Academic Foundation to Clinical Research Fellow: Dr Rebecca Gosling describes her journey.

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Academic Clinical Fellowships

What is an Academic Clinical Fellowship?

An Academic Clinical Fellowship combines medical training with academic training. An ACF programme will typically run over 3 years. During this time the ACF will rotate through clinical posts to obtain competencies relevant to their level of training. The ACF has a total of 25% protected research time.

What does the Academic Placement involve?

The ACF undergoes training in the generic skills required for a clinical academic: scientific methods, statistics, research governance, critical appraisal of research publication, grant writing etc. This training is via the MSc in Clinical Research course on which all ACFs are enrolled in their first year. Trainees do not necessarily complete the whole MSc; they can choose the modules most relevant to them, and also choose from the continuing development programme. The major part of the academic placement will be the preparation of scientific research proposal for a PhD project, funding for which will be sought from an external body such as the NIHR, MRC or the Wellcome Trust. Generally the preparation of the proposal is based on preliminary experimental data gathered while on the research placement.

Who can apply for an ACF?

Individuals who have achieved competencies relevant to the level of post advertised and can demonstrate that they have outstanding potential for development as a clinical academic in research and/or education. Individuals may have had previous clinical academic experience either at an undergraduate level (BMedSci) or postgraduate level (F2 Academic placement). For more details on eligibility please see the NIHRTCC webpages.

How do I apply for an ACF?

For details of the specialties available and how to apply visit the Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber website

Want to know more? Contact one of our current ACFs for the inside view:

Dr Matthew Clark, ACF in Trauma & Orthopedics since 2016

Dr Roshan Gunasekera, ACF in Sports & Exercise Medicine since 2016

Dr Melody Redman, ACF in Paediatrics since 2016

Dr Jiehan Chong, ACF in Renal Medicine since 2015

Dr Azeez Salawu, ACF in Medical Oncology since 2015

What next after an ACF?

A successful ACF will obtain competencies relevant to their level of training and obtain external funding for a higher degree (research training fellowship). In the event that an ACF fails to obtain external funding for a higher degree or wishes to leave the clinical academic training pathway, they can apply to move into an available clinical position.