Programme Director:  Professor Edwin Chilvers

The Programme:    An Academic Clinical Fellowship offers the opportunity to spend 25% protected time on academic research.   The remaining 75% will be in clinical training, during which time clinical competencies must be met.   An Academic Clinical Fellowship is funded for up to 3 years.   Most ACF posts are offered at CT1 or CT2, with guaranteed run-through in the specialty specified.   Some specialties require trainees to have completed their core competencies and these posts will be advertised at ST3 or ST4.

Academic Fellowships are part of the NIHR’s Integrated Academic Training Pathway. Each year, NIHR allocate a number of posts to Cambridge. In recent years, this has been 12 posts. Additional, or competition, posts in priority areas can be applied for. ‘Local’ posts can also be supported by individual departments.  In the 2015 recruitment, a total of 23 ACF posts were advertised.

Specialties recruiting ACFs in 2015 included Surgery/Urology, Paediatrics/Neonatal Medicine, Neurosurgery, Emergency Medicine, Clinical Genetics, Medical Microbiology, Psychiatry, Anaesthesia and General Practice.   Posts were also offered in Core Medicine, with run-through options for example in Endocrinology and Diabetes Mellitus, Infectious Diseases, Haematology, Gastroenterology, Cardiology and Clinical Pharmacology.

Additional support is available to all ACF and ACL trainees in the form of an annual training bursary of £1,000 which can be used against academic courses and conferences.    ACFs can register for a part-time MPhil in Clinical Science, for which some additional support can be made available towards fees.

Why Cambridge?

Our priority has been to establish programmes only in areas where we can guarantee world-class research training in combination with exceptional clinical training.  Our appointments process, induction events, academic reviews and mentoring focuses on training and formulating a PhD/next stage fellowship application in addition to output per se, ensuring that trainees maximise the training available. Similarly, we do not restrict ACFs/ACLs to local projects and actively encourage trainees to visit other labs nationally and internationally, where appropriate.

A significant number of our ACF ‘alumni’ have progressed into nationally competitive PhDs, ‘next-phase’ fellowships or other equivalent academic posts. Twenty five have undertaken our part-time MPhil (Clinical Science).

We mustn’t forget that Cambridge and its surrounding area has much to offer for those living and working in it.

What next?

If you would like details on how to apply for our ACF programme, please click on Recruitment.

If you would like more general information, then please select the relevant option from the right hand panel.

If you have any queries and you would like to speak with a member of the team, please click here for contact details.

View from Dr Parag Gajedragandkar, former ACF Trainee




View from Dr Rudolph Cardinal, former ACF Trainee