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Academic Fellows Scheme

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Academic Fellows Scheme
The Academic Fellows Scheme provides support to some of the most deprived areas in South Wales.

This Welsh Government sponsored scheme provides the opportunity for motivated General Practitioners (GPs) to learn research and teach while providing much needed support to general practices in the most deprived areas of South Wales to improve their patient care.

We believe this to be a perfect match: a firm grounding in the founding ethos of the NHS to provide equality in healthcare, while recognising that the doctors providing that care deserve career enhancing opportunities.

Being an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF)

This Scheme would suit any GP qualified to work in Wales who wants to enhance their professional quality of life while providing support to practices in some of the most deprived areas of South Wales.

It is a two year, fixed term contract. ACFs spend two days per week in clinical contact and three days per week learning to teach and research.

The intended out comes for each ACF are to have:

  • Provided support for practices to develop patient care.
  • Learnt the principles and skills of medical research and gained a publication.
  • Learnt to teach, while contributing to the delivery and development of undergraduate medical education, gained a qualification in Medical Education to at least Certificate level, and become members of the Academy of Medical Educators (AME) and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
  • Gained a postgraduate qualification.

This does not preclude an emphasis on a particular area of professional development and flexibility will be inherent in the approach.

Information for ACF applicants

Professional future

Experience suggests that ACFs will go on to practice in deprived areas while maintaining links with the academic centre, in teaching and research. Those with long term academic aspirations have been supported to apply for fellowships and have obtained PhDs.

ACFs are also highly likely to teach undergraduates in their practices and become GP trainers. Some have moved into Public Health and medical management. From the beginning, everyone involved in supporting you will be encouraging you to think about, plan and move strategically towards your professional future.

Working in a practice

The ACF becomes part of the practice team for six months. They take over the usual workload of a GP in the attached practice: typically two surgeries, house calls and the usual administration e.g. results, letters, etc.

The freed up GPs will be engaging in projects to improve patient care. Practices will work to a Practice Development Plan (PDP) agreed with the Scheme Director (SD), stipulating the improvement activity, the anticipated timescale, the people involved and measurable outcomes. Progress is reviewed at three months and completion. The absolute rule is that the freed up GPs are engaged in development activities not deliver of care.

It is important to emphasise that the ACF is supernumerary, so for instance, should not be included in the practice leave rota.


The Division of Population Medicine aims to improve total population health through a multi-sectoral approach to address broad health outcomes and inequalities. The Division has two areas of research focus: Prevention of harm and ill health and Improving patient care. In addition, the Division has two cross cutting themes in key areas of research interest and collaboration: Children and Cancer.

ACFs will be supported in their choice of suitable research activity. Each ACF will have a senior researcher as a supervisor who will identify appropriate research topics, training for the ACF and provide ongoing close support.


Teaching takes place in the School of Medicine. The ACFs regularly teach clinical and communication skills to small groups of medical students as part of their core curriculum. Teaching takes place in the Cochrane Building (link).

Practice involvement in the scheme

Practices must:

  • Have the majority of their patients in the top 20% of deprivation as measured by the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD).
  • Have a safe, basic level of organisation as determined by an eligibility questionnaire and the Scheme Director on a practice visit.
  • Be within reasonable travelling distance of the academic centre to allow the ACFs to commute.

What does the Academic Clinical Fellow do in the Practice?

The ACF effectively replaces a GP during a normal working day e.g. two surgeries, calls and a fair share of practice administration. The actual workload is agreed between the Practice and Scheme Director before the attachment.

It is important to emphasise that the ACF is supernumerary, so for instance, should not be included in the leave rota and theoretically could be removed at short notice i.e. an amount of time over which the Practice appointments diary is made up.


Usually two days per week for six months.

How to apply

Practices initially complete an eligibility questionnaire. If this is acceptable they may be placed on a waiting list and prior to the attachment will be sent a PDP form to complete and receive a visit from the Scheme Director to discuss options for improvement of patient care.

Following acceptance of a completed PDP the Scheme Director will visit the Practice with the ACF to discuss detail of the attachment and sign the contractual agreement with the University.

To find out more about the Academic Clinical Fellows Scheme please contact us:

Academic Fellows Scheme

Academic Clinical Fellows Scheme
Division of Population Medicine
Cardiff University
3rd Floor, Neuadd Meirionnydd
Heath Park
CF14 4YS

Meet the team

Susan Evans

Administrator, Academic Fellows Scheme

+44 (0)29 2068 7195