One of the highlights of this year’s BSG meeting was a symposium organised by the BSG Trainee Committee on trainee research networks. The invited speakers demonstrated their passion for trainee research networks and illustrated their potential benefits in a series of inspiring talks. 

Mr Richard Wilkin, an academic clinical lecturer at the University of Birmingham and a former Chair of the surgical West Midlands Research Collaborative, described their experience of establishing a trainee-led research network and the impressive work their group have done over the last decade. 

BSG Research Committee Chair Professor Matthew Brookes talked about a consultant/researcher perspective on research networks. He highlighted the benefits of trainee research networks and emphasised that the BSG Research Committee is keen to support setting up a National Trainee Research Collaborative. 

Dr Anton Emmanuel, outgoing Editor-In-Chief of Frontline Gastroenterology, gave an overview on how to design a successful research study to facilitate publication. Finally, representatives of three currently active trainee research networks in gastroenterology shared their experiences so far. 

  1. WMRIG (West Midlands Research in Gastroenterology Group) was established in 2015 by a group of enthusiastic registrars. The network received a competitive grant from the Midland Gastroenterological Society for the network development and so far have delivered two multicentre regional projects including one in collaboration with GARNet and GasTRIN NoW. The members of the WMRIG are also collaborating with the surgical WMRC on the RICOCHET project. 
    Contact: monikawidlak@yahoo.co.uk
  2. GARNet (Gastroenterology Audit and Research Network), Based in East Midlands and established in 2016, GARNet also received the grant for network development by Midland Gastroenterological Society and delivered an audit on acute upper GI bleeding for which received the best oral presentation prize at the MGS in May 2017. 
    Contact: richard.ingram@nhs.net
    GARNet and WMRIG jointly were awarded a competitive Guts UK (Core) grant for their collaborative project on acute upper GI bleeding of which results were presented at the MGS meeting in May 2018 and the BSG meeting in June 2018.
  3. GasTRIN NoW (Gastroenterology Trainee Research and Improvement Network North West) Established in 2017, this  group collaborated with GARNet and WMRIG on the upper GI bleed project and currently is preparing for the RISE NoW project (Regional IBD Surveillance Endoscopy North West), supported by a successful grant application from Guts UK.

We hope that symposium inspired you to get involved and to set up your regional networks! We are looking forward to seeing new trainee research collaboratives working together very soon.