 20 placements available throughout the scheme, which will run from March 2023 for two years. Speaking about the Scheme, Dr Sandra Galvin, National Programme Manager for the HRB-TMRN, said “By working closely with our respected colleagues in Cardiff University, we can work towards building capacity in trial governance in Ireland through practical, real-world learning. This will improve the conduct of Irish-led trials, leading to better patient outcomes, and better patient care. We are excited to launch this Scheme in partnership with the CTR team, who see mentoring as a key part of their staff development and are keen to share their extensive expertise and support Irish trials to become the best they can be”.

The Scheme was created by the HRB-TMRN in Ireland, and developed in collaboration with Cardiff University CTR, and is funded by the Health Research Board in Ireland. The HRB-TMRN is an initiative across five Irish Universities; University of Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick.

Full details of the Scheme are available on the HRB-TMRN website:

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