How to get into Paediatric Research

The structured integrated academic training programme is described below:

The clinical academic career pathway

One route into Paediatric Research is via the NIHR Integrated Academic Training Programme


An Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) is the ideal way to gain research experience and to maximise your chances of long-term academic success, without compromising clinical training. All ACFs will have the opportunity to gain experience of conducting research and will undertake training in research methodology and academic skills. The ACF post allows you to work within an academic department to develop a research project. This project should hopefully lead to a proposal for submission to an external funding body for a research training fellowship. The ultimate aim of each three-year ACF programme is to secure this type of funding to undertake a PhD. If you are successful, after completing a PhD, you will be eligible to apply for an Academic Clinical Lectureship. Trainees who have gained a PhD earlier in training are also eligible to apply for an Academic Clinical Lectureship under current NIHR regulations.


An Academic Clinical Lectureship (ACL) is held by a post-doctoral trainee (i.e. with a completed PhD which has been awarded), usually already established within a particular academic and/or clinical field. These posts can be held for a maximum of four years (whole time equivalent) and allow development of independent research. They usually lead to an application for a Clinician Scientist post or University-funded Senior Lectureship.


A Clinician Scientist post is a primarily research-orientated post held for a maximum of five years, either before or after CCT has been achieved. Clinical commitments pre-CCT are negotiable; after CCT two clinical sessions per week are permitted. Those who are successful at this level will usually ultimately seek joint academic and clinical substantive senior posts.