Launch of King’s Clinical Academic Training Office

King’s College London

The official launch took place on Wednesday 4 May at an evening reception in the studio of the newly re-opened Science Gallery.

Collage of speakers from  KCATO launch: Top L-R; Professor Richard Trembath, Professor Rebecca Oakey and Professor Matthew Hotopf Bottom L-R; Professor Suzanne Bench, Professor Frances Williams and Dr Rina Dutta.
Top L-R; Professor Richard Trembath, Professor Rebecca Oakey and Professor Matthew HotopfBottom L-R; Professor Suzanne Bench, Professor Frances Williams and Dr Rina Dutta.

King’s Clinical Academic Training Office (KCATO) had its official launch on Wednesday 4 May at an evening reception in the studio of the newly re-opened Science Gallery.

The KCATO has been set up to offer advice, best practice and information on academic careers, recruitment, training and development for all health professionals across all stages of research training as well as support for grant applications and funding.

Professor Richard Trembath, Senior Vice President (Health & Life Sciences) and Executive Director of King’s Health Partners introduced the evening and shared his vision for “King’s to become the best place to come and engage in your clinical and academic training.” He also highlighted the important role played by the KCATO to enable all health professions to develop a career path which combines clinical expertise with academic excellence.

Professor Rebecca Oakey, Dean for Doctoral Studies and Training Lead for the NIHR GSTT BRC spoke about the importance of providing bespoke support, training and infrastructure for the 400+ doctoral students with a clinical background whilst registered at King’s and for their future. The diversity of disciplines is a core strength at King’s, with doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, allied and other health professionals all represented within the researcher community.

The creation of the KCATO has its roots within the Centre for Doctoral Studies and will play a key role in supporting clinical doctoral students but its remit will extend to supporting all levels of clinical researchers working within King’s and its sovereign trusts.

It is a fantastic privilege to have the opportunity to nurture clinical academic talent in today’s culture and launch and sustain careers for the next generation of health care professionals and clinicians.– Professor Rebecca Oakey, Dean for Doctoral Studies, King’s College London

The KCATO was endorsed by Professor Matthew Hotopf, Vice Dean of Research (IoPPN), Director of the NIHR Maudsley BRC and Director of King’s new flagship PhD programme in Mental Health Research for Health Professionals. He highlighted the difficult career choices clinicians have to make when choosing to combine their role with that of being academic or researcher and the important role the KCATO will play helping them navigate this less well travelled route.

Professor Suzanne Bench, Director of Nurse and Midwife led Research and Academic Leadership at Guys and St Thomas’s NHS Trust spoke from her perspective about the important role that the KCATO would play in supporting the development of senior nurse and midwives to become clinical leaders delivering research-led care to patients.

During the event we also heard from the newly appointed Director, Professor Frances Williams and Deputy Director, Dr Rina Dutta, who will head up the KCATO (a second Deputy Director will also be recruited from a nursing or allied health professional background). Professor Williams and Dr Dutta both shared their professional backgrounds and explained the role that KCATO will play in coordinating and expanding the support offered to health researchers at King’s.

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