Child Health, Research – Specialised Foundation Programme – Southampton

Employing Trust: University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
Department: Child Health: (supervisor may be part of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Cancer Sciences or Human Development and Health Academic Units)
Commencement Dates: August, December, or April
Educational Supervisor: Prof Saul Faust, Prof Graham Roberts, Prof Jane Lucas, Dr Juliet Gray, Prof Cathy Hill, Prof Mark Beattie, Dr Justin Davies, Dr Chrissie Jones, Dr Mark Johnson, Dr Katrina Cathie, Prof Brigitte Vollmer, Prof Gary Connett, Prof Jon Dorling
Enquiries: Dr Chrissie Jones

Clinical Supervisor: Allocated Child Health Clinical Academic / Consultant. Contact Dr Jones
Administrative Contact: Emma Lingwood (PA to Dr Jones)
(email Dr Jones directly for information)

Main Educational Opportunities

Specialty Options:
Academic trainees will meet with the paediatric clinical academic supervisors during their F1 year (organised with Dr Jones) to discuss the specialties and research opportunities available to them and will select a project/specialty in which to conduct his/her academic training. All placements encourage students to be involved in research that will hopefully lead to future publications and/or conference presentations.

The 4 month placement will include academic training in one of the following specialties (alphabetical order):

1) Endocrinology
2) Infection and Immunology with General Paediatrics (some crossover to PICU also possible)
3) Gastroenterology and Nutrition (some crossover to NICU and PICU possible)
4) Neonatology and Neonatal nutrition
5) Neurology and Sleep Medicine
6) Oncology
7) Respiratory (some crossover to PICU possible)

  1. Endocrinology
    In paediatric endocrinology there is the opportunity to become involved in research projects related to growth and imprinting disorders, childhood osteoporosis, and non-alcoholic liver disease (NAFLD). Clinical work would include attendance on ward rounds, multi-disciplinary team meetings and clinics.
  2. Infectious Diseases, Immunology and General Paediatrics
    Opportunity to be involved in research in paediatric or neonatal (and adult) vaccine research (including COVID vaccines), antimicrobial resistance research (clinical biofilm research eg cystic fibrosis; infection diagnosis and treatments; and antimicrobial stewardship); children with recurrent infections or general paediatric infectious diseases. Project could have clinical and/or laboratory component depending on interests of individual. Clinical work may include clinics and/or ward rounds in infectious diseases (antibiotic stewardship), intensive care round, general paediatrics.
  3. Gastroenterology and Nutrition
    In the Paediatric Gastroenterology group the special interests include inflammatory bowel disease and the nutritional aspects of the management of children with chronic disease, including the genetics of inflammatory bowel disease.
  4. Neonatal Medicine and Neonatal Nutrition
    In neonatal medicine there is the opportunity to become involved in research projects related to nutrition, growth and metabolism in preterm infants, infection prevention, neonatal surgery, vaccination/immune responses in infants, and studies aimed at optimising respiratory support and reducing chronic lung disease in preterm infants. Clinical work in neonatology would neonatal intensive care, caring for extremely preterm and surgical infants, neonatal follow-up clinics and assessment of newborns on the postnatal wards.
  5. Neurology and Sleep Medicine
    Currently research projects available: sleep disordered breathing in Down syndrome; sleep debt in hospital – impact on recovery; sleep-related rhythmic movement disorder; and tools for monitoring everyday sleepiness in narcolepsy. We are the largest paediatric sleep centre outside of London. You will be encouraged to observe sleep studies and clinics.
  6. Paediatric Oncology
    In children’s cancer there is the opportunity to become involved in laboratory research projects related to cancer immunotherapy, as well as clinical projects exploring other areas of paediatric oncology. Clinical work would include attendance on ward rounds, clinics and observation of clinical procedures such as bone marrow sampling.
  7. Respiratory/Allergy
    Opportunity to become involved with follow-up assessments of infants and young children (cohort studies on the early life origins of asthma and allergic disorders, laboratory and clinical research in primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis). Clinical work may include respiratory outpatient clinics, allergy and clinical immunology clinics, general paediatrics clinics. Assisting with performance of fibreoptic bronchoscopies on infants and young children.

Formal Teaching Programmes

Generic research skills training provided by the AF2 programme at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (10 half day sessions). This course will enable F2 trainees:

  • To gain an overview of the scope of clinical research
  • To learn about research methods and their appropriate application
  • To learn about sources of knowledge and knowledge management
  • To learn how to form research questions
  • To learn how to critically appraise research
  • To master elementary statistics and understand their application to research
  • To understand the sources of funding for research and financial management of research
  • To understand the ethics of research, consent and confidentiality
  • To understand how research is regulated and governed.

Between sessions participants will be expected to develop their own research projects involving the:

  • Generation of research questions
  • Design of research protocols
  • Financial aspects of research
  • Navigation through ethics and the regulation of research.

Work Pattern

Speciality-specific timetable depending on project and supervisor.

Out of hours
One afternoon/Evening shift per week as appropriate on the acute paediatric medical assessment unit supervised by on-call SpR or consultant.

The University Child Health group has been at the heart of the evolving research strategy within the Faculty of Medicine.
Research themes at Southampton can be seen at:
Members of the group are involved with several formal University research groups within The Faculty of Medicine