Specialised Foundation

Specialised Foundation Programme

The Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP) offers foundation doctors the opportunity to develop research, teaching, leadership and management skills in addition to the clinical foundation competencies. This programme will prove beneficial if you plan to move into academic medicine, or even if you decide to choose a different medical career.

The SFP at Leeds

In West Yorkshire there are 21 SFP placements offered per year as part of the Specialised Foundation Programme. Three Specialised Foundation posts are allocated to Medical Education Research while 18 can be undertaken in any research area.

The Specialised Foundation Programme provides protected time away from your clinical training allowing you to pursue an area of research or medical education research and to develop your research and teaching skills. This is ideal preparation for the next stage in the academic training pathway which is the Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF).

  • The first SFP year consists of three four-month clinical posts, rotating across a range of clinical areas.
  • The second SFP year consists of three four-month posts where one four-month block is an academic research or medical education research placement.
  • As part of your SFP you also complete a Post Graduate Certificate which is funded by the SFP programme, Health Research PGCert or Clinical Education PGCert.

Examples of the SFP rotations are here but there are many different combinations of specialties available:

Example A

FY1: General Psychiatry / Acute Internal Medicine / General Surgery

FY2: Academic Research / Geriatric Medicine / Medical Microbiology

Example B

FY1: Paediatrics / Respiratory Medicine / Vascular Surgery

FY2: Emergency Medicine / Academic Research / Haematology

Planning your research placement

You have the opportunity to plan your placement in research groups or areas whose research programme and clinical specialty most closely reflects your career aspirations. Placements start in either April, August or December of your second (FY2) year.

We offer bespoke support to you in your FY1 year to put you in touch with academic supervisors who are aligned with your research interested and to help you develop the project that is right for you.

Examples of the range of SFP research projects and supervisors which are available at Leeds are here.

What does the research placement involve?

Each research placement will be unique but you will complete a number of these academic competencies:

  • Undertake a literature review
  • Research training – hypothesis generation and experimental design, assessing experimental outcomes, learning laboratory techniques, imaging or data management
  • Data collection – management of databases, collating laboratory experiments or interaction with patients
  • Data analysis – statistical analysis and data interpretation
  • Research report writing - summarising your results and conclusions
  • Presentation of your results – to your research supervisor, your research group or a wider academic audience
  • Poster or oral presentation at the annual Yorkshire and Humber Regional Academic Presentation Day

Key Contacts

Foundation School Yorkshire and Humber: england.foundation.yh@nhs.net

University of Leeds: Jo Bentley: J.Bentley@leeds.ac.uk

How to apply for SFP

Foundation places are open to applicants annually in September each year.

You will need to apply for a standard Foundation post through UKFPO Oriel and also apply to a regional SFP programme