Having publications is a requirement for CCT and it takes time, so needs to be considered early on. Publications and presentations will also enhance your CV and improve interview success at both CT, ST3 and consultant level.
Many surgeons chose to take a period of dedicated research training leading to MD or PhD submission. Salary funding can be sought from RCS and other bodies in the form of research fellowships, while major centres also offer funding through a contribution to an on-call rota. See https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/standards-and-research/research/fellowships-awards-grants/fellowships/one-year-surgical-research-fellowship/
Even if this is not for you, some contribution to research is essential in your career progression.
If you are unsure where to start, ask your consultants or colleagues if they have any ongoing research that you could contribute to. Do not aim to high. Will you not be able to get a multicentre RCT of the group from scratch unless you have a full R and D team and already have a track record in clinical research.
Surgical collaborative research is now established means of completing large multicentre studies. ROSSINI and DREAMS from the West Midlands Research Collaborative are good examples. Most regions have an active research collaborative that will be looking for researchers for active studies or ideas for future studies.
The Dukes’ Club has now formed its own research collaborative with the aim of producing high quality national colorectal research output. We have submitted two grant applications and aim to be starting a collaborative project in April 2018 to determine delays to ileostomy closure after anterior resection. Please email The Dukes’ Club Research and Audit representative if you would like to be involved.