SIRTN Homepage
About SIRTNSIRTN historySIRTN peopleSIRTN linksSIRTN contacts
  History of Scottish Intercollegiate Research Training Network
  Professor Michael Steel, Deputy Assessor,
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
Edited by; Dr Dominic MacLeod, Fellow SIRTN.

The original Calman proposals for in-service training and accreditation of clinicians made reference to the need for all trainees to acquire some understanding of the principles of research methodology. As increasing emphasis is placed on evidence-based medicine, all doctors need to be able to assess published studies and to participate, at some level, in the gathering and analysis of data for audit purposes.
All three Medical Royal Colleges in Scotland developed Research Training courses during the 1990s and, though designed independently, they turned out to have much in common. It rapidly became obvious that a joint approach to course design and delivery was the sensible way forward and agreement in principle was reached very rapidly. Professors Gordon Lowe and Ken McColl played major roles in setting up the Scottish Intercollegiate Research Training Network (SIRTN). Conception occurred around 1995 but it has had a lengthy and complicated gestation period. This has been largely because of the pace with which events have moved in the field of research training. It is by no means the preserve of the Royal Colleges. Post-graduate Deaneries, the Scottish School of Primary Care, and several specialty-orientated groupings have developed their own teaching materials and courses in recent years. It still makes good sense to share the available expertise and experience but the net has to be cast wider. Fortunately, all the individuals and bodies approached have agreed, with enthusiasm, to join an Expanded SIRTN.

With funding from NHS Education Scotland, we are now making real progress in defining current research training needs of SHOs and SpRs, gathering, assessing and modifying existing courseware and building a modular programme that can be delivered effectively without placing unrealistic demands on trainees. Watch this space!

Useful Tools

Research Training  
NHS eLibrary  
CPD Portfolio