THE GPARTS SCHEME IS ADVERTISED BY NIMDTA (usually in the Autumn)
NIMDTA is the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) who are responsible for funding, managing and supporting postgraduate medical and dental education within the Northern Ireland Deanery.
The GPARTS scheme supports training in research for trainee general practitioners whilst they complete their clinical training in general practice.
The awards support two-year posts which aim to increase the research capacity of primary care, by giving the trainees opportunity to gain experience in academic general practice and to develop expertise in clinical research and education. The training is designed to create a resource of trained practitioners with leadership skills, who are equipped to make evidence-based decisions regarding the best approaches to the provision of high quality health and social care and the prevention of disease. The scheme thus contributes to ongoing efforts towards improving people’s health.
Two posts are usually available each year, based in the academic Department of General Practice at Queen's University, Belfast and in the general practices in which the senior practitioners in that unit undertake their clinical duties. Applications are invited from trainee general practitioners who will have completed two years of their specialty training at the start of the GPARTS post. Successful applicants then undertake two years of training, with 50% of time spent in clinical work and 50% in the university setting: their goals are to complete a research project and MPhil as well as their professional clinical training. During the first year of the post they join their peers in attending the local GP registrars' day-release group and during the first semester of their second year they usually undertake a course in medical statistics. Their work is supervised by senior academic general practitioners who are also vocational trainers in general practice. As post-graduate students, they are invited to participate in various university activities, and have opportunity for involvement in teaching and assessment.
Regular tutorials take place with individual trainers on clinical topics and individual trainees have regular supervision meetings in relation to their research projects. In addition, all trainees currently in post join with the trainers in formal weekly seminars, to which external input is organised as appropriate to enhance learning in specific areas of research expertise.