Integrated Academic Training

Academics looking at research and innovation data on a screen representing research at the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds

What is a clinical academic?

A clinical academic is trained in both medicine/dentistry and scientific research, so will spend part of their time involved in direct clinical care (treating patients in primary or secondary care), and the rest of their time undertaking original scientific research and teaching the next generation of doctors or dental practitioners.

Why be a clinical academic?

As a clinical academic you will have a crucial role in improving patient care as you have a direct understanding of your patients’ needs and you are able to research the best way to improve their clinical outcomes. This is an exciting time to get involved in clinical research as significant advances in technology are driving the development of treatments for a huge range of conditions. Clinical academics come from all backgrounds and every clinical academic post is different, depending on the specialism, experience and interests of the individual. Have a look at these case studies.

How do I start?

If you are a medical or dental student interested in getting involved in research have a look at our resources here.

The Leeds Integrated Academic Training (IAT) programme enables medical and dental trainees to undertake research at different stages of their clinical training. Funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and NHS England opportunities are available at Specialised Foundation Training and Core Dental Training, for those with little or no research experience, through to Pre-doctoral (Academic Clinical Fellowships) and Post-doctoral (Clinical Lecturer) posts, for those with more research experience.

Specialised (Academic) Foundation

> Target Group: Little or no research experience

> FY1 and FY2 Academic post

> One of your 6 rotations is allocated to research (typically in FY2)

> Develop you research project with your academic supervisor. Examples of Leeds projects and supervisors 

Specialised Foundation Programme posts are designed as a research taster and are a great start to a clinical academic career. SFP posts give medical school graduates the ability to attain both the clinical training required as part of Foundation training as well as receive an introduction to academic medicine.

How to apply

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

More information on the Leeds SFP programme is here.

Core Foundation Dental Academic Training

While many of the Dental Academic Training opportunities are similar to those offered to Doctors there are some important and subtle differences. These opportunities are well described at this, and on this website.

For Dentists at an earlier stage of their academic exploration and journey, other academic posts are offered in Leeds. These are funded by NHS England and include:

· Academic Foundation Dentist posts (one year duration)

· Academic Longitudinal Academic Foundation Dentist/ Dental Core Training posts (two year duration) and

· Academic Dental Core Training Year 3 posts (one year duration).

The School of Dentistry at the University of Leeds offers each of these different posts. Please contact Prof Peter Day for more information.

Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACF)

>Target Group: Some research experience and who wish to develop a PhD Fellowship application

> Starting at ST1-ST3 for 3 years (4 years for Primary Care)

> 25% academic and 75% clinical split with salary fully funded by NIHR (on-call funded by local Trust)

> Run-through training to CCT in clinical specialty

> NIHR fund £1000/year conference attendance bursary and £4500 Research Education Bursary for credit-bearing Postgraduate Certificate.

Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACF) are pre-doctoral posts starting at either ST1 or ST3 depending on the medical or dental specialty. ACFs are NHS employees and often undertake on-call as well as their daytime clinical training. The purpose of an ACF is to develop an application for a Clinical PhD Fellowship.

How to apply

ACF recruitment is open annually and applications are through Oriel.

Clinical PhD fellowships

>Target group: Committed to undertaking a PhD

>National programmes designed to deliver a clinical PhD and academic research programme.

>Can be full-time (3 years) or part-time equivalent. PhDs are often taken during a period of Out of Programme Research (OOPR).

>Salary, research costs, PhD tuition fees, travel are funded (this is funder-specific)

Clinical PhD fellowship schemes funds doctors and dentists to undertake a PhD by research and, concurrently, to undertake further professional development and clinical practice.

Typically PhD fellowships are three year awards (up to six years part time), approximately >80% of which you will spend working academically over the course of the fellowship and you may spend up to 20% maintaining your clinical skills and professional development.

It is a requirement that you have an academic host with whom you have a contract of employment for duration of the fellowship; you will also have an honorary NHS contract.

Clinical PhD fellowship awards fund your clinical salary costs (including flexible pay premia), PhD tuition fees and the costs of an appropriate research project.

Clinical Lectureships (CL)

> Target Group: Post-PhD for trainees who are ST3+ and who wish to develop as independent researchers

> Starting at ST3+ for 4 years or until CCT (whichever is sooner)

> 50% academic and 50% clinical split with salary fully funded by NIHR (on-call funded by local Trust)

> Run-through training to CCT in clinical specialty

> NIHR fund £1000/year conference attendance bursary

Clinical Lectureships (CL) are for medical and dental trainees who hold a PhD/MD, they are for 4 years or until your Certificate of Completion of Training CCT (whichever is sooner) and comprise 50% research and 50% clinical training. CLs are University employees and often undertake on-call as well as their daytime clinical training. The purpose of a CL is to develop an application for a Senior Clinical Scientist or Advanced Fellowship.

How to apply

CL Recruitment is open all year. Apply for CLs directly to the University hosting the post.

Senior Clinical Scientist or Advanced Fellowship

>Target audience: Established independent clinical academics

> National programmes from several funders designed for up to five years (or part-time equivalent)

> Salary, research costs, travel and support staff

Senior Clinical Scientist or Advanced Fellowships support those already establishing themselves as independent clinical researchers. Award holders are usually post-CCT and split their fellowship time between clinical practice at Consultant level and research activities. The balance of clinical and academic time is usually specified by the funded and for example can be: 60/40 academic/clinical practice or 50/50 academic/clinical practice.

Applications for Senior Clinical Scientist or Advanced Fellowship must be supported by the host academic institution and generally require several years planning prior to application.