Academic GP training

Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF)

The Centre for Academic Primary Care has a very successful ACF programme. Two or three posts are funded by both National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (Severn PGME) each year.

This year (2021) we are offering up to three ACF posts for general practitioners starting in August 2022. There is one locally funded/NIHR badged post that could provide opportunities in research and/or medical education. There is also the possibility of a further two posts under a) acute care theme (contact Dr Matthew Booker) or b) the multimorbidity theme (contact Dr Rachel Johnson). See the candidate guide for this year and further information from NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships in Medicine 2022The closing date for this year's applications is 3 November 2021.

Advertisements for ACFs will be posted on the Oriel website, where applications will open at the beginning of October. For further information, please refer to the Severn School of Clinical Academic Training. For general enquiries contact Professor Debbie Sharp (

See also: the Bristol Medical School website: Academic Clinical Fellows and Bristol Medical School website: Clinical Academic Training.

About the ACF programme

The ACF programme provides a two-phase, four-year training programme for those wishing to pursue a career in academic general practice.

The objectives of the programme are to provide basic training in research methods, experience of conducting research and support for making an application for an externally funded PhD programme.

ACFs have an academic supervisor in the Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) for the whole of their four years, who will help them develop their research interests, as well as an educational supervisor in a local practice.

ACFs can choose to focus on either research or medical education.

The application process

We can accept applications for starting at ST1, ST2 or ST3.

Applicants applying for a post who do not currently hold a National Training Number (NTN) in general practice will have to undertake clinical benchmarking and will therefore be required to complete and submit both an ACF application form and the associated GP application form when recruitment opens.

Applicants will be asked in the clinical application form which posts they wish to be considered for: ACF only or clinical and ACF posts.

It is important that applicants understand the implications of their response to this question as they will not be permitted to change their answer at a later date. It is therefore important that applicants check their application answers fully, prior to submission.

Applicants stating in the clinical application form that they only wish to be considered for ACF appointments will not be considered for clinical only training programmes, regardless of their performance at selection. 

What happens next

If shortlisted, ACF applicants will first be required to attend an academic interview, consisting of academic questions from academic and clinical assessors, usually in late November or December.

Those who are considered appointable at the ACF interview will be invited for National General Practice assessment at ST1, providing they have also completed the associated National General Practice application form.

Any academic offers made will be conditional upon meeting the appointability threshold at the clinical assessments.

Three academics sitting at a bank of computers discussing what they see on one of the screens.
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