The Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol, in association with the Severn PGME GP training scheme, has available 4 year Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) programmes in general practice, funded either by NIHR, or locally funded ( but will receive NIHR recognition).  Applicants for GP specialty training who would like to pursue an academic career attached to a very successful academic centre are invited to apply for these fellowships.

This is an integrated clinical and academic training programme. The first two years offer 18 months in hospital posts and 6 months in general practice. Trainees are encouraged to attend relevant academic meetings, courses and conferences and to identify methodological and subject areas of research interest.  In the first two years they will have an academic supervisor from the Centre as well as their clinical and educational supervisors. Years 3 and 4 will provide the Academic GP registrar with two years of academic general practice, with time divided equally but flexibly between academic work in the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol, and training as a GP registrar in a local practice which is recognised for undergraduate teaching, accredited for vocational training and is highly research-active.  

GP ACFs are only required to undertake a total of 72 hours of clinical OOH work over their ST3/ST4 years to the same criteria as non-ACF ST3s.  They will not be required to give additional evidence of 72 hours of "academic OOH work".

The objectives of this training programme are to provide:

  • an excellent foundation training in research methods
  • experience of conducting a specific research project
  • support for a trainee with outstanding potential in making an application for an externally funded research training fellowship (RTF) e.g. MRC, Wellcome, NHS R&D to follow on from this post
  • a limited exposure to and experience of undergraduate teaching
  • high quality and comprehensive vocational training for general practice, leading to successful achievement of the MRCGP qualification, as well as formal accreditation on completion of training
  • a stimulating intellectual environment and inspiring role models, to introduce GPRs to the opportunities, challenges and excitement of an academic career.

 At the start of ST3 you will be encouraged to choose a research topic on which you can build a later fellowship application. In addition to regular meetings with your academic supervisor, you will undertake structured research training covering all aspects of designing and conducting a research study, building on the very successful programme already established in the Bristol Medical School. Your GP supervisor will supervise your work in the practice helping you attain the competencies required to pass the MRCGP. There are annual UK wide meetings for GP ACFs hosted by one of the involved academic departments. You will also be a member of the Severn Deanery School for Clinical Academic Training, Head of School Professor Debbie Sharp.

The Centre for Academic Primary Care conducts high quality research addressing questions of priority to the NHS. Much research relates to important clinical areas such as infection in children, mental health, cardiovascular disease as well as wider questions of great importance for health policy, for example into patient decision making and organisation of care. In 2006, we became founder members of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, recognising the excellence of our research. This status was renewed following the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, where 86% of our research was rated either 3* or 4* (internationally excellent or world leading). We have an excellent track record of obtaining competitive doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships from the MRC, NIIHR and medical charities. The Centre is part of the School of Population Health Sciences allowing collaboration with a range of related disciplines: epidemiology, public health, statistics, social science and health economics.

The Severn PGME School of Primary Care has been in the vanguard of innovation within UK GP training. The Bristol Scheme is the most popular and entry requirements are the highest within the deanery. For several years, all exiting doctors have taken and passed the MRCGP with numerous merits and distinctions. The teaching is particularly strong with emphasis on the skills required to give the highest care within inner city populations. The vast majority of those completing the scheme continue to work within the immediate vicinity and join practices that are active in teaching and research.

For more information please look at our website or contact Professor Debbie Sharp, Dr Andrew Eynon-Lewis, or Dr Holly Hardy.

Applications are made by completing both the standard GP training application and the additional academic training form on the GP National Recruitment Office website.

Applicants must demonstrate suitability for a clinical GP training programme via the usual assessment methods (computer-based test and Selection Centre) in order to be considered for an academic post. Those making an unsuccessful application for academic training will still be considered for a standard GP specialty training programme.  Full details

Other Fellowships and Awards are available.

"The GP Academic Clinical Fellowship has given me a privileged opportunity to experience primary care research at an early stage in my career. The Centre for Academic Primary Care is a fantastic department to work within and you are given a unique chance to work with those at the forefront of their academic field. The challenges of research are hugely contrasting to clinical work but also hugely rewarding and enriching."  ST2 academic clinical trainee

This page was last updated May 31st 2019