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The Fellowships Consortium

What is The Fellowship Consortium?

The Fellowships Consortium is an international multifaceted programme, supporting the learning of tomorrow’s leaders in the field of palliative care. It is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and Cicely Saunders International and includes four strands of activity:

  1. Research Fellowships Programme: This programme directly funds three PhD and two MSc fellowship posts at the Cicely Saunders Institute in London, two NPCRC Junior Faculty Career Development Awards in the USA, and a postdoctoral fellowship post at Trinity College Dublin.

  2. Community Building: The Fellowship Consortium seeks to expand academic collaboration and learning, peer-to-peer support and international exchange, creating an international research community of leaders dedicated to ensuring delivery of high-quality care for growing numbers of people with chronic illness.

  3. Research Technical Assistance: Early-stage palliative care researchers face unusual challenges around study design, instrument development and analytic techniques. This is due to the complexity of the statistical methods and study designs required to conduct high-quality research in people with serious illness. The Fellowships Consortium will support the development and delivery of technical resources and training to assist fellows with these challenges.

  4. International Engagement Action: Fellows will engage with patient and public involvement (PPI) representatives, clinicians and relevant policy makers to disseminate findings, influence public debate and raise the profile of palliative care. Innovative use of new and traditional media platforms, development of accessible web-based information, and participation in community events will assist fellows to highlight the issues in palliative and end of life care, and to provide evidence-based solutions.

Why is it important to build capacity in palliative care research?

Evidence shows that society is facing increasing rates of chronic disease, ageing, multimorbidity and complexity of need; more patients require specialist palliative care services or new models of integrated palliative care support within other specialties. Currently there is inequitable access to palliative care services globally, and considerable variation in models of care, meaning not all chronically ill patients are receiving the care they need. These issues were recognised in a 2014 landmark World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution, which urged member states to respond by strengthening integration and implementation of palliative care services, at all levels of society and into national health programmes. The WHA resolution cannot be realised without investment in human capital; the clinicians and researchers working in the field of palliative care to develop and deliver evidence-based solutions. The Fellowships Consortium seeks to build capacity and support early-career palliative care researchers.

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