Authors: Laura Cottey, Jamie Vassallo, Tom Roberts, Dan Horner, Andrew Tabner / Codes: / Published: 28/08/2018

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TERN is committed to opening opportunities to EM Trainees. If you are interested in writing a blog post about breaking evidence then please get in touch ([email protected]). We will pair you up with an Academic EM Trainee who will mentor you through this process. Not sure what TERN is? Carry on reading

TERN is the new Trainee Emergency Research Network (TERN), designed to improve access to research opportunities and demystify clinical research in Emergency Medicine (EM). Supported and funded by RCEM, TERN is a new collaboration of EM trainees across the country, coming together to work on pragmatic, clinically driven research projects which can rapidly influence practice. This approach aims to provide research opportunity for all trainees in EM, through collaborative project identification/design, followed by provision of support, guidance, training and infrastructure.

We’re not alone in forming such collaborations the Anaesthetists’ and Surgeons‘ have been doing it for some time, and have received recognition from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for their ability to recruit large numbers of patients into a variety of different studies and trials. Ever worry that you have nothing to write in the research box at your ARCP? Trainee networks can deliver large projects, published in high impact journals, with all collaborators listed within the manuscript.

What is TERN hoping to achieve

TERN aims to develop an innovative and practice changing research network, designed to answer clinical questions raised by trainee groups which will have a clear impact on practice and patient experience. It also aims to provide a robust platform for research engagement; short training periods, rotational placements and additional training requirements all make it challenging to design, develop and deliver a research project as a trainee. A collaborative project with infrastructure and support provided through RCEM can mitigate many of the obstacles here. With trainees working in different hospitals across the country, we instantly have a multi-site study; with that comes the potential for large numbers of patients, leading to an increased confidence in being able to answer the research question. We are all currently doing similar local projects up and down the country; imagine the power of collaboration across 176 type 1 Eds, each seeing between 80,000-120,000 patients a year? Big numbers, increased generalisability, more chance of impact on practice.

For the individuals participating, TERN will provide increased exposure to research activity and lots of opportunity to develop research skills. These skills will include data analysis, research design, academic writing, statistical liaison and presentation/publication experience.

We are also committed to ensure involvement and time is properly recognised. We will open a dialogue with deaneries to discuss how involvement with research projects can be reimbursed. We want publications and presentations to reflect your involvement in studies. Beyond this, we recognise that EDs are challenging environments to collect data; we hope TERN will lead the way in innovative data collection systems that take advantage of improving technology to make data collection more efficient.

And here are some interesting publications, presentations, blogs and other outputs

How can I find out and influence what TERN gets up to?

If this is something that you’d be interested in, then please do get in touch either through the sign up form on this page or directly at [email protected]. Signing up is flexible and will not commit you to any particular roles but can be determined as projects are released.  Involvement is for everyone and can be at different stages in the process – from designing the study through to being on the ground collecting data in your individual Emergency Departments. Help, training and support will be provided making this an ideal opportunity for anyone interested in becoming more involved in research or wanting to make a difference in Emergency Medicine. TERN has a formal budget provided by RCEM for start-up and infrastructure costs, along with supervision and support through the college research committee and the college professors.

Some of the TERN funding is badged towards salary support for a trainee to provide leadership for TERN, and to have dedicated project time. A TERN fellow has recently been appointed to drive this process and congratulations go to Tom Roberts here from Bristol as the inaugral fellow, who is now contactable directly at [email protected]

Got a research idea or proposal for TERN?

Have you had an idea for a trainee led research project, but don’t know quite how to put it into a formal submission? No problem. Give us the rough jist using the 3 questions below and we will discuss it at the relevant TERN meeting. If the wider group like the idea, then it can be worked up formally with academic support from the RCEM professors, research committee and a research design service.