Academic Foundation Programmes

Academic Research

We offer nine Academic Research Foundation Training posts as part of a two-year F1-F2 linked Academic Research Foundation programme. Sheffield is unusual in that we allow trainees to follow their own interests for research, seeking out a supervisor in an appropriate specialty and (with help) devising a research project.


The academic foundation programme is an incredible opportunity to learn from inspiring mentors, get involved in high level academic research, and be part of the supportive environment at Sheffield. The ability to dedicate 4 months to a research project of your choice is a unique opportunity at this early stage, one which I would highly recommend to anyone considering being involved in clinical research.

Dr Krit Dwivedi, AF 2015-17


The F1 and F2 years each consist of 3 x 4-month posts. F1 posts are clinical and during this year the trainee speaks to potential supervisors and develops ideas for a research project. In F2 the trainee spends eight months undertaking clinical training in 2 x 4-month blocks, in specialties led by a Clinical Academic, and a 4-month block undertaking the academic research placement. Trainees are offered the opportunity to take modules of the MSc Clinical Research which can lead to them obtaining a PG Cert during their Foundation years.

Dr Krit Dwivedi discusses why Sheffield was the best place for his research foundation post

Academic trainees can log in to the Clinical Academic Training Portal and will meet with Lynsey Grieveson/ Caroline Mitchell to create their personal development programme (PDP), discuss their choice of research training modules at Sheffield School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), their potential supervisors across the medical specialties, and given individualised support to develop their research project. They will be expected to update the Clinical Academic Training Portal with their academic progress on a regular basis. This information can be then uploaded to their e-portfolio.

Information is provided on potential supervisors and the academic support team work with trainees to advise and develop a suitable project with their potential supervisor. The websites of individual departments are also updated annually so that potential trainees can make contact with academic leads directly if they wish to do so. The Clinical Academic Training office and supervisor will ensure that you have a suitable project, with linked research methods training, identified in good time for the Foundation training programme deadlines.

During the research placement trainees spend time in a research laboratory or attached to a clinical research group, attend research group meetings alongside researchers and scientists, carry out a small research project and conduct a review of the research literature on their research topic. They then write up the project, literature review and present their findings to their Research Group for assessment.

We have a vibrant active Clinical Academic Society, which meets for academic and social meetings and provides near peer support for trainees. Currently the University of Sheffield hosts over 250 (including PhD) clinical academic trainees from Academic Foundation training through to Clinical Lectureship and onwards to Clinician Scientist and other post-doctoral fellowships.


Being an Academic Foundation trainee has allowed me greater opportunities to understand how research is undertaken and allowed me to attend interesting events such as the Academic Gala.

Dr Suneil Raju, AF 2015-17


Academic Medical Education

We currently provide twelve Academic Medical Education Foundation Training posts as part of a two year F1-F2 linked Academic Medical Education Foundation Programme based in the Medical Teaching Unit attached to the Department of Medical Education. Candidates can apply for one of three Academic Medical Education Foundation Rotations.

Each year is divided into 3 x 4-month rotations. The F1 year consists of clinical posts. In the F2 year the trainee undertakes clinical training for two of the blocks and spends one 4-month block undertaking an Academic Medical Education placement. Trainees undertake a range of duties depending on the time of year, including supervision of anatomy practical classes, demonstration of physiology practicals and clinical skills and small group teaching of clinical skills and tutorial work including the Integrated Learning Activities (ILA).

Teaching training is provided by the Academic Department of Medical Education. All AFP trainees undertake the Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education during their foundation training and a project in either medical education research or medical educational development during their AFP year 2.

The post is for four months based in the Academic Unit of Medical Education. The Academic Unit of Medical Education is responsible for the delivery and management of the MBChB. The Academic Unit of Medical Education includes the Medical Teaching Unit, Clinical Skills Centre and the Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care. The core work of the AFPs is undertaken within the Medical Teaching Unit and the Clinical Skills Centre. At any time four Academic Foundation Programme (AFP) trainees are attached to the academic unit (four each 4 month rotation).

The Medical Teaching Unit (MTU) is a large modern unit which accommodates all of the cadaveric human anatomy teaching within the University of Sheffield. There are 24 individual tutorial bays and a large teaching room that can accommodate two classes simultaneously with up to 14 cadaveric dissections in each class. Within the medical school, undergraduates perform the anatomical dissections under the supervision of the demonstrators in anatomy, including the AFPs. Eight hours of formal undergraduate teaching are timetabled each week.

samfoxhouseThe Clinical Skills Centre (CSC) is an excellent educational facility, which provides a suite of accommodation and facilities on three floors. The space on each of the floors is designed to be as flexible and versatile as possible to provide the best support of teaching and learning opportunities for students in a variety of clinical and simulated settings. It is home to the Patients As Educators programme, which includes over 800 patients who volunteer to take part in educational activities with student doctors.

Please note that the timing of the Medical Education placement will determine the content of the post. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact Dr Michelle Marshall

For further information please see the Job Description for Academic Education Placements on the South Yorkshire Foundation School website.



larsenRead about the academic foundation experiences of Dr Jen Larsen.

Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber hold an annual Academic Presentation Day which provides the opportunity for all academic clinical trainees to formally present their work to their colleagues and peers.

Recruitment for Academic Foundation Programmes:

Please visit the The South Yorkshire Foundation School for details on how to apply.

The Rough Guide to the Foundation Programme gives lots of information about how to apply and what to expect from your foundation years. The Foundation Resource Bank has many useful documents covering Academic Foundation years.

Please note that trainees can apply for either the academic research or the medical education foundation programme but not both.