TERN Projects

Project Types

As a growing network, it is vital we are transparent with what projects we support and we select them. We want to help our trainees by providing great research opportunities which are of benefit to them. As a result, we have to have a degree of selectivity with what we ask our membership to work on and take forward, as we get asked to help on a lot of projects. As a result, we’ve developed a hierarchy of projects and how involved TERN will get in each. In this way, we ensure our membership are involved in these decisions.

Full TERN Project

Selection process Project proposed by members or collected membership. Idea agreed to in principle and selected and chosen from within the TERN membership by majority vote of those present at selection meeting / distanced voting (66% of votes from regional representatives returned to meet quorum).
Chief investigator TERN Fellow or member of committee/executive as chief investigator or study co-ordinator. Co-chief investigator may be the person who has proposed and developed the idea, but this is not mandatory.
Site leads Sites are recruited to as TERN sites, with PIs drawn from within TERN membership.
Project support Full support, from protocol development to recruitment to write-up of project provided.
Acknowledgements Authorship of papers / presentations / publications dependent upon ICJME criteria, but all site PIs and contributors to be listed as “TERN Collaborators” in presentations and publications.

TERN Affiliated Projects

Selection process Selected as being of interest to TERN membership. Inclusion as TERN Affiliated Project to go out to Regional Representatives to vote. Majority vote required (66% of votes returned to meet quorum).
Chief investigator External chief investigator or study co-ordinator, but can include TERN Fellow as co-investigator in order to utilise TERN network if required.
Site leads Sites not necessarily made up of PIs from within TERN membership, but this will be offered and advertised to TERN membership.
Project support Partial support, such as recruitment or involvement within project, without oversight of entire project.
Acknowledgements Authorship of papers / presentations / publications dependent upon ICJME criteria, but all TERN-affiliated PIs and contributors to be listed as “TERN Collaborators” in presentations and publications.

TERN Supported Projects

Selection process Projects that are deemed to be of interest to TERN members but that do not utilise TERN membership. Decision to be advertised can be made between TERN Fellow & TERN Professor(s).
Chief investigator External chief investigator.
Site leads Sites not necessarily made up of PIs from within TERN membership, but this will be offered and advertised to TERN membership, if applicable or desired.
Project support Limited support, such as dissemination of information about it on social media or to TERN membership as opportunity for participation.
Acknowledgements Authorship not expected from projects, but individual members of TERN able to pursue this as per ICJME criteria and involvement within project.



TERN is a new research network, and so working relationships are developing, although the core structure of TERN is simple.

Core Structure

Currently the core structure of TERN is:


We currently have a further three committee members, with an as-yet unfilled committee member role. If you’d like to fill it, please email an expression of interest and a CV!

  • Education Leads
    • Celestine Weegenaar, Rajesh Chatha
  • Events & Publicity
    • (Unfilled)
  • Funding Lead & Treasurer
    • Hridesh Chatha

The Network

Regional Representatives

We now move beyond the core structure of TERN (the Executive) to the wider TERN network. Decisions made about TERN and its administration are taken in consultation with the Regional Representatives. The role of the regional representatives is to promote TERN within their region, find & support trainees who are interested in participating or leading TERN studies locally. The regions are divided (roughly) as such:

(Regional map for TERN Regions)

There, is of course, more variation than that, and you can find out who your actual regional rep is by visiting our map.

Hospital Leads 

Hospital Leads are responsible for leading on a single project. This will be recognised through inclusion on the study manuscript as being a lead for that project at that site. For some hospitals or R&D departments who are not happy to have trainee Principal Investigators, it may be a consultant who is a nominative PI whilst the work is performed by these hospital leads; your efforts will be acknowledged.

Collaborators are practitioners who help the hospital lead with study set-up, data collection or another aspect of the project. This will be recognised through inclusion on the study manuscript as contributing to that project.

Working Relationships

TERN, as a part of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, maintains close working relationships with many parts of the college.

RCEM Learning 

TERN’s mission to demystify clinical research and improve everyday engagement with research means we have a heavy presence on RCEMLearning. We have a dedicated area and publish a monthly post on the first Thursday of each month (or #TERNSDay). Through educational (and deeply entertaining) articles on RCEMLearning we hope to make research a more approachable part of every-day practice. We are looking to develop this further, through developing podcasts, webinars, and other educational content. Watch this space.

Emergency Medicine Trainees’ Association

We hold close ties to EMTA, and as a trainee-facing organization hope to help trainees. One of the aims of TERN is in improving the lives of our trainees, and so through working with EMTA hope to make this happen. We are currently involved in working on developing a new survey platform to better understand how changes to the training programme & working conditions impact upon trainees’ lives longitudinally.

RCEM Research Committee

As a body under the auspices (and funded!) by RCEM, we maintain close links to the RCEM Research Committee. It should be noted that all grants and funding applied for undergo the same process of competition, and we do not engender any specific benefits when it comes to this competitive process.

Submission of ideas

Submitting an idea

Do you want to submit an idea to TERN? Previously, the process of submitting ideas has been undertaken at TERN meetings, in person, decided democratically by voting. As a trainee-led research network, it is vital that trainees have a say in which studies are taken forward. However, with COVID-19, it is likely that this will not be possible for some time.

We are currently working on a Delphi process to determine TERN’s research priorities. There may also be a call for submissions next year (2021).  It is likely it will be through an online submission process to a panel that will judge submissions, who will present them to a vote. When thinking about your submissions, it may be helpful to think about what you submit.

If a project is selected, we will usually work with the original submitter of the concept, and take them on as a co-chief investigator. However, this is not mandatory.


The TERN model of research is one which is designed to complement the work of a busy ED. Some study designs will work better than others, and it’s always good to consider if your idea is a good fit for TERN. That’s not to say you need to come to us with a completely worked up project – we’ll happily support you in your efforts. It’s just good to think through your study and consider if it is suitable for this model of research.

Want to submit your idea to TERN? Think about:

Relevance to Emergency Medicine

  • Has the question been answered previously?
  • Is the question a JLA PSP priority?
  • Is the question a TERN research priority?
  • Are the outcome measures patient-centred?

Quality of science / methodology

  • Does the literature support your proposed project design?
  • Are the outcomes well defined & appropriate to the research question?
  • Will the methods described be able to answer the research question?
  • Is the proposed methodology compatible with current practice?
  • Is the methodology legally and ethically sound?


  • Are the outcome measures easily measurable?
  • Is the proposed timeline appropriate for a TERN study?
  • Have you considered potential pitfalls and how to mitigate these?
  • Will the study be deliverable across multiple different types of ED?
  • Will the study be deliverable without requiring any specific or novel equipment?

Suitability for TERN to lead this project

  • Can this project be run as a multisite centre?
  • Does the project involve limited follow-up?
  • Is data easily collectable?
  • Would this project be eligible for the UKCRN Portfolio?
  • Can this project be delivered without conflicting with any ongoing or planned TERN studies?


The TERN Map

Use the TERN Map to find your local TERN. If you’re based in the UK or Ireland, and would like to find out more about where your nearest TERN representative is, use the TERN Map to find your nearest ED and any local or regional representatives you can get in contact with. You can then find out how to contact us on our contact TERN page.

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