The Associate Principal Investigator Scheme Experience

by | 16 May 2024 | Associate principal investigator scheme | 0 comments

The BSRBR-RA Study (UK CRN ID: 7302) is part of the NIHR Associate Principal Investigator Scheme. We asked George Nowell, a rheumatology speciality trainee at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, about his experience as an associate principal investigator on the BSRBR-RA, why he got involved and the benefits, rewards and challenges of being on the scheme. 

George’s Experience

“I’d wanted to get involved in research for a long time but it had always seemed a bit intimidating to get started as I’d never thought of myself as one of those clever academic people. The associate PI scheme was a great way for me to get started with the right level of

George Nowell, a Rheumatology Speciality Trainee Year 4 on the Associate Principal Investigator scheme for the BSRBR-RA​ at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

George Nowell, Rheumatology Speciality Trainee Year 4,​
Associate Principal Investigator, BSRBR-RA​
Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

support and guidance to explore the principles of how a research study is run. 

I’ve been involved with recruiting patients to the BSRBR-RA study and its been an amazing opportunity to gain some hands-on research experience. Its a different type of patient interaction than I’m used to in the clinical setting – there’s a lot more hope because we’re focussing on improving things for the future. I was pleasantly surprised at how friendly and supportive the research community was!”

What is the NIHR Associate PI Scheme?

The Associate Principal Investigator (PI) Scheme is a six month in-work training opportunity, providing practical experience for healthcare professionals starting their research career.

People who would not normally have the opportunity to take part in clinical research in their day-to-day role have the chance to experience what it means to work on and deliver a NIHR portfolio study under the mentorship of an enthusiastic Local PI.

Healthcare professionals receive formal recognition of engagement in NIHR Portfolio research studies through the certification of Associate PI status, endorsed by the NIHR and Royal Colleges.