Clinical academic training


 2020 NIHR ACF posts now open for applications. See below for specialties themes and academic leads. Apply through Oriel. Applications close November 4. Interviews between Nov 27 and Dec 12.

Specialty Theme Academic Lead
Cardiology/Geriatric Medicine/Renal Medicine Therapeutics or Clinical Pharmacology Angus Nightingale
Cardiology/Geriatric Medicine/Renal Medicine Older People and Complex Health Needs Angus Nightingale
General Surgery   Natalie Blencowe
Anaesthetics or ICM   Tony Pickering
Rheumatology   Neil McHugh
General Practice   Debbie Sharp
Dermatology/General Practice   Matt Ridd & Victoria Lewis
Neurology/Old Age Psychiatry Dementia Liz Coulthard
Diagnostic Neuropathology/Neurology/Renal Medicine Dementia Liz Coulthard
Ophthalmology Platform Science (“-omics”) and Bioinformatics Denize Atan
Obstetrics and Gynaecology   Christy Burden
Renal Medicine   Simon Satchell
Respiratory Medicine   Nick Maskell
Haematology Platform Science (“-omics”) and Bioinformatics Andrew Mumford
General Psychiatry Mental Health Jonathan Evans


It's an exciting time to be involved in clinical research. The healthcare landscape is undergoing a transformation: major leaps forward in biotechnology and big data are fuelling more sophisticated research methods for developing and testing new treatments for a huge range of conditions.

These new approaches are helping to address the health challenges of a growing, ageing global population. If you want to devote your career to advancing medical science, we offer a specific training pathway for you.

Why clinical academic medicine?

Clinical academic medicine is the branch of medicine that combines clinical practice alongside academic activity. This academic activity can either be in research or education. 

Clinical research is the scientific process of answering questions related to health and disease through iterative systematic investigation. It involves assessing evidence, generating hypotheses, designing experiments, analysing data and dissemination and implementation of the findings.

Becoming an academic clinician

There is a defined career track for aspiring academic trainees. This is an integrated programme mainly funded through National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) that allows trainees to work towards gaining academic competences whilst continuing their clinical training towards their Certificate of Certified Training (CCT).

Our Clinical Academic Training Pathway offers clinicians the opportunity to develop an academic career. The Pathway consists of:

  • Academic Foundation Programme – A first step into clinical research on leaving Medical School
  • Clinical Primer Scheme - for Medical, Dental and Veterinary clinical graduates who are considering a career as a clinical academic. This scheme offers research experience to help you decide your career path.
  • Academic Clinical Fellows - for clinicians who want a career in academic medicine allowing them to develop an idea for a PhD proposal
  • Doctoral Research Training Fellowship - Wellcome Trust funded GW4 Clinical Academic Training Programme, Medical Research Council (MRC),  NIHR, charities (Out of Programme Experience)
  • Academic Clinical Lecturers - for clinicians who have completed a PhD or MD and who are already undertaking a higher specialist training programme aiming towards a CCT in a recognized  General Medical Council specialty 

The positions we offer are based in the Faculties of Health Sciences and Life Sciences where there are excellent opportunities for involvement in all research and education activities.

Considering medical education as an academic discipline allows pedagogical research, innovation in curriculum development and delivery and assessment, all of which are vital to ensure we provide the best possible education for the doctors of the future.

What opportunities are available?

In Bristol, we are engaged in research across the spectrum, from molecular to the societal. We offer training positions in a wide range of specialties in a partnership between the University of Bristol and Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (Severn PGME):

  • Paediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • General practice
  • Public health
  • Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Medical subspecialties:
    • Haematology
    • Renal medicine
    • Diabetes and endocrinology
    • Neurology
    • Respiratory medicine
    • Gastroenterology
    • Cardiology
  • Surgical subspecialties
    • General surgery
    • Cardiothoracic surgery
    • Orthopaedic surgery
    • Vascular surgery
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