Overview of Clinical Academic Training Programme – Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) / Academic Clinical Lecturer (ACL)
Queen’s University Belfast in partnership with the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (Northern Ireland Postgraduate Deanery) and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust offer a pathway of academic clinical training opportunities in research and education. Academic Clinical Fellows (ACF) and Academic Clinical Lecturers (ACL) posts have been created as a response to Modernising Medical Careers and the Walport report. They offer trainees a comprehensive experience in clinical academic medicine to work alongside internationally recognised clinicians and researchers. Prospective ACF/ACL trainees will be highly motivated, enthusiastic individuals wishing to excel in both clinical and academic training and who have the ambition to be the next generation of world leading academic clinicians. The ACF post is for 2 years and will be awarded an NTN(a). During this period it is expected that the ACF will complete ST3 or above (ST1 or above in General Practice) training with an integrated period of 25% of whole time equivalent academic research training in the specialty to which they are appointed. They will prepare an application for an externally funded clinical research training fellowship to undertake a PhD. Those appointed at ACL level will already have a postgraduate degree (PhD, MD) and will finish their clinical training while continuing academic development at post-doctoral level. Trainees who already have a PhD prior to their medical degree will also be considered for ACF posts.
Areas of Research and Clinical Training Opportunities
No specific areas of research training are specified but should align with current research strategy and activity in QUB. Appointed trainees will be expected to join a Research or Education Centre in the School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences in Queen’s University, Belfast. The Centres are listed below and further information is available on the web http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/mdbs/
Centre for Cancer Research & Cell Biology (CCRCB)
Centre for Infection & Immunity (CII)
Centre for Public Health (CPH)
Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM) [formerly Vision & Vascular Science]
Centre for Medical Education (CME)
Normally applicants to the programme will have support from a Principal Investigator as a supervisor in one of the above Centres. Successful candidates who do not have a clinical academic supervisor will be allocated to a Principal Investigator (PI) in one of the Centres appropriate to their area of research interest.
Organisation of the Programme
Academic Research and Education Centres within the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University, Belfast.
Health and Social Care Trust, normally Belfast, or other Health and Social Care Agency and Queen’s University Belfast.
Trainees may enter at ST3 level (ST1 or above in General Practice) or above of the unified training grade. Core clinical competencies will be gained as necessary through access to the essential elements of the training curriculum. The clinical training bases together provide an appropriate and wide range of clinical opportunities and have a strong track record in specialty training rotation.
Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) or Academic Clinical Lecturer (ACL)
The clinical programme is designed to provide training for those at ST3 level or above (ST1 or above in General Practice) and will include rotations in a Northern Ireland Hospital, usually the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust or the Public Health Agency. In all posts there will be a significant research contribution. For those entering at Academic Clinical Fellowship level this will allow trainees to undergo research training and begin a programme of research to develop an application for an externally funded PhD programme. Individuals who have completed a postgraduate degree may enter at Academic Clinical Lecturer level and pursue a supervised programme of postdoctoral research, working towards a fellowship application.
The post holder will contribute to the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programmes within the School of Medicine, Dentistry & Biomedical Sciences and will be involved in the assessment of students. In addition, they will have personal mentoring responsibilities for a small group of students on the MB BCh BAO programme.
There will be agreed clinical duties in each of the posts in accordance with training needs and will be agreed with the appropriate training committee at NIMDTA.
Recruitment to Programme
Recruitment will open for Clinical Academic Training Posts at Queen’s University Belfast on Wednesday 25 January 2017. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 4pm. Please see below for further details:
To obtain core competencies in medicine at ST3 level and above (ST1 or above in General Practice). To undertake a programme in research methodology To identify an area of clinical interest to base an application for an externally funded PhD programme (ST3 level in Specialty or above, or alternatively ST1 or above in General Practice) or develop a post doctoral research programme
To obtain core competencies in medicine at ST3 level and above (ST1 or above in General Practice). To identify an area of clinical interest to base an application for an externally funded fellowship programme (ST3 level in Specialty or above) or develop a postdoctoral research programme. To undertake postdoctoral research and complete clinical training in academic medicine. Trainees who already have a relevant PhD appointment at ACL will be considered in light of their training needs
Main Activities and Responsibilities
This is normally a 2 year full-time training post with an NTN(a) in Academic Medicine. The successful applicant will have achieved evidence of clinical academic achievement and ideally have experience of research such as an intercalated BSc. They should be aiming to pursue a career in academic medicine and to developing a programme of research to apply for a PhD studentship. ACF posts will be 25% research time depending on the clinical training requirements for the individual trainee.
This is normally a 3 year full time training post carrying an NTN(a). The successful applicant will have completed a postgraduate research programme. They should be aiming for a career in academic medicine and developing a research application for a Clinician Scientist Training award. ACL posts will be 50% research time depending on the clinical training requirements for the individual trainee.
The successful candidate will be expected to develop an area of research interest and apply for research training fellowships eg to MRC, Wellcome Trust, Northern Ireland R & D Office. This will be in consultation with the Director of the Centre to which the trainee is appointed.
The successful candidate will be expected to develop a programme of post doctoral research leading to an application for a clinical scientist scheme for a major funding body
Academic F2 training posts are for 4 months.This will be with two other rotations one of which will be a General Medicine attachment.
Trainees already appointed at ST3 or above (ST1 or above in General Practice) are eligible to apply.Trainees who have undertaken postgraduate research (PhD or MD) should have already submitted their thesis, or be within three months of submission.
ACFs who are successful in achieving research funding and who achieve clinical and academic training targets will normally move into a period of full time research in a funded PhD training programme at the end of Year 2. They will then be eligible to progress into the clinical lecturer grade in their post-doctoral period whilst they complete higher specialist training and prepare for a senior academic career post. The selection of candidates at ACF level is enhanced by the opportunities offered to able individuals by the creation of academic F2 posts. These initiatives have the added benefit of providing further stimulation to academic strategy in those research themes into which trainees are recruited.
Those appointed to an ACL post will be expected to compete for clinician scientist schemes and apply for external funding to undertake research.