Unlike in the rest of the UK, there is no formal integrated clinical academic pathway in Northern Ireland. However, the core training roles of Academic Clinical Fellow, Academic Clinical Lecturer, and the Academic Foundation Programme are all offered in broadly the same way as in England, Wales, and Scotland.
Clinical academic training in Northern Ireland is overseen by The Clinical Academic Training Programme Board (CATP), which is made up of members from Queens, Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA).
Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF)
The ACF post in Northern Ireland usually run for two years. During this period it is expected that trainees will complete ST3 or above (ST1 or above in General Practice).
ACF posts usually consist of 25% research time in the specialty to which they are appointed. A trainee in an ACF post will be expected to prepare an application for an externally funded clinical research training fellowship to undertake a PhD.
Academic Clinical Lectureship (ACL)
ACL posts in Northern Ireland usually run for three years. They are offered to existing Specialist Registrars who have completed or are close to completing a PhD. During the ACL post the trainee will finish their clinical training while continuing academic development at post-doctoral level, with 50% of their time spent on academic research. ACL trainees will typically be expected to apply for an externally funded clinician scientist programme to extend their research to a consultant appointment.