Academic Toolkit - ACT!

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Pre-PhD preparation
Initial planning
Find a supervisor
Develop your research question
Plan for OOP and inform TPD
Find your collaborators
Investigate funders

Think about feasibility

Start 1 year before funding application deadline and complete by 9 months before funding application deadline

You will need to demonstrate the feasibility of your research. You MUST think about PPI at this stage.
A suggested outline is below, though this will vary depending on the type of project you are pursuing.

  1. Recruitment
    1. How and where will potential participants/samples/datasets be identified and by whom?
    2. For studies requiring patients - How many eligible patients are likely to take part (though this is variable depending on the study, roughly 50% of people you approach will want to take part)?
    3. Will you achieve sufficient numbers/data in the required timeframe?
    4. If you are thinking of working on a rare disease, think about the trial methodolgy; adaptive designs may be needed (see resources below)
    5. You may need feasibility data to support the above points (which may require separate funding).
    6. Be realistic!
  2. Logistics
    1. Where will the study take place? What facilities and equipment will be provided?
    2. What outside input may be required e.g. clinicians/radiology/pharmacy/laboratory/statisticians etc?
    3. Feasibility work may be required (see above).
    4. Pilot data may be required.
  3. Money (see 'Investigate Funders')
    1. How much will it cost?
    2. How will it be funded?
    3. Who will manage the funds?
  4. People 
    1. Supervision – need to have sufficient time and expertise (see 'Find a supervisor)
    2. Collaborators (see 'Find your collaborators')
Clinical trials in rare diseases External link

Document from IRDiRC on design of clinical trials in rare disease populations

Points to consider when assessing the feasibility of research - NIHR document External link

Prepared by the: Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and NIHR Medicines for Children Research Network (MCRN).

Find a mentor
Approvals for clinical projects
Check whether your study is research
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