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?