Academic GP training

Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF)

The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) has a very successful ACF programme for aspiring academic general practitioners. Posts are funded by both the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (Severn PGME) each year.

CAPC is part of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, has a very high national and international profile in academic primary care and an excellent track record in developing academic GPs. CAPC is leading major funded programmes of work on infection, mental health, domestic violence, avoidable hospital admissions, skin disease, multimorbidity and telehealth, offering ACFs a wide range of projects.

This year (2023) we are offering up to four ACF posts for general practitioners starting in August 2024. All four posts are attached to particular research themes:

For general enquiries please contact Prof Debbie Sharp ( 

For further information please see the Severn deanery website.

Applications will open on 6 October and close on 1 November 2023.

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, two, three or 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. The research component mainly takes place in ST3 and ST4 when trainees spend half their time in CAPC; the time is split flexibly 50/50 between CAPC and the local training practice.

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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