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Kate Smith-Jackson

Kate Smith-Jackson

Academic Clinical Fellowship in Nephrology

I successfully applied for the Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) in Nephrology in 2015. This was in my second year of core-medical training, and I undertook my protected research time in 2 x four month blocks. It was initially quite daunting trying to choose which renal research track to pursue, as there are a lot to choose from here in Newcastle.  I opted to work with the National Renal Complement Therapeutic Centre (NRCTC). This unique facility is the only specialist centre in the world.

My mentors Professor Marchbank, and Professor Kavanagh both provided expert mentorship, allowing me to characterize a mouse model of thrombotic microangiopathy and present my work at both national and International conferences. The Clinical Academic office provided a travel grant to enable me to present my work at the International conference in Japan.

Kate Smith-Jackson, Academic Clinical Fellow in Nephrology

My ACF enabled me to generate preliminary data, which directly led onto my MRC Clinical Research Fellowship awarded in 2017. I would not have achieved this without my hard work, the superb mentorship from my supervisor’s, and support from the Clinical Academic Office. The ACF post provided me a structured and supported route to achieve my externally funded fellowship.

During my PhD I hold an honorary contract with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and participate on the Renal SpR Rota, this provides a good balance; allowing me to focus on my PhD but still contribute to patient care and continuously gain clinical experience.

In 2019, I opted to work less than full time after returning from my maternity leave. Both the MRC and Newcastle University fully supported me in this transition. It is challenging juggling my clinical, academic and mothering roles but all are very rewarding and I feel very fortunate to be able to do all three! It will take me longer to complete my PhD and Clinical Academic training compared to my full time counterparts but I see this an advantage.