The clinical academic training pathway in Wales is the Welsh Clinical Academic Training Programme (WCAT). Launched in 2009, the scheme offers clinical academic training in medicine and dentistry. WCAT runs as a collaboration between Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and the major universities in Wales (Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea) in association with and receiving ring-fenced funding from the Welsh Government.
The WCAT programme provides combined clinical-academic training from ST1 to CCT, with entry possible at all stages except for the final year of training. Included within this is 20% academic time throughout the clinical periods of training, with possibility to increase this to 50% in the post-doctoral period. Time is also protected for a three-year research project leading to a PhD. WCAT trainees are strongly encouraged to apply for external PhD fellowships (for example MRC, NIHR and GW4-CAT-HP) however, if not successful, WCAT are able to support salary costs during this period.
Out of Programme (OOP) applications
All WCAT trainees take three years out of programme (OOP) for a funded PhD. They can also apply for additional time out of clinical training during their post-doctoral training with these considered on an individual basis. See OOP webpages for further information
Click here for more information on the WCAT pathway.
Through Welsh membership of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR), trainees in Wales also have access to UK training schemes as well as those available through UKRI, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, NIHR schemes supported by Health and Care Research Wales, and many others.
In addition to welcoming applications from trainees in pre-doctoral (pre-PhD) training, applications are also welcome from those who have already completed their PhD and wish to continue to pursue a clinical-academic career. During the post-doctoral period trainees are encouraged to apply for externally funded intermediate fellowships, including considering a period of postdoctoral research training at another institution.