Clinical Primer scheme

This scheme is currently closed. For further information or to register your interest, please contact

About the scheme

Are you considering a career as a clinical academic but want to experience life as a researcher before you decide?

Clinical primers are aimed at Medical & Veterinary clinical graduates. They are designed to give outstanding early career clinicians the chance to experience a world-class research environment for the first time. 

Applications from suitably qualified clinical graduates are invited for six month biomedical research “primer” projects to be undertaken at the University of Bristol.  These are supported by a Wellcome Trust ‘Institutional Strategic Support Fund’ award to the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute and the University of Bristol. The funding will cover clinical salary and associated project costs.


This opportunity is aimed at exceptionally motivated clinically qualified medical and veterinary trainees who are at an early stage of their career, but who can demonstrate a capability and a drive to undertake a period of research with a view to developing a career in academic medicine. Successful candidates will undertake a biomedical "primer" project at the University of Bristol, with a view to preparing them for a PhD fellowship application.

Applicants must either:

  • be fully-qualified medical doctors and will have started, or be ready to start, their specialist training (in which case the project will be undertaken as an out of programme module), or
  • have completed a degree in veterinary medicine or veterinary science; an intercalated degree or other research experience (eg undergraduate vacation project) is also desirable.

All applicants should be entitled to work within the European Economic Area.

Primers will be available in various areas and specialties. Some examples are listed below. Please contact us to discuss your speciality if it is not listed: 

  • Bioengineering
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Infection and immunity
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Neurosciences and psychiatric disease
  • Population health and epidemiology
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Renal disease
  • Zoonotic disease

Projects will be interdisciplinary in nature and so will be co-supervised by clinical and non-clinical members of staff. The training period is negotiable (range 3-6 months) and will allow time for one clinical session per week, if applicable.

Terms and conditions

The funds awarded include a contribution from our Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund and, as such, are covered by the Wellcome Trust terms and conditions. Please read these terms and conditions prior to making an application to ensure your project is suitable for this funding.

If you have any queries regarding the terms and conditions, please contact the EBI Manager Dr Nina Couzin (

Further information and queries

If you require further information or have any queries please email

How to apply

Download and complete the application form below, and return it, together with your CV, to

Your application will be reviewed and if successful, you will be invited to an interview in Bristol.

Case studies

For some examples of how this scheme works in practice, see our case studies below.

Clinical Primers awarded in 2016

Emma Le Roux Clinical Primer 2016

Emma Le Roux (Social & Community Medicine), 'GP training, experience and confidence in managing eczema'.

Kate Day Clinical Primer 2016

Kate Day (Social & Community Medicine), 'Investigating the influence of maternal depression or taking antidepressants during pregnancy on the risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)'.

Grainne Neary Clinical Primer 2016 ‌

Gráinne Neary (Clinical Sciences), 'Development and biological evaluation of fluorophosphonate-functionalised hydroxyapatite (HA) for orthopaedic '.

Georgina Newman Clinical Primer 2016

Georgina Newman (Clinical Sciences), 'Diabetic Nephropathy'. 

Robert Spaull Clinical Primer 2016

Robert Spaull (Clinical Sciences), 'Neural progenitor cells in premature infant CSF'. 

For more information about previous Clinical Primers awarded please go to our previous awardee page.