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Clinical Academic Careers

“Clinical academics are clinically active health researchers. They work in health and social care as clinicians to improve, maintain, or recover health while in parallel researching new ways of delivering better outcomes for the patients they treat and care for. Clinical academics also work in higher education institutions (HEIs) while providing clinical expertise to health and social care. Because they remain clinically active, their research is grounded in the day-to-day issues of their patients and service. This dual role also allows the clinical academic to combine their clinical and research career rather than having to choose between the two.” (Carrick-Sen et al 2016 p9)

Clinical academic roles are joint appointments between a healthcare provider and a university, in which both organisations support the post. It may be preferred that both organisations want to offer a substantive contract for a share of each week. However, more commonly one organisation holds the substantive contract of employment, with an honorary appointment in the other. The Association of UK University Hospitals (AUKUH) has provided a model for a clinical academic career pathway which can be seen here.

Clinical academic training pathway for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals developed by the Association of UK University Hospitals (AUKUH)

CeNREE will support the development of staff regarding how to manage the competing demands of research delivery, publication, and further grant application alongside a successful clinical career, and to gain an understanding of how to build a research group.

HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical and Practitioner Academic Programme

The Health Education England (HEE) / NIHR Integrated Clinical and Practitioner Academic (ICA) Programme provides research training awards for health and social care professionals, excluding doctors and dentists, who wish to develop careers that combine research and research leadership with continued practice and professional development.

The programme provides financial assistance to individuals at a range of grades/bands and academic levels, including internship (pre-Masters), pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (Masters level), Doctoral Fellowships (PhD student), Clinical Lectureships (early career post-doctoral) and Senior Clinical Lectureships (mid-career senior post-doctoral). The programme also provides financial assistance to host organisations which can cover research training, mentorship, and back-filling of posts.

The ICA Programme comprises four schemes that each support individuals at different stages of their research career:

  • HEE Internship Scheme
  • HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical and Practitioner Academic Fellowship (PCAF) Scheme
  • HEE/NIHR Doctoral Clinical and Practitioner Academic Fellowship (DLAF) Scheme
  • HEE/NIHR Advanced Clinical and Practitioner Academic Fellowship (ACAF) Scheme

We have members of staff who have successfully engaged with these awards and we can arrange for you to meet with them for further information. Please contact: