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Clinical trainees often feel that pathways to research are shrouded in mystery. Academia can be a world far removed from their day-to-day clinical experiences, a world that feels exclusive and inaccessible.
In the UK, academic training pathways provide a structure to integrate academic and clinical training from the foundation years onward. Academic clinical fellow (ACF) positions provide dedicated research time within specialty training programmes, enabling unparalleled opportunities to gain experience and form the basis for PhD fellowship applications. One study analysing the career progression of 1200 ACFs found that they were significantly more successful than their clinical counterparts when applying for doctoral research fellowships (28% vs 19%), with almost half going on to complete further research such …
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.