Cleft and Craniofacial Conditions Clinical Studies Group

Early Career Researcher’s Subgroup

   Terms of Reference


The Origins of the Early Career Researcher’s Subgroup

The Early Career Researchers subgroup first met in February 2016 as part of the CCC CSG strategy to develop research in cleft and craniofacial conditions.  It is recognised that high quality research requires long term commitment and investment in the development of clinicians interested in research from early in their career. It was felt that such individuals might benefit from meeting other similarly minded colleagues, providing them with the opportunity to discuss their research ideas, maximise opportunities for collaboration on projects, and gain feedback and support for how to take ideas forward to successful grant applications and ultimately completion of research projects,


Cleft and craniofacial conditions are relatively rare and require broad multidisciplinary and long term care. Systematic reviews show very little high quality evidence for cleft and craniofacial care. Delivering high quality evidence will take time, and needs collaboration and multicentre participation.  This in turn requires that there is a cohort of developing trained clinical researchers in the cleft and craniofacial teams, who are keen to pursue clinical academic careers.


The aim of the ECRs Subgroup is to support and develop such a group of clinicians. Members of the Cleft Collective based at the University of Bristol with funding from the Healing Foundation are committed to cleft research in the UK, and can provide academic support and guidance to the group.


Aims of the ECRs Subgroup:

·       to develop a network of cleft/craniofacial clinicians currently early in their careers who are keen to develop and/or lead in research in their field.

·       to provide support, advice and information about research career pathways and opportunities.

·       to help develop research project ideas into grant applications, funding and beyond.

·       to encourage exchange and development of ideas

·       to promote multidisciplinary ideas and projects

·       to promote collaboration between centres and on multicentre projects.

·       to develop support in centres for delivering research projects

·       to access academic support and guidance from the Cleft Researchers at the University of Bristol



Membership of the ECRs

·       clinicians of any discipline currently working in association with a cleft/craniofacial team


·       either involved in, or wishing to be involved in, cleft/craniofacial research.  For example, engaged in or planning a higher degree, or aiming to undertake their own research project in the future in dedicated sessions.


·       Supported in this aim by their line manager

·       A patient/parent representative

·       Such other people who from time to time would serve the interests of the ECRs may be co-opted for a period of one year at a time.

·       A representative from the CCC CSG

·       A representative from the Cleft Collective, University of Bristol

·       Anyone interested who meets the criteria above can apply to attend meetings

·       Where interest in attending meetings exceeds the capacity of the room available, attendance will be on a 1st come, 1st served basis


Membership of the Group will be for a term of three years which can be renewed, except for members ex-officio who will be members during their terms of that office whether it be less or more than 3 years.


The Group will initially elect its own Chair, who will remain in office for 3 years. The Group will also elect a Vice Chair. The Group may decide to re-elect the holders of these offices for one further term only.


The Chair of the group will report to the CCC CSG, either by attending meetings (at least once a year) and/or by written report.



Meetings will normally be held face to face each year with administrative support and expenses provided by the CCC CSG.  A shorter meeting will be held at the CFSGBI Annual Conference each year.


 Rona Slater, March 2016



ECRG  CMC Terms of Reference.pdf

ECRG and CMC Authorship Policy_.pdf