The Integrated Academic Training Pathway
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) launched the Integrated Academic Training pathway in 2005/06 after the Walport Report highlighted the need for a more structured system of clinical academic training. The programme is available to medical and dental trainees in England and provides concurrent clinical and academic training.
At postgraduate level the pathway offers specialist training in the form of Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACF).
ACF posts are for trainees who are in the early stages of their specialty training working toward a career in academic medicine or dentistry. They last for up to three years, or four years for GPs. ACFs spend 25% of the fellowship undertaking research and/or education training, and the rest in specialty clinical training.
ACF training provides a structured programme to equip fellows with the necessary skills and experience in both research and clinical practice needed to secure a competitive clinical training fellowship for a higher degree.
ACF and posts are hosted by partnerships of medical/dental schools (and their partner universities), postgraduate deanery functions within the Local Offices of Health Education England (HEE), and their partner NHS organisations.
NIHR also recognises locally-funded external ACF posts developed by IAT partnerships, provided they meet NIHR criteria.
Further information about ACFs is available on the NIHR website.
Academic Clinical Lecturers (ACL)
ACLs posts are for those at a more advanced stage in their specialty training than ACFs, having already obtained a doctoral research degree. These post-doctoral posts provide the necessary clinical and academic training for doctors and dentists to become independent researchers.
ACLs last for up to four years, or until the fellow successfully completes their clinical training (CCT/CCST), whichever is sooner. If taken part-time ACLs may last up to six years. ACLs will spend 50% of their time in specialist clinical training and 50% in research or academic training.
ACL posts are hosted by partnerships of medical/dental schools (and their partner universities), postgraduate deanery functions within the Local Offices of Health Education England (HEE), and their partner NHS organisations.
NIHR also recognises locally-funded external ACL posts developed by IAT partnerships, provided they meet NIHR criteria.
In-Practice Fellowship (IPF)
The Integrated Training Pathway also offer a third type of award, the In-Practice Fellowship (IPF). These awards fund Masters-level training for GPs and dentists in clinical practice.
- NIHR – Integrated Academic Training
- Specialised foundation programme
- COPMED – The Gold Guide (for postgraduate Foundation and Specialty Training)
- The BMA – Medical Training Pathway
- The Academic Foundation Programme
- The Gold Guide: a reference guide for postgraduate foundation and specialty training in the UK