Academic clinical fellowships

These last for three years, or four years if you are working in general practice.

The academic clinical fellowship combines specialty training with academic work. 25% of the time is spent on academic work and 75% on clinical.

The academic work can be arranged via one three-month block each of the three years, or up to two days a week.

The stage at which you start your academic clinical fellowship can vary – for example in oncology you must have completed your core medical training before taking up the academic clinical fellowship. In general practice the academic clinical fellowship can be taken up directly after foundation training.

Who can apply?

Depending on the training programme, applications will be invited from doctors who can meet the eligibility requirements for entry into specialty training. Doctors who already hold a relevant PhD may also apply. This will enable preparation of post-doctoral research applications. Find out more about further details on eligibility on the NIHR website.

Where can I find out more about ACF opportunities?

For opportunities in England only, the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website publishes a full list of the posts across a range of interests. The website outlines when and where opportunities are expected to accept entrants, together with details of local HEE offices contacts. The actual applications are made on the online portal Oriel.

Opportunities are advertised nationally by the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre, although applications are managed by individual HEE local offices/deaneries. Applicants should get in touch with the relevant HEE local office/deanery contact for further information on the local application process.

Information for application to ACFs for future posts is published on the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website

Recruitment to NIHR ACF posts in General Practice is managed by a national recruitment process. Find out more on the recruitment for GP training website.

What happens after the ACF post?

NIHR ACF posts last for 3 years unless the trainee is successful in obtaining a Fellowship award and leaves the programme early. The only exceptions are NIHR GP ACF posts which can last for 4 years. On completion of a training fellowship, doctors will return to their clinical programme and at an appropriate point can apply to continue their academic development by applying for clinical lecturer posts.  

Real-life stories:

GPs can find out more from the Society for Academic Primary Care.

Find out more about the next step after this, for example integrated academic training

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