RCPCH Trainee Research Network

The Trainee Research Network (TRN) facilitates collaborative working and support across existing trainee research networks, both regionally and nationally. It aims to increase the opportunities for trainees to carry out child health research and provide peer support and guidance.


Academic toolkit - This resource includes funding application checklists, tips on writing your PhD application and case studies from those already in research.

Research funding opportunities - We support and promote paediatric child health research in the UK and internationally. Search our database of current and upcoming opportunities for projects and posts.

Academic Trainees Day - A free, online event, hosted with the support of NIHR. The next Academic Trainees Day will be held on Thursday 22nd June 2023. If you are interested in attending, please contact research@rcpch.ac.uk.

Regional Networks

We support other trainee research networks across the UK, including:

Network members

Member Region
Dr Eva Wooding (Co-chair) South West
Dr Christopher Course (Co-chair) Wales
Dr Helen McDermott (Co-chair) West Midlands
Dr Hannah Vawda (Co-chair) West Midlands
Dr Thiloka Ratnaike East of England
Dr Emily Cottrell England
Dr Rebecca Unsworth London
Dr Susan Wallace London
Dr Julianne Sanner Midlands
Dr Sunil Bhopal North East and Yorkshire
Dr Aimee Donald North West
Dr Frances Callaghan North West
Dr Christopher Worth North West
Dr Michelle D'Souza South East England
Dr Maura Scott Northern Ireland
Dr Fiona McQuaid Scotland
Dr Olivia Swann Scotland


If you have any queries about this network, contact the Research & Evidence team at research@rcpch.ac.uk or by phone at 0207 092 6000. For further information on the background and aims of the Network, please see the downloads below.

Background and aims


In 2018 we at the RCPCH published the report, Turning the Tide: five years on, which highlighted some of the many positive developments in UK basic science and clinical research. However, we also identified some worrying trends, such as the decrease in academic paediatricians at senior lecturer grade, and the limited amount of time (often zero) that paediatricians of all grades have for research in their job plans, the inadequate representation of children’s interests in the UK life sciences industries strategy and few paediatricians on national research boards and committees.

Following the report's publication, we committed to a continued focus on developing child health research and supporting paediatricians at every career stage to build capability and capacity to carry out research.

Aims of the network

Our trainee-led network supports trainees across the UK to undertake research, develop research skills and confidence to develop their own research ideas through guidance and peer support.

  • Increase the visibility of existing trainee research networks
  • Help the development of new trainee paediatric research networks in areas where they do not currently exist
  • Increase the opportunities for trainees to carry out research
  • Provide trainees with peer support and guidance to develop their own research ideas
  • Allow trainees to be a driving force behind recent strides in collaborative research
  • Initiate and support research projects which paediatric trainees are able to participate in
  • Support trainees to develop research skills (eg statistics, ethical approval, writing research reports for publication, administrative support) and confidence in research
  • Allow trainees in regions to come together to address local clinical questions as well as contributing towards large-scale NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) portfolio studies
  • Allow conception and conduction of pan-UK projects