Advanced Care Research Centre

The Academy for Leadership and Training in Advanced Care

The second work package of the Advanced Care Research Centre.

Creating future leaders who will enhance society’s response to the challenges of an ageing population.

Rationale and purpose:

There is a growing and pressing need to increase leadership capacity and inter-disciplinarity in care in later life precisely because the issue is growing in scale and urgency and is characterised by complex problems that defy narrow solutions. The Academy has a dual function:

Capacity building.

The primary purpose of the Academy is to support the mission of the ACRC by developing and equipping a new generation of doctoral-research-trained leaders as pioneers of creation, innovation and implementation across the spectrum of the care sector. Later, we intend to augment the doctoral training programme with novel training suitable to evolving needs in the field, including masters-level, face to face and online short courses, workshops and seminars/webinars.

Agile research agenda.

A further purpose of the Academy is to deliver significant aspects of the research agenda of the ACRC. Through the annual cycle of new PhD research projects, the Academy will increase the agility and responsivity of the research programme by facilitating, for example, feasibility studies for new, speculative, and/or high-risk, high-reward topics; and the application of additional resource for supplementary topics in the main themes.


We plan an intensive 48-month cohort-based structured thematic programme “PhD with Integrated Study in Advanced Care”. In addition to the main PhD research project the core training curriculum will include: developing common foundations in advanced care and the associated societal challenges; familiarisation with relevant topics outside of their background and comfort zones; equipping students with methods and tools of relevance to their chosen research and innovation project; open-ended problem-solving exercises tackled in multi-disciplinary groups intended to develop team, planning and organisational skills; development of leadership and other key generic skills including network development, innovation, public engagement and advocacy; completion of at least one short external project in the form of a cross-sectoral or international placement, or internship to work collaboratively on a shared problem. It is our intention to seek substantial external (cross-sectoral) input into the design and delivery of the training.

We will recruit a cohort of 10 to 12 per annum from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. Inclusivity and diversity will be at the heart of the recruitment process. To that end we are actively exploring routes to enable participation on a part-time basis.


On a five-year timescale the primary deliverable is establishment of a thriving cohort-based structured thematic programme of integrated, interdisciplinary training including two-way secondments and internships, with short-term participants returning to their own sectors having developed new skills and networks, and doctoral-level participants settled in their longer-term training and working on their collaborative research and development projects.

Long-term Outcome:

Our intended outcome is that the alumni of the Academy will become leaders in their chosen field of later life endeavour which, across three annual cohorts, will be in a diverse range of pioneering and influential roles in the public, private and third sectors.


The research councils have, in recent years, substantially updated doctoral-level research training by the introduction of Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs). With the recent unification of the research councils under the banner of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) we aspire to create a CDT that will serve as a pioneering role model for CDTs that substantially cover the remit of UKRI.