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Academic Careers

There are lots of ways to move into an academic career and almost everyone does it differently - hover over the images below to find out how your colleagues in the region have been successful and find further details of the various formal pathways below. 

be creative

So many different ways... 

As you can see from browsing the information of your colleagues above, there are lots of ways to have a formal academic career. The first step is usually to think about the area of research you'd like to be involved in - i.e. which specialty (and that could be general paediatrics or community paeds - and don't forget people do PhDs in management and education too - be creative!) 

Once you've identified your area of interest you need to have a think about the type of research you'd like to do (it doesn't matter if you have experience or not!) - do you want to learn lab skills and do some basic science research? Or do you want to do clinical research? 

Also think about where you're willing or wanting to work - would you move to another city or do you want to stay local? 

Once you've got an idea like this you need to start thinking about whether there are ACF positions that you could apply for to prepare you for a higher degree application (an MD or a PhD) or whether you'd like to take some time out of programme to do a Masters course in research (MRes) first and then apply. But remember - you could move straight to a higher degree with no previous experience - most of the time supervisors are just looking for enthusiasm and dedication. The most useful thing you can do at this stage is to talk to people - find out who is active academically locally and further afield - speak to your specialty leads and speak to us here at PRIME - we can help you navigate all of this.


Also look at the subspecialty societies for your area of interest and looks at 'fellowships' available in other places, sometimes these will be advertised as a year's job or 2 years and won't specifically mention a higher degree - but contact the hosting organisation and ask if the job would be suitable to contribute to an MD or PhD - most of the time the answer will be 'Yes' and your enthusiasm and commitment will be valuable in securing the post. 

If you apply for a fellowship you might find your pay is covered by the fellowship and you're given the time to do the research but the fees of undertaking a higher degree are not - you'll often be able to find that funding from charities related to your specialty or from your subspecialty department. 

When you're this far down the line with a project and some supervision you need to plan your out of programme application early - speak to the training programme director as soon as you can and your clinical supervisors and get the paperwork completed - the deanery will often ask for 6 months notice (which isn't always possible!) 

When it comes to Out Of Programme applications - you probably won't be granted an OOPR (Research) if you're not undertaking an MD or a PhD. You might need to apply for OOPE (experience) for an MReS or an initial one year fellowship and then apply for an OOPR once you've done the preliminary work to take you to your higher degree - this is also a good way of testing the water to see if research is really for you. 

External Links 

The RCPCH Academic Toolkit which you can find here helps to show you the formal routes into research i.e. academic fellowships and higher degree applications, it also shows you more examples of trainees around the country and their journey so far. 

The NIHR Integrated fellowships are usually what people are referring to when they talk about an ACF or an ACL - you can find out more here.

The Wellcome Trust also offer training schemes for clinicians to undertake a PhD - have a look here



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