Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) are tailored, integrated training positions, which include both academic and clinical training. They are designed for clinically qualified candidates who can demonstrate outstanding potential for a career in academic medicine (or dentistry).

Applications for ACF posts 2021 are now open.  Full details and applications forms

ACFs spend 75% of their time undertaking clinical training in their chosen discipline and 25% in research or educationalist training.

A fellowship lasts for a maximum of three years (four years for General Practitioners).


Fellowships are usually funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) but in Bristol we have successfully obtained funding for extra positions in some specialties from local trusts.

Depending on the specialty, positions can begin anywhere between ST1 and ST4.

As most ACFs are supernumerary, you should be able to create a programme that suits your needs, in terms of achieving clinical competencies appropriate for your grade of training, as well as your desired academic outcomes – usually a doctoral training fellowship.

Skills development

As an ACF, you will develop academic skills by:

  • attending research methods training courses
  • undertaking research projects
  • being guided and supported by your academic supervisor
  • being helped through the Research Training Fellowship application process to apply for funding to undertake a higher research degree (usually a PhD); or supported to gain a place on an educational programme (leading to a higher degree)

How to apply

Securing an ACF appointment is competitive. It is not essential, but an advantage for applicants to already hold a degree such as an MRes, MPhil or MSc and show other evidence of research activity, particularly published work.

Our ACFs are employed by the NHS and have an honorary contract with the University of Bristol. This contract allows you access to University facilities including the library, and provides you with a University email address (which you will need to book onto courses held at the University).  

You will find application details on the Severn Postgraduate Medical Education website.

Training allowance

All ACFs have:

  • a £4,500 allowance over the three (four for GPs) years of the ACF posittion to attend courses related to their research training needs
  • a £1,000 allowance per year to attend conferences, meetings, travel etc.

Further information

The Severn PGME School of Clinical Academic Training provides you further information including Trainees Achievements and Publications.

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