Clinical Primer scheme

This scheme is now closed for applications.

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 and dental graduates. They are designed to give 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/health 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.

For information, to date we have funded 17% of applicants to this scheme.

Successful candidates will undertake a "primer" project at the University of Bristol, with a view to preparing them for a PhD fellowship application such as the GW4 Clinical Academic Training programme or similar scheme. 


This opportunity is aimed at clinically qualified medical, veterinary and dental 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. 

Applicants must be fully-qualified medical doctors or dentists 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)


have completed a degree in veterinary medicine or veterinary science. An intercalated degree or other research experience (e.g. undergraduate vacation project) is also desirable. Applicants should be entitled to work within the European Economic Area (EEA). 

Primers will be available in various areas and specialties. 

We particularly encourage applications from candidates keen to conduct interdisciplinary projects and they will be co-supervised by clinical and non-clinical members of staff.

The primer period is usually 6 months at 1.0 FTE but can be undertaken on a part-time basis if desired and will allow time for one clinical session per week, if applicable. All primers must be completed by 31 March 2023. 

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

Assessment Criteria 

Criterion 1: Evidence of commitment to research

  • Even though the scheme is aimed at candidates who do not yet have experience of research, does the applicant provide evidence of commitment to research through e.g. an intercalated degree or publications such as case reports and/or conference posters/presentations?
  • Does the reason for undertaking the primer align in terms of their future career ambitions? 

Criterion 2: Potential for follow on funding for PhD

  • Does the tresearch area align with funding priorities of external funding bodies?
  • Does the candidate have the track record which would make them competitive for future academic study. Examples of a good track record are published articles, conference presentations, case studies or involvement in research groups. 

Criterion 3: Strategic alignment

  • Does the research area align with the University of Bristol’s areas of excellence?
  • Is there an internal supervisor(s) with relevant expertise available for the project? YES/NO 

Criterion 4: For candidates who have completed ACF section only

  • Does the applicant present a convincing/strong link between undertaking a clinical primer and how this would support their future research plans in addition to the ACF? YES/NO/Not applicable

Terms and conditions

The funds awarded for the Primers 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 suitability of this funding source for your project. 

If you have any queries regarding the terms and conditions, please do not hesitate to contact the EBI Manager Dr Nina Couzin (

How to apply

The scheme is now closed for applications.

Further information and queries

Please see our Clinical Primer FAQs (PDF, 232kB) document for answers to some of the more common queries. 

If you require further information or have any other queries, please contact the EBI Funding Officer Sarah Blackmore by email

Funded Clinical Primers

Find out more about our Clinical Primer awardees.

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