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A clinical academic is a clinically qualified medical researcher. Clinical academics are involved in making scientific discoveries which translate into a greater understanding of human health and disease. They contribute to the development of new treatment paradigms and are also involved in teaching and mentoring clinicians who are interested in developing an academic career track.

Health Education EnglandNIHR and UK medical schools have worked in partnership to develop pathways to help trainees foster their academic career.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Academic Training programme, announced in the autumn of 2005, provides a route for the training of prospective clinical academics that is compatible with higher specialist training requirements. The scheme has been very successful and has now been running for 13 years.

Programme structure

The scheme aims to give individuals an avenue for conducting research, often towards a higher degree such as an MD or PhD, to fit in within their clinical training. This process leads up to the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

The scheme falls into three phases over 10 years:

  • foundation programme

  • academic clinical fellowship – three years (GPs have four years)

  • clinical lectureship – up to four years.

For more information about the scheme, visit the NIHR Academy website


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