Oncology, Research – Specialised Foundation Programme – Southampton

Employing Trust: University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Department: Cancer Sciences Academic Unit
Commencement Dates: August, December, or April
Educational Supervisor: Professor Ellen Copson, Professor of Medical Oncology
Email: E.Copson@soton.ac.uk
Tel: 02381 793189

Clinical Supervisor: Ellen Copson, (breast oncology): Simon Crabb (urology); Judith Cave (lung); Tim Iveson (gastrointestinal); Andy Davies (lymphoma); Clare Green (gynaecological); Ioannis Karydis (melanoma); Nicki Neay (sarcoma).
Administrative Contact: Heather Minett, Cancer Sciences
Email: H.E.Minett@soton.ac.uk
Tel: 02381 205159
For general information on Cancer Sciences division see: www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine

Main Educational Opportunities: Academic trainees will meet with their academic supervisor during their F1 year to discuss the specialties and research opportunities available to them and will select a project/specialty in which to conduct his/her academic training.

Medical Oncology:

  • Multidisciplinary management of cancer patients including:
  • Diagnosis of primary and metastatic cancer
  • Management of cancer related symptoms
  • Devising management plans for cancer patients within the multi-disciplinary framework
  • Use of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, biological therapies, radiotherapy and experimental treatments.
  • Management of treatment related complications
  • End of life care with palliative care team support

Research experience (laboratory or clinical):

Wide range of opportunities in clinical trials, health services research and laboratory based research within the Cancer Sciences Division laboratories and Wessex Genomics Medicine service. Care of patients participating in clinical trials of cancer therapy ranging from first time in man to large phase III studies (approx 500 patients per annum in Southampton).

  • Direct involvement in research activities:
  • Writing a clinical research protocol
  • GCP and Research Governance issues
  • Participation in an established research project
  • Writing up results for publication.

Clinical research projects: design, set-up (COREC, R&D, Peer review), training in ICH-GCP.

Laboratory research projects: Immunology, Cell Biology, Pathology. Projects within existing laboratory programmes in Cancer Sciences.

Exposure to the extensive evidence base in oncology, with the opportunity to undertake systematic reviews for specific topics.

Formal Teaching Programmes


  • Weekly case presentations with literature review (Thurs am)
  • Weekly journal club (Tuesday pm)
  • Monthly protocol peer review (Tuesday pm)
  • Weekly Cancer Sciences seminars (Wednesday pm)
  • Cancer Care SHO teaching programme (Wednesday lunchtime).
  • Monthly Cancer Care lunch and seminar (Friday lunchtime)
  • MDT meetings for all tumour types weekly (Breast, Colorectal, Upper Gl, HPB, Lung, Urology, Lymphoma, Gynae)
  • Weekly molecular tumour board meeting (Friday 11-12)
  • Bimonthly morbidity and mortality meeting (Friday afternoon)
  • Bimonthly service evaluation and audit meetings (Friday afternoon)

Formal Generic research skills training provided by the R&D Support Unit and the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, at Southampton General Hospital (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.

Academic competencies:

By the end of the attachment the F2 doctor should have done some or all of the following:

  • Undertaken a (systematic) literature review for at least one clinical scenario
  • Undertaken a peer review for at least one clinical trial protocol or publication
  • Presented at least one paper to a journal club
  • Presented a paper at a National/International meeting
  • Written a paper for publication
  • Attended weekly laboratory meetings if undertaking a laboratory project
  • Written at least one ethics committee submission and attended the ethics committee meeting
  • Gained firsthand experience of the process of informed consent, trial entry, treatment and record keeping in accordance with ICH-GCP
  • Gained firsthand experience of laboratory research methods in the relevant area.


This will be flexible according to the lab meetings and MDT meetings to be attended. The following are examples only. Most AF2 appointees would have an individualised programme, the emphasis of the 4 month being in research.

a.m.Research timeChemotherapy clinicMDT OP ClinicCase Presentations Research timeWTRCF Teaching Programme Research Time
p.m.Research TimeJournal Club Research TimeCSD Seminar Research supervisionResearch timeWTCRF Teaching programme

Out of Hours / On Call:

Hours Worked: The post is zero banded. However commonly extra duties are offered out of hours on a rota basis. At present this cover is in Acute Oncology unit and the cancer care wards.
Planned Changes: None planned

Further information:
Please see the Cancer Sciences academic unit web page at: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine/academic units/academic units/cancer sc iences.page