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Academic Career Development

The ethos of our HPRU is to promote learning and facilitate the career progression of all who contribute to our research programme, which includes PhD award holders, HPRU staff and other trainees. Our main goals for the duration of our grant are to:

  1. strengthen the capacity of our dynamic multi-disciplinary team to ensure that we are equipped to address current and future public health and immunisation research priorities,
  2. engage proactively with the NIHR research infrastructure to nurture mutually beneficial research collaboration and learning partnerships with other HPRUs, ARCs and BRCs, and
  3. consolidate our contribution to the training of Public Health and General Practice registrars and students engaged in post-graduate public health related courses.

To achieve these goals, we will build on our existing internal HPRU and broader institutional teaching and learning capacity and seek to access additional training support through the NIHR Academy and the broader NIHR research infrastructure.

Academic Career Development in NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools


Group 1: PhD degree award holders

This group consists of PhD students, whose degree is funded by the HPRU and who have a training plan with a defined end date.


  • Provide world class doctoral training for the next cohort of public health research leaders

Group 2: HPRU Staff

This group consists of early-mid career researchers, senior investigators, and project management staff. All staff can access internal training programmes and are encouraged to complete training in teaching and doctoral supervision.   


  • Enhance the expertise of our existing multi-disciplinary research and project management team by signposting them to NIHR and other funding, fellowship and training opportunities suited to their stage on the academic/research or project management career pathway.
  • Give early-mid career researchers increased responsibility for designing, implementing and managing studies guided by theme leads

Group 3: Other trainees

This group consists of Public Health (PH), General Practice (GP) registrar trainees and LSHTM MSc students. We aim to facilitate placements and short-term research projects for these trainees. We also extend invitations to our public engagement events, such as our Annual Science Day, to all trainees within our network, so that they are provided with opportunities for gaining familiarity with HPRU research, networking, and presenting research project findings.


  • Facilitate short-term placements (defined contributions to research projects and co-authorship on manuscripts) for Public Health and General Practice trainees through: i) existing collaborations with UKHSA and NHS England immunisation teams and, ii) making connections with public health registrar training co-ordinators in London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex
  • A public-health consultant member of the HPRU (Helen McDonald) will train as a Faculty of Public Health supervisor for public health registrars.
  • Accommodate short-term dissertation related research opportunities (approx. 6-10 weeks) for LSHTM MSc students via the LSHTM Vaccine Centre and its Student liaison committee.


We have generic and group specific objectives. Our generic objectives focus on ensuring that information about training and career development opportunities are shared widely, strengthening and establishing research, and training collaborations across the NIHR infrastructure. Core objectives for PhD award holders are to ensure that they receive the support and guidance they need to complete their theses and plan their next career moves. Key to this will be encouraging them towards opportunities afforded through their NIHR Academy membership. The essence of the objectives for HPRU Staff is to signpost all staff to career stage appropriate training and development opportunities and identify those who would benefit from NIHR Academy membership to help them apply for fellowships or similar awards. The objectives for other trainees focus on ensuring that our HPRU is an outward facing resource which supports the development of non-HPRU public health researchers though training and research placements.

Pathways to Impact 

  • Regularly updated career development resources. HPRU team members contributing to NIHR facilitated research networks and involved in collaborative training and research activities.
  • Completion of 6 PhDs resulting in new researchers moving into roles that will make a difference to public health and starting their journeys to become future research leaders.
  • HPRU staff benefitting from general NIHR and NIHR Academy specific training and funding opportunities
  • Facilitation of PH & GP registrar trainee placements
  • Opportunities for MSc students to conduct immunisation related projects.


We are keen to strengthen existing and establish new research and training collaborations with HPRUs, ARCs and BRCs across the NIHR infrastructure. We also want to increase our support and engagement with Public Health and General Practice Training programmes. 

Training Opportunities 

Public Involvement Training

UCL Hospitals Patie​nt​ & Public Involvement Training Courses

LSHTM Public Engagement


The Academic Career Development Leads for the HPRU in Immunisation are Tracey Chantler and Helen McDonald. Please get in touch with them for more information.