Dr Vinton Cheng is an honorary Specialty Registrar in Medical Oncology at the Leeds Cancer Centre and Academic Clinical Lecturer with a research interest in brain metastases. He joined the NCRI Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis Group as a trainee in 2018.
Why did you get involved with the NCRI Group as a trainee?
I got involved with the NCRI because I was very interested in learning about how clinical research in oncology was being undertaken. As a trainee, I had not had much experience in getting involved in large scale studies. This was an excellent opportunity to meet with experts in this field and learn about the current research being undertaken across the country.
How has it benefitted your career?
Being involved with the NCRI has helped me to network with experts working in cancer care from across the country from many different specialities.
One of the best experiences that I’ve had is meeting other trainees who are very interested in cancer research and speaking with patient representatives, oncologists, GPs and surgeons. I’ve had some very stimulating conversations, but I’ve also had the opportunity to work on some exciting projects that we’re hoping to get published.
What is the best thing you have been involved in as part of the NCRI Group?
One of the opportunities that has come about as part of the NCRI was attending a multidisciplinary proposal guidance meeting.
From the meeting, I learned how to assess research proposals and understand the amount of work that goes into writing a research proposal.
This has helped me understand the types of considerations I need to make when writing a research proposal, such as patient participation and planning statistical analysis, and liaising with relevant specialties.
What would be your advice to other early career researchers?
My advice to other early career researchers who are interested in participating in the NCRI
Groups is to grab the opportunity to meet with trainees and spend time talking to the other researchers and specialists working at the NCRI. Also, be willing to work outside of your comfort zone. Much of what you will get to do will be very different from what you’re used to doing in your day-to-day clinical work, but this is a fantastic opportunity to build your research career and network and learn more about cancer research within the UK.