Clinical Academic Career Path

In 2005, the UK Clinical Research Network/Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) review of clinical academia noted that there was a lack of a clear route of entry and a transparent career structure into this profession, with a lack of flexibility when it came to balancing clinical and academic training and geographical mobility, and a shortage of properly structured and supported posts available on completion of training. All of these were considered in this report to be deterrents for a clinical academic career.

In recent years there have been three key signposts for the recovery of clinical academia which have really put the issue on the map:

  1. The appreciation by government that applied biomedicine is critical in the UK’s economic growth
  2. The Walport Report; ‘Medical and Dentally Qualified Academic Staff; Recommendations for Training the Researchers and Educators of the Future’, has led to recognition of the need for an academic clinical career pathway and outlined the strategies for achieving such a pathway
  3. Publication of the Department of Health document “Best Research for Best Health” has laid out the necessary steps to restructure NHS Research & Development

This has led to the development of properly structured and supported posts. Development of these posts has included bids to central government for approval and funding. The Walport posts include: