Academic foundation programme (AFP)

Around 20 doctors and dentists across the North East and North Cumbria join the AFP each year. This two-year programme includes two four-month blocks of research or occasionally medical education (one block per year).

Our programme offers better protected research time than all other AFP programmes in England and gives new doctors the opportunity to develop an interest in research in a clinical area of their choice. It is a trainee-centred programme providing a good ‘first-step’ opportunity for those who wish to enter integrated academic training.

General professional training for dentistry is currently in the design phase and will provide similar opportunities to engage in research over a two-year period in practice and hospital. It is hoped that following this, academic components will be introduced into dental foundation training and dental core training programmes in line with the recommendations of the national advancing dental care programme.

Applications for the AFP are open earlier than the normal foundation programme so you will need to prepare early. More information and how to apply are available in the NIHR Integrated Academic Training Guide.

Academic foundation trainees from the North East training programme have an outstanding success rate in obtaining external training fellowships and going on to develop independent successful academic careers.

Sam Tingle is an academic foundation doctor in Newcastle, listen to his experience of the AFP in the North East and North Cumbria.

Ruth Owen is an academic foundation trainee who went to Newcastle University. She is part of the North-East Surgical Training Academy (NESTAC) and took part in multiple research projects as a medical student.

This animation shows how healthcare professionals are being encouraged to develop a clinical academic career. It describes the opportunities on offer to all professions as part of HEE’s Clinical Academic Careers Framework which brings together research programmes funded by HEE and the NIHR.