An Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) offers the opportunity to spend 25% protected time on academic research. The remaining 75% will be spent in clinical training, during which time clinical competencies must be met. An ACF is funded for up to 3 years (4 years for General Practice) and most posts are offered at CT1 or CT2, with guaranteed run-through in the specialty specified. However, there are some specialties which 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 (formula) posts to Cambridge and also invites Cambridge to bid for additional (competition) posts in priority themes. In addition, individual departments can provide funding for Local ACF posts.
Cambridge can guarantee world-class research training in combination with exceptional clinical training. The appointments process, induction events, academic reviews and mentoring focuses on both training and the formulation of a PhD/next stage fellowship application. ACFs are not restricted to local projects and are actively encouraged 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 placements. A large number have also undertaken part-time University of Cambridge degree courses.
Annual training bursary
Additional funding support is available to all ACF trainees in the form of an annual training bursary of £1,000 per year which can be used to cover expenses incurred in attending academic courses and conferences. Find out more here.
ACFs who would like to register for a University of Cambridge taught Masters degree course, may apply for a contribution of £2,000 towards the cost of the fees due to the University. Please note research degree fees are not covered. Please contact us prior to registering for a course to confirm whether the course is valid for making a claim. Claims can only be made for reimbursement of fees already paid. Please arrange to pay the fee directly yourself and then submit a claim.
Applications to the Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) Programme is a national process, managed by Health Education East of England (HEEoE). Candidates should refer to the guidance on the ‘recruitment’ section of the HEE EoE website. The NIHR Recruitment Guidance is usually made available the summer before applications open.
On the ACF application form, applicants will need to complete the form for the ACF posts advertised in the relevant specialties and levels through Oriel.
Specialty training application form: ACF applicants who would require clinical benchmarking, if they were successful at the ACF interview, will need to complete the relevant specialty training application when the national application window opens.
Appointable applicants at the ACF interviews will be ranked, with the top ranked applicant being offered the ACF post (conditionally if clinical benchmarking is required)
Enquiries regarding the application process, Oriel, interview arrangements and similar should be directed to the Recruitment Helpdesk at HEE EoE. For urgent enquiries, tel: 0844 894 0179 Monday – Friday, between 08:00 – 16:00.
Please note that CATO cannot see the Oriel system so are unable to help with any technical queries relating to the application process. Each job description on the HEE website will have a point of contact for any specialty specific queries.