Year 3 Medical Students in different clinical environments. Student in scrubs.
The NIHR funded clinical academic programme at Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry provides a unique environment for clinicians to develop as academics or medical educators alongside their clinical training. Plymouth has a number of outstanding research laboratories, including the Derriford Research Facility, which incorporates a range of state of the art technical capabilities. Trainees also have access to a wide reach of expertise at the medical and dental schools, including The Research Design Service (RDS), Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit (PenCTU), Medical Statistics and Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC).
The IAT programme supports a growing and vibrant community of clinical academics in training  and is committed to enabling both their clinical and academic development. The programme structure includes a joint induction with Exeter, regional networking events, opportunities to present and discuss academic work and career progression within an Academic Clinical Fellows forum, and a QA process overseen by the IAT board informed by the annual survey.

What is Clinical Academic Training?

Trainee reflections on the Plymouth IAT programme – short interviews with Clinical Lecturer representative Ellie Edlmann and ACF representative Sarah Kingdon.
The IAT programme supports the training of doctors and dentists in England to develop their clinical academic careers, and is delivered through a number of schemes that rely on close partnership between the NIHR, Health Education England (HEE), medical schools and NHS organisations.
NIHR allocates Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) and Clinical Lectureships (CLs) to partnerships of organisations comprising medical schools/dental schools (and their partner universities), HEE local offices and partner Trusts. These posts fit within the specialty training period and allow trainees to combine clinical and academic training.

More about ACFs

The NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) is a clinical specialty training post in medicine or dentistry that incorporates academic training.
This post has a standard duration of three years (up to four years for GPs). Alternatively, it can be taken part-time and extended up to a maximum of five years (or six years for GPs), as long as the academic component remains at 25% whole time equivalent.
You will have access to masters-level research training to develop your academic skills and equip you to balance your clinical academic career.
As an ACF you will spend:
75% of your time in specialist clinical training
25% of your time in research or educationalist training.
To be eligible for an ACF you must be:
  • medically or dentally qualified
  • at the early stages of speciality training
  • able to demonstrate outstanding potential for a career as a clinical academic
  • able to meet the clinical specification for the advertised post.

More about CLs

The NIHR Clinical Lectureship (CL) is a post-doctoral award that provides a clinical and academic training environment for doctors and dentists to establish themselves as independent researchers and leaders.
This award has a standard duration of four years or until completion of clinical training (CCT/CCST) is reached, whichever is sooner. Alternatively, you can undertake the award part-time and for a maximum duration of six years, as long as the academic component does not fall below 33% of whole time equivalent.
As a CL you will spend:
50% of your time in specialist clinical training
50% in research or educationalist training.
To be eligible for a CL you must:
  • be in higher speciality training (medicine)
  • have completed a research doctorate (PhD) or equivalent
  • show outstanding potential for continuing a career in academic medicine or dentistry.

Why train at the University of Plymouth?

Training and collaboration

Trainees are encouraged to pursue educational opportunities with the University, such as taking modules from the programmes below. This can provide the trainee with a PGCert level qualification.
Trainees are provided with an ACF Guide which contains detailed information about how to make the most of their time as a clinical academic trainee. This guide is linked here: NIHR IAT Guide.
A training grant of £1000 per year is available to all ACFs and CLs for education and development.
As an IAT trainee you are part of the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR), which is designed to promote interdisciplinary research. A wide range of seminars are offered as part of this to increase understanding and engagement in local areas of research interest. 
Collaboration is a key part of research at the University of Plymouth and this can be seen:

Integrated Academic Training (IAT) community

The University of Plymouth IAT programme is dedicated to recruiting a diverse and vibrant group of academic trainees, across of range of specialties and backgrounds. The philosophy is to supporting a team of locally-grown academics to answer important research questions for our local communities as well as large-scale national health challenges. 
To build the IAT community training there is peer-support through training days and social events, individual support and mentorship from local senior academics, partnership with University of Exeter for training days, and workshops with invited international speakers. 
Termly training days involve connecting with peers over lunch before listening to invited speakers from other institutions and backgrounds share their experience of an academic career. This is an interactive training opportunity which encourages questions and feedback on career development, lessons learned and directions of growth. There are also structured talks around specific areas of academic skill development such as writing grants and funding opportunities. Trainees have the opportunity to present their current research and get feedback.
Annual joint network and training days with Exeter University provides another opportunity for trainees to present work and understand what research activity is occurring across the region and initiate collaborations.

Feedback and mentorship

Throughout the year IAT trainees are in regular contact with the IAT co-ordinating team for training opportunities and can raise any questions or concerns. An annual IAT feedback survey seeks formal feedback on trainee experience and progression. This has allowed the programme to grow and adapt to the needs of trainees. 
ACFs are encouraged to take up the mentorship programme which offers them a local senior academic mentor. All mentors are trained and the purpose is to provide support, outside of the trainees supervisor and specialty area, specifically related to pastoral and career guidance. 
CLs are provided with mentorship training and invited to attend an annual peer-support mentor group meeting so that they have the opportunity to develop their role as a mentor for the ACF.
Feedback results from 2023 highlight that:
  • all trainees have contact with their supervisors a minimum of every 1–3 months, some weekly
  • all trainees felt they were meeting their academic training needs – 89% doing very well or excellent
  • all trainees had attended the IAT training and networking days.
Feedback from trainees on benefits of being an IAT in Plymouth;
“I had time to pursue research in a field of my choosing, with protected time to do this and opportunity to network and collaborate with experts.”
“I’ve always felt really well supported in Plymouth.”
“..The opportunity to explore MSc level education in research skills and clinical education, the experience of writing funding/trial applications within protected time ensures we are as involved as possible.”
“Very useful local networking events.”

How to apply

IAT positions are advertised on this website and on the Oriel platform:
If you are interested in a specific position posted or in an academic position but there is not one currently advertised in your area of interest please get in touch with the IAT co-ordinators office, email: Sharon Cash.
If you have questions about the jobs advertised and/or the specific specialty areas then please contact the relevant academic leads and/or supervisors highlighted in the specialities sections below. There are University email addresses on each supervisor's webpage. If you are not sure who to contact then please start with the IAT programme management team, Sharon Cash or Molly Webb (see below).
For more information about experience of the IAT programme please feel free to contact either the ACF lead Dr Sarah Kingdon or the Clinical Lecturer lead Dr Ellie Edlmann for further information or an informal chat.
Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry
A happy customer at a paediatric dental clinic run by Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry

Current speciality supervisors


IAT trainees


IAT Team and contact details




ACF and CL vacancies

Details of future vacancies will be listed at the top of this page.
All vacancies are advertised on Oriel only. 
Oriel is the HEE UK wide portal for recruitment to postgraduate medical, dental, public health, healthcare science and pre-registration pharmacy training. 
Applicants will need to use Oriel for all stages of the recruitment process. 
Register with Oriel
For up to date vacancies, please keep checking this page.
Derriford Dental Education FacilityDental students, nurses, clinical supervisors and patients using the Derriford Dental Education Facility.


There are currently no events scheduled. Upcoming event details will be added here. 
Please email Sharon Cash or Molly Webb if you have any questions, or would like more information on our events.
John Bull Building

Past events

Thursday 14/09/23 IAT Research Day in collaboration with University of Exeter, Plymouth North Campus.
Tuesday 03/10/23 Remote talk: Professor Alastair Denniston (Consultant Ophthalmologist) from University of Birmingham.
Wednesday 21/06/23 Remote talk: Dr Esther Sammler. Clinical Sen Lecturer/Honorary Cons. Molecular and Clinical Medicine, from University of Dundee.
Friday 19/05/23 IAT Research Day in collaboration with University of Exeter, Exeter Campus.
Wednesday 26/04/23 Remote talk: Dr Nicola Mackintosh, Associate Professor in Social Science applied to Health from University of Leicester.
Tuesday 04/04/23 Online seminar: Dr Wendy Clyne and Dr Mona Nasser. Outlining the time frame and scope of compiling an NIHR PhD funding application.
Monday 12/01/23 Speaker: Dr Richard Collings on the benefits of mentorship: addressing the need for clinical academic mentorship and the importance of the quality and appropriateness of a mentoring offering.

More IAT resources and links

MClinRes Clinical Research

Do you want to lead, direct or manage clinical research? This programme provides in-depth training in qualitative and quantitative research methods and equips you with the skills to direct, develop, manage and deliver research in any clinical setting.

MSc Health Data Science and Statistics

This interdisciplinary programme provides you with up-to-date knowledge on data analytics, medical statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as the design and analysis of health studies.

PIHC Tea Time Teaching

PIHC Tea-Time Teaching (TTT) is a monthly peer-delivered interprofessional teaching session that is open to all Faculty of Health students to attend or even present. It draws on the knowledge, experience and diversity of students and subject areas from across the entire Faculty.

The HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic and Practitioner (ICA) programme

The HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic and Practitioner (ICA) programme is intended to increase research capacity to improve health and healthcare, by developing people with the potential and aspiration to become leading clinical and practitioner academics and independent researchers in the future. The programme is open to registered health and social care professionals including nurses, midwives, AHPs and other registered health and care professionals with ICA approved regulatory bodies.

Researcher development programme

Researcher Development Programme offers a wide range of courses and sessions to help you develop and broaden your research and transferable skills. The sessions we offer are free of charge. We encourage you to take these opportunities to develop and refine your skills, as well as connect with colleagues. Our programme is designed to support your research and your career choices.


The Clinical Academic Training Hub (CATCH) aims to be the home for information on clinical academic careers. The purpose of this site is to:
  • Showcase and promote the wide variety of exciting career options in clinical academia across a range of healthcare disciplines
  • Provide practical advice on clinical academic career options across all four nations of the UK
  • Highlight inspiring clinical academics at a variety of career stages to help build aspirations
  • Build links between clinical practice and academia.
This is a national platform, led by the Medical Schools Council.