EGA Institute for Women's Health


Integrated Clinical Academic Training (iCAT)

The Institute hosts the UCL Integrated Academic Training Programme for Obstetrics and Gynaecology. We support training in research excellence at all four stages of the programme.


Academic Foundation Programme

The Academic Foundation Programme (AFP) is a 2 year programme with one Academic placement in the second year of training. These posts provide Foundation doctors with the opportunity to develop research, teaching and leadership / management skills in addition to the current basic clinical competencies outlined in the Foundation curriculum. They are intended to be beneficial to both trainees who plan to go into academic medicine as well as those who choose a different medical career. 

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships are specialty training posts that incorporate academic training.  NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs) spend 75% of their time undertaking specialist clinical training and 25% undertaking research or educationalist training. They are aimed at those who are at the early stages of their specialtytraining, show outstanding potential for a career in academic medicine or dentistry.

NIHR Clinical Lecturership

NIHR Clinical Lectureships are specialty training posts that incorporate academic training.  NIHR Clinical Lecturers (CLs) spend 50% of their time undertaking specialist clinical training and 50% undertaking research or educationalist training. CLs are aimed at those who are advanced in their specialty training, have completed a research doctorate or equivalent and show outstanding potential for continuing a career in academic medicine or dentistry.

Clinical Research Training Fellowship

A Clinical Research Training Fellowship (CRTF) is a type of grant held by a clinician typically for the purpose of undertaking Out Of Programme Research experience (OOPR) leading to award of a PhD. UCL has over a hundred CRTFs at any one time who come from a wide variety of backgrounds including nurses, speech and language therapists and allied health professionals as well as doctors. 

Further information about UCL Clinical Academic Training can be found on the UCAT website.

Research time graphics

Current clinical academic trainees placed within the Institute

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship  

Annette Thwaites

Annette Thwaites is the first Academic Clinical Fellow in community sexual and reproductive health (CSRH) and is supervised by Professor Judith Stephenson. Her primary research interests are unplanned pregnancy and postnatal contraception. Having completed a clinical fellowship with Public Health England, in 2018, exploring views of women and health care professionals on the provision of immediate postnatal contraception, she is currently working towards her MD(Res) into the specific contraceptive needs of women after IVF. She is working with the global library of women’s medicine (GLOWM) to develop resources on postnatal contraception to be used in less-resourced and remote or rural settings. She has also co-authored the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health statement on contraception for women with eating disorders.

NIHR Clinical Lecturership

Adalina Sacco

Adalina Sacco, Clinical Lecturer
Adalina is a Clinical Lecturer and Sub-Specialty clinical trainee in Maternal and Fetal Medicine. Her primary research interest is in fetal therapy and treatment. She also has an interest in the use and potential harms of antenatal corticosteroid use. Her MD(Res) at UCL focused on the implementation of open fetal surgery for spina bifida, and this project led to the first operations of this kind being performed in the UK. Her current research, under the guidance of Prof. Anna David, is focused on the progression of fetal surgery techniques and the development of medical fetal therapies for prenatal conditions. She is co-lead of the Fetal Medicine and Perinatology module, which is undertaken by students sitting the Prenatal Genetics & Fetal Medicine MSc or Women’s Health MSc or Obstetric Ultrasound and Fetal Medicine MSc at the UCL Institute for Women’s Health.

Research Gate 

Iris Profile

Sara Hillman

Sara Hillman
Sara is a Clinical Lecturer and Sub-Specialty clinical trainee in Maternal and Fetal Medicine. Her main interests lie in placental disorders. She is currently the principal investigator for a Wellcome-funded High Altitude Adaptation and Pregnancy Outcome study, a collaboration between hospitals in India and UCL. Her PhD, Dr David Williams as her supervisor, investigated the paternal influence on fetal growth. She is a co-investigator on an MRC-funded project grant tasked with investigating epigenetic mechanisms in obesity. Part of the hypotheses underpinning this new grant are based on findings from her PhD.  She is responsible for co-running the Organogenesis module in the MSc Prenatal Genetics & Fetal Medicine and is co-module lead for the new Women's Health iBSc.

Emily Cornish 

Dr Emily Cornish
Emily is an obstetric registrar and PhD student whose main interest is in inflammatory placental disorders associated with recurrent pregnancy loss. During her NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (2017-2020) she developed new insights into the pathogenesis of chronic histiocytic intervillositis (CHI), supervised by Prof David Williams. This work led to the award of an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship in March 2021. During her PhD she will be spending 6 months at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and is establishing an international network of clinicians and academics working to understand the pathogenesis and treatment of CHI.