UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Academic Clinical Fellowships

UCL is proud to have one of the largest cohorts of National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) trainees in the UK.

Flow Diagram of Career Pathways for Academic Medical Careers

2020 ACF Recruitment

Recruitment to the 2020 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACF's) is now closed. 

To apply: each ACF post will be advertised via Oriel

Please see below for more details about the recruitment process.

We have approximately 100 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows and 50 NIHR Clinical Lecturers in posts across UCL and UCL Partners Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC).

Every trainee has a clinical and an academic supervisor and is provided with a £1,000 per annum NIHR training bursary. Trainees are provided with bespoke clinical and academic training appropriate for their speciality and research interests, and in addition have access to funding for a Masters course at UCL.

Our Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) schemes have an overall success rate of approximately 85% over the last five years in securing peer-reviewed internationally competitive research funding to continue their clinical academic careers.

2020 ACF Posts

Post NumberSpecialityLead
ACF Post 1Clinical OncologyDr Crispin Hiley
ACF Post 2Clinical Pharmacology & TherapeuticsDr. Reecha Sofat
ACF Post 3Clinical RadiologyProf. Stuart Taylor 
ACF Post 4Community Sexual and Reproductive Health Prof. Judith Stephenson
ACF Post 5General Practice Prof. Joe Rosenthal 
ACF Post 6General Psychiatry Prof. David Osborn
ACF Post 7Genito-Urinary Medicine Dr Richard Gilson
ACF Post 8Infectious DiseasesProf Mahdad Noursadeghi
ACF Post 9Medical OncologyProf Gert Attard
ACF Post 10Neurology Prof Simon Mead
ACF Post 11NeurosurgeryProf Rob Brownstone
ACF Post 12Ophthalmology Prof Sir Peng Khaw
ACF Post 13Paediatrics Dr Despina Eleftheriou
ACF Post 14Public Health Medicine Dr. Nora Pashayan
ACF Post 15Renal Medicine Prof Alan Salama 

Themed Posts

Post NumberSpecialityThemeLead
ACF Post 17HaematologyPlatform Sciences and Bioinformatics Prof. Kwee Yong 
ACF Post 18Infectious DiseasesPlatform Sciences and Bioinformatics Prof. Mahdad Noursadeghi 
ACF Post 19General Practice Therapeutics or Clinical Pharmacology Prof Joe Rosenthal
ACF Post 20Geriatric Medicine Dementia Dr. Daniel Davis 
ACF Post 21General PracticeMedical Education Prof. Joe Rosenthal 
ACF Post 22General Psychiatry Mental HealthProf David Osborn 
ACF Post 23Paediatrics Mental Health Dr Despina Eleftheriou

Additional Posts

Post NumberSpeciality Lead
ACF Post 24Child and Adolescent PsychiatryLocally FundedProf David Skuse
ACF Post 25Plastic SurgeryLocally FundedProf. Ash Mosahebi 


The application and recruitment process is managed by the Healthcare Education Team at Health Education England (HEE), London and South East.

For enquiries about the recruitment process, please contact HEE directly via the London and South East PGMDE Support Portal.

For more information about the IAT programme, please see the NIHR Integrated Academic Training.

Useful Links:

Surgeons operating in OR
Download Training Guide   

    ACF Programme


    We aim to provide bespoke clinical academic training opportunities that fully develops an individual's potential as a research leader of the future.

    Like all NIHR ACF posts, UCL's posts offer three months per annum protected research time over the three year duration of our posts. All offer run-through training in the advertised speciality.

    How the protected research time is arranged differs between individual programmes. 

    In general it is offered as a block release of three months, as in our experience, this provides sufficient time to fully engage and integrate with host laboratories.

    Individual programmes have the flexibility to vary this according to local needs (including those of the trainees).

    • 3 year duration of post and 4 year duration for GP posts;
    • 3 months per annum for protected research time (this may differ depending on specialty);
    • Block release of 3 months or day release depending on individual programmes.
    Research Training Programme

    The Research Training Programme is delivered through individual training schemes, customising central provision and supplementing this with local initiatives. The central provision includes generic skills training through the:

      Success Rate

      Since 2006, our programmes have delivered a very high success rate (85%) in terms of the primary objective of ACF programmes in obtaining peer-reviewed competitive research funding to continue an academic career.

      The range and diversity of incoming individuals demonstrates that the flexible ad-hominem approach we take is highly effective in developing individuals to their full potential.


      NIHR ACF posts are available to medically qualified trainees, who are in the early stages of their specialty training and show outstanding potential for a career in academic medicine or dentistry.

      • UCL offers a varied selection of ACF posts at levels CT1 or ST3 depending on specialty;
      • We welcome ACF applicants either with or without a PhD provided an ACF post offers an appropriate career development option for them;
      • Before you apply for an ACF post through Oriel you will need to check your eligibility;
      • Please refer to the GMC Registration Eligibility webpage.

      As an ACF you remain employed by the Trust.

      Trainees hold an honorary UCL contract throughout their post (as well as NHS contract) giving them access to library facilities, computer network facilities and other necessary generic research tools.

      UCL honorary contracts for clinical academics.


      NIHR Annual Bursary 

      ACFs are entitled to a £1,000 bursary each year they are in post for conference, workshops and research visits including travel, registration and hotel costs.

      NIHR MSc Training Fund

      You also have an option to take an MSc or modules of an MSc whilst in post funded by the NIHR training fund.

      Each ACF is awarded £4,500 from the NIHR.

      For further information about NIHR bursaries, please contact the Academic Careers Office