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The senior lecturers in clinical medicine and dentistry came together to share their experiences; reflect on the challenges and opportunities associated with a dual career as a researcher and a clinician; network with other award-holders; and hear from senior colleagues.

The first round of CSLA awards was launched in 2005, and since then HEFCE has invested up to £50 million to support 188 individual awards. The awards are jointly funded posts with an NHS trust, and have been awarded to people who have completed their professional training in a clinical specialism and shown considerable promise during their parallel training and early experience in research.

The awards aim to increase the number of high-quality clinical academic staff, and to secure long-term sustainability and enhanced outcomes in research and teaching at senior lecturer level. The launch of the scheme followed growing concern over a drop of around 500 in the number of clinical academic staff in medical disciplines and clinical dentistry between 2000 and 2004.

HEFCE Chief Executive, Sir Alan Langlands, said:

'Clinical academics play a vital role in translating basic and clinical research into local, national and global healthcare benefits, work that ensures better treatments and outcomes, and improves patient care. I am proud that HEFCE, in partnership with the NHS, continues to support the enormous contribution that our Clinical Senior Lectureship Award holders make to research, to teaching and patient care.'

Dr John Williams, Head of Clinical Activities at the Wellcome Trust, commented:

'The Clinical Senior Lectureship Awards have made a significant contribution to the much needed revitalisation of clinical research in the UK and we are pleased to see the initiative begin to bear fruit.'

Professor Sir John Tooke, Chair of the CSLA steering committee, said:

'It has been a privilege to be Chair of the steering committee for this much-needed initiative. There has never been a more exciting time to engage in a clinical academic career.'

Further information about the Clinical Senior Lectureship Awards scheme is available.