Recruitment 2012: academic clinical fellowships

Authors: Peter Thompson 

Publication date:  04 Oct 2011


Peter Thompson outlines changes in recruitment to NIHR academic clinical fellowships

What is an NIHR academic clinical fellowship?

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) academic clinical fellowships are specialty training posts that combine academic and clinical training. The posts are funded by the NIHR and are designed for doctors and dentists in England who are in, or about to enter, specialty training and who, in the early stages of their career, have shown outstanding potential for a career in academic medicine or dentistry. Fellows will spend 75% of their time undertaking clinical training and 25% in academic training. Holders of NIHR academic clinical fellowships will be able to develop academic skills alongside their clinical training and receive support in preparing an application for a research training fellowship.

Who should apply?

Those interested in developing a career in academic medicine should consider applying for an NIHR academic clinical fellowship. Applicants must be able to demonstrate their enthusiasm for, and potential to develop as, a clinical academic and must meet all the essential clinical criteria for the specialty and level to which they are applying. Further information on eligibility is available on the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website (www.nihrtcc.nhs.uk).

Changes to recruitment in 2012

In previous years, recruitment to NIHR academic clinical fellowships has largely been coordinated at a local level by individual postgraduate deaneries, with recruitment opening ahead of standard specialty recruitment. This will remain the case for most NIHR academic clinical fellowships in 2012, with the recruitment window opening on 17 October 2011 and closing on 14 November 2011. There will, however, be changes to the timetables and processes for recruitment of NIHR academic clinical fellowships in general surgery and in obstetrics and gynaecology.

With recruitment to most specialty and core training posts now being coordinated nationally, NIHR is consulting with various stakeholders over the possibility of recruitment to NIHR academic clinical fellowships moving to a similar nationally coordinated process. As part of this consultation the NIHR is piloting nationally coordinated recruitment of academic clinical fellowships in general surgery and obstetrics and gynaecology. More information on how recruitment in these two specialties will work in 2012 is given below.

If you are applying to an NIHR academic clinical fellowship that is being recruited through a nationally coordinated process you will still be able to apply for a standard specialty or core training post and are encouraged to do so. Your academic clinical fellowship application will not count as one of your preferences in your specialty application. Applications will be completely separate, but applicants will go through the same clinical selection process whether applying for an NIHR academic clinical fellowship, a standard clinical post, or both.

General surgery recruitment

Depending on the level of the post advertised, the national recruitment process will be coordinated by Kent, Surrey and Sussex Deanery (specialty training (ST) year 1) or the London Deanery (ST3). Posts will be advertised on the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website, on local postgraduate deanery websites, and on the lead deanery’s website (that of Kent, Surrey and Sussex or London). Applicants will need to apply through the lead deanery’s website rather than through local deanery websites. The timetable for academic clinical fellowship general surgery recruitment is as follows:

ST1 general surgery:

  • Application window opens 12 November 2011

  • Application window closes 28 November 2011

  • Offers released by 9 March 2012

ST3 general surgery:

  • Application window opens 13 February 2012

  • Application window closes 1 March 2012

  • Offers released by 23 May 2012.

Obstetrics and gynaecology recruitment

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will coordinate the national recruitment process for obstetrics and gynaecology academic clinical fellowships at all levels (ST1-3). Posts will be advertised on the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website, local deanery websites, and the college website. Applicants will need to apply through the college system (Obsjobs). The timetable for obstetrics and gynaecology academic clinical fellowship recruitment is as follows:

• Application window opens 25 November 2011

• Application window closes 9 December 2011

• Offers released by 9 March 2012.

All NIHR academic clinical fellowship posts available in 2012 will be advertised on the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website from 17 October 2011, when the main recruitment window for fellowships opens. The NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website will direct applicants interested in applying to NIHR academic clinical fellowship posts in general surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, and general practice (already nationally coordinated) to the relevant website for national recruitment. Applicants interested in applying for an NIHR academic clinical fellowship that isn’t part of a national recruitment process should contact the relevant postgraduate deanery advertising the post for more information about the local recruitment process. The NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre website will contain links to all postgraduate deaneries recruiting NIHR academic clinical fellowships in 2012, with further guidance about eligibility, academic person specifications, and sample application forms.

Useful websites

Further information

Email  iatenquiries@nihrtcc.org.uk

Competing interests: None declared.

Peter Thompson programme manager NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre

 Joanne.Cresswell@nihrtcc.org.uk

Cite this as BMJ Careers ; doi: