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Gavin ScreatonI would like to take this opportunity to welcome Professor Kevin Talbot, who replaced Professor Irene Tracey, as the new head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience (NDCN) earlier in the summer. We wish him every success leading the department, and wish Irene good luck in her new role as Warden of Merton College. 

We’ve had some terrific successes over the last couple of months. In July, the annual NIHR Integrated Academic Training (IAT) Competition results were announced. The Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School (OUCAGS) application was awarded the maximum 10 extra posts that it was vying for. This result befits their 10th anniversary this year. This is a wonderful achievement, and means that we will now be offering a total of 21 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) posts and 7 NIHR Clinical Lectureship (CL) posts for 2020. My thanks and congratulations go to Chris Pugh, Denise Best and the whole OUCAGS team.  

Also, many of our colleagues across the Division have recently received Teaching Excellence Awards for their contributions to teaching and learning, and Teaching Excellence Award funding for projects to enhance students’ education, and my congratulations go to all the winners (see full list of this year’s winners). I look forward to celebrating their achievements at the award ceremony on the 23 October. 

We are excited to be expanding our teaching endeavours, offering two new innovative, online, part-time MSc courses – an MSc in Precision Cancer Medicine and an MSc in Clinical Trials. These courses ultimately allow us to improve access to our expertise, particularly to those with professional and personal commitments that would preclude full-time study. The Precision Cancer Medicine course, developed by Professor Sarah Wordsworth, (Nuffield Department of Population Health), and Associate Professor Anna Schuh, (Department of Oncology), is designed to provide students with the multidisciplinary skill set and knowledge required to design, conduct and lead precision cancer medicine research, and to deliver precision cancer medicine in the health service. The MSc in Clinical Trials, led by Professor Jane Armitage, will offer in-depth training in both the understanding and delivery of innovative high-quality clinical trials. It has been developed by the Nuffield Department of Population Health in collaboration with the European Heart Academy of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the ESC Working Group on Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

Finally, I wanted to personally say thank you to all those who have helped test our REF processes this summer so that our full preparations go more smoothly. I know that this requires a great deal of effort across many areas and teams within the Division, and I thank you all for your time.

Professor Gavin Screaton, Head of Division