The Fellowship provides the option of longer-term support and a greater ability to balance research and clinical training responsibilities, and is open to those who are re-entering academia after career breaks or extended periods of clinical training.
We talked to Dr Issa about his tremendous achievement.
Why did you apply for a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship?
The Wellcome Trust provides all the support needed to help me investigate this particular area of interest, namely how manipulation of hypoxia sensing mechanisms alters immune function. Additionally, the Wellcome Trust also help support clinicians in developing their research career and provide the mechanisms needed to maintain their clinical practice.
How did you find the application/interview process?
Very smooth and well organised. I was supported throughout and had contact with the Wellcome Trust from the outset to help me decide which scheme to apply to and the process. The interview was held at the Wellcome Trust on Euston Road with a wide-ranging panel of experts who had some very probing questions about the project. It was a fair and transparent process.
What advice would you give to someone looking to apply?
Make sure you have enough time, make sure you have thought the project through carefully and that it is innovative while also being realistic, have others not intimately involved in your work look at the project proposal, make sure you know how the Fellowship will fit into your career plan and that you have the necessary support on the clinical side, think about how you see your research programme developing over the next five to 10 years.
Do you have any plans to work oversees or in a laboratory outside of Oxford University during your fellowship?
I have collaborative links within and outside of Oxford but I am not planning on visiting any (although this may change as the project progresses!)
When do you hope to present the results of your research?
As soon as there is something to report! :)
What is your next career step after you have completed the fellowship?
I would hope to continue as a clinician scientist, with an active basic/translational research group in immunology that continues to innovate for patient benefit.