Scottish universities join forces to train young doctors


TWO Scottish Universities have joined forces to train young doctors in research relevant to the causes and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.

The Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow have joined on the new project which will see the institutions combine their research and teaching to advance understanding of musculoskeletal diseases.

A stethoscope on a table - Research News Scotland
(Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash) Both universities are joining forces for the third time to deliver a PhD medical programme

The new programme is supported by a £2m grant from The Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research.

The new TRAM (Train and Retain Academic Musculoskeletal Clinicians) programme is supported will offer opportunities for medical students interested in areas relevant to rheumatology and musculoskeletal disease to undertake a PhD doctorate alongside their medical training.

Professor Iain McInnes, Vice Principal of the University of Glasgow and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “I am delighted that the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh are joining forces once more to deliver this ambitious rheumatology programme.

“Through the breadth and depth of research expertise at both our institutions we will be able to offer post graduate students a world-class training opportunity, and also showcase the real-world benefits of a partnership-driven, collaborative science.”

TRAM is the third joint PhD medical programme shared between the two Scottish institutions.

After the MRC Doctoral Training programme in Precision Medicine and the Cancer Research UK TRACC (Train and Retain Academic Cancer Clinicians) programme, on which this latest PhD programme will be based.

The TRAM programme will build on existing experience in the TRACC Programme, which successfully recruited its first cohort of students during 2020.

TRAM will be integrated within TRACC in order to build on this existing success, and to further strengthen the research and teaching collaboration between the two institutions.

Professor Stuart H Ralston, Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Edinburgh, said “This award reflects the world-leading clinical and teaching expertise that we are so fortunate to have across the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

“It has been estimated that one-third of all consultations in general practice are for musculoskeletal disease.

“I am confident that this innovative programme will support a new generation of clinician-scientists to improve outcomes for people living with musculoskeletal diseases over the coming years.”

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate, Chair of the Kennedy Trust said ‘The MB PhD initiative combines two of the Kennedy Trust’s key aims: investment into translational research and the support of early career scientists.

“We are delighted to build upon the fantastic programme established by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and we are confident that the Trust’s MB PhD scheme will deliver the next generation of clinical academic leaders in musculoskeletal and inflammatory disease research.’