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Research and Clinical Academic Careers

There are a number of different roles and careers available if you are interested in research. The main two pathways are research delivery careers and clinical academic careers. These can overlap. 

Research Delivery Careers

A research delivery career is a great way to get involved in health and social care research. As a research nurse or allied health professional,  a clinical research assistant, a research governance officer or facilitator, you can be part of a team that helps to bring new research opportunities to people using Solent services.

A research delivery career involves working alongside researchers to assess whether it is feasible to run their study within our services, helping to set up how the study will run and confirming we have the capacity and the capability to undertake the project. You may then be involved in identifying suitable patients, seeking their consent to be involved, collecting data or delivering new interventions. Whatever your role within a research delivery team, you work closely with clinical colleagues and patients promoting a culture of improvement through research and sharing learning from projects which may have a real impact on patient care.

Clinical Academic Careers

A Clinical Academic Nurse or Allied Health Professional (AHP) is typically a clinically active health researcher. They work in the NHS as clinicians while in parallel researching new ways of delivering better outcomes for the patients that they treat. As they remain clinically active, their research is grounded in the day to day clinical issues they deal with, and importantly they form partnerships with other academics and clinicians.


Whilst the emphasis is often on research, people in these roles are curious, critical and creative. They drive quality improvement programmes, use analytical and research skills to question, investigate, research and innovate to accelerate improved clinical care.

There are various ways of funding a clinical academic role:

  • Solent Academy internships are available every year – these are designed to support people to get into research or to help progression of a clinical academic career. They can be about getting started, pre MSc, or they can help bridge gaps between MSc/PhD or PhD/Post-Doctoral fellowship applications.

  • Solent Academy has a partnership with the University of Southampton to jointly support a Clinical Academic Doctoral Fellowship Programme. These are joint posts for working clinically, whilst undertaking a PhD.

  • Health Education Wessex often fund fellowships for research training.

  • The National Institute for Health Research has a Clinical Academic Career Pathway. These are slightly different depending on profession: 

  • Look out for opportunities on our news pages or email if you’d like to be added to our clinical academic mailing list.

For more information about clinical academic roles in the NHS, please take a look at this useful toolkit from AUKUH.  


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5 June 2023

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