OVERVIEW OF NOTCH
WHO ARE WE?
The National Oncology Trainees Collaborative for Healthcare Research is a trainee-led research collaborative
that was first established as the Northern Oncology Trainee Collaborative for Healthcare Research in 2017.
Now comprising clinical and medical oncology registrars from across the United Kingdom, our aim is to ensure
that oncology trainees from both clinical and medical oncology disciplines receive research training and experience, and in doing so deliver meaningful research that impacts positively on the care patients receive.
A particular focus for this research is in the domains of rare cancers and aspects of oncology that cut across
disciplines, such as acute oncology and the study of treatment toxicities.
HISTORY OF NOTCH
In its first incarnation, NOTCH was founded in 2017 as the Northern Oncology Trainees Collaborative for
Healthcare Research by a group of registrars – led by NOTCH founder Chris Jones – based in Leeds,
Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
The aim at the outset of NOTCH was to provide both clinical and medical
oncology registrars with an opportunity to get involved in and, crucially, to lead research. This was a popular
approach and both Liverpool and Belfast had joined NOTCH by the end of 2017.
This group of six centres based in the north of England and Northern Ireland established the first formal
NOTCH structure and Anna Olsson-Brown was selected the group’s first Vice-Chair in early 2018. At the same
time, fourteen project proposals were received from registrars across the six participating centres. Two of
these were selected for NOTCH members to undertake. The first was a case series focussed on the
management of thymoma and thymic carcinoma, which was led by Abigail Gault, and the second was a
retrospective analysis of immunotherapy toxicities, led by Anna Olsson-Brown.
The delivery of these projects led to significant interest from centres across the United Kingdom, and from key
organisations responsible for the delivery of research and training in the UK. Building on this interest, NOTCH
in 2019 expanded to include centres from across the UK, and both secured endorsement from the Association
of Cancer Physicians and affiliated to the Royal College of Radiologists.
In late 2019, Chris Jones handed over the Chair role to Anna Olsson-Brown and the new Vice Chair,
MEMBERSHIP & STRUCTURE
NOTCH is a trainee-led collaborative that now extends across the UK and incorporates both
medical and clinical oncology trainees. The collaborative is led by a Chair, supported by a
Vice Chair, and they together lead a Trainee Board. This Trainee Board in turn reports to an
Advisory Group comprising of senior academics and clinicians from key stakeholder
organisations and cover the geographical regions from which NOTCH members derive. The
Advisory Group Lead is the most recent outgoing NOTCH Chair NOTCH Chair, titled the
Advisory Group Lead. Each centre involved in contributing to NOTCH projects is led by two
medical and two clinical oncology trainees, one of whom is the nominated liaison for that
centre. This person reports to the relevant representative for their region on the NOTCH
committee. Project-specific teams will form as required and will report within their centres
and to the lead for that project on the Trainee Board.