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Clinical Academic Careers

Clinical Academic Careers are a more formal way to develop research activity within your role. People who wish to become a clinical academic may have joint roles with local universities or apply for research grants in order to fund their research. 


You don’t have to be a clinical academic to get involved in research, but if you want to make research a more substantial part of your job then it could be the route for you. 

Getting started 

Clinical academic careers are typically defined by a series of training opportunities to help develop your research and leadership skills to become an independent researcher. To get started on a clinical academic career pathway, several options are available.

  • Researcher Development Programme
    We run a three-day programme to help people learn some basic research skills, meet other research interested clinicians and think about next steps to develop research in their careers.

  • Clinical academic/research taster sessions
    Spend time with a clinical academic who will introduce you to the Academy team, share elements of both their clinical and academic roles and where possible arrange to have you observe research in action.

  • Research Internships
    Research internships offer a small amount of funding to buy you out of your clinical role to develop a small-scale project or explore different aspects of research in practice. These can be a great steppingstone onto larger funding awards that can support formal research training.  

    • Academy Research Discovery Internship award (details will be available soon).

    • Across the Wessex region the Wessex Applied Research Collaborative (ARC) offer internship schemes. If you would like to find out about opportunities, you can visit their website or join our mailing list. 

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Applying for training awards

The National Institute for Health and social care Research (NIHR) offers several funding streams to support people to apply for formal research training awards (fellowships), as part of the Integrated Clinical and Practitioner Academic training programme. These can be used to undertake a Masters in Research or a PhD. There are also awards to buy you out of clinical practice so you can build a competitive application. 

NIHR fellowship awards include:

There are also other fellowship opportunities that come up throughout the year with different health care or academic organisations. If you would like to hear about these please join our mailing list. 

Developing an application for any fellowship needs planning and support. The NIHR Research Support Service can help identify the right award and support you with your application. The academy team are also available and can arrange a time meet with you and discuss your plans, as well as think about what happens at the end of a fellowship. 

There is also a set of videos that have been created by ARC Wessex and the University of Southampton to guide you through the clinical academic training process.

Applying for a research grant 

Funding for research is also available to support projects. If you have an idea for a research project and would like to apply for a grant to cover salary costs, project costs and patient and public involvement and engagement, you can check out the funding programmes offered by the NIHR or contact the NIHR Research Support Service to discuss options.


There are also many other funding streams available through charities and research councils. The academy team are here to help and can keep you updated of opportunities through our mailing list. 

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