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Academic Fellows Scheme

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

The Academic Fellows Scheme is a Welsh Government funded initiative that provides protected time and funding for motivated General Practitioners (GPs) to combine teaching, research, and postgraduate study with clinical work in the most deprived areas of South East Wales.

Being an Academic Fellow (AF)

This Scheme would suit any GP qualified to work in Wales who wants to enhance their professional development, maintain a work-life balance, and provide clinical support to practices in some of the most deprived areas of South East Wales.

The scheme offers a two-year fixed term contract. AFs spend two days per week doing clinical general practice contact and three days per week doing teaching, research, and postgraduate study.

The intended outcomes for each AF are to have:

  • provided support for practices to improve and develop services for patients
  • integrated with colleagues in the Division of Population Medicine, the Centre for Trials Research, and the Centre for Medical Education, and contributed to activities within these organisations
  • completed a research project resulting in a publication and/or presentation
  • developed a portfolio of teaching experience by contributing to the delivery and development of undergraduate medical education and gained a relevant teaching qualification if there is a desire for ongoing contribution to medical education
  • gained a postgraduate qualification.

The outcomes above are flexible as we are keen to support Fellows who wish to emphasise a particular area of professional development or interest.

Information for AF applicants

Professional future

Most previous AFs have gone on to clinical practice in deprived areas and maintained links with academic departments at Cardiff University. AFs have added value to the practise they join as most will teach medical students or have become GP trainers. AFs with long-term academic aspirations have been supported to apply for highly prestigious research Fellowships (including with the NIHR and MRC) and have successfully obtained PhDs.

Those with an interest in medical education have been supported to obtain part-time teaching roles. Some AFs have moved into roles in Public Health and medical management.

The scheme focusses on your professional development and future career aspirations, and plans support to allow you to achieve your desired goals.

Working in a practice

The AF becomes part of the practice team for six months. They take over the usual workload of a GP in the attached practice. This typically involves two surgeries, house calls and the usual administrative duties.

The practice GPs will use the clinical cover to engage in projects that will 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 six weeks, three months and at completion.

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


The Division of Population Medicine is committed to delivering research that makes a difference to people’s lives. Their research identifies social, environmental and biological risk factors for ill-health, and develop and test  interventions to improve health outcomes.

The Division’s research focusses on cancer, childhood, infections, and long-term conditions. AFs 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 and training for the AF, and provide ongoing close support.


Teaching takes place in the School of Medicine. The AFs 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.

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 AFs to commute.


AF are attached to a practice for two days per week for six months.

How to apply

Practices initially complete an eligibility questionnaire. If eligible, practices will be placed on a waiting list. Prior to the attachment, the practice will be asked to complete a PDP and will be visited by the Scheme Director.

At this visit, the Scheme Director will assess whether there is a safe and supportive environment for the attached AF and whether the time provided by the AF will be used effectively. A contractual agreement will be signed if the planned attachment is approved.

Academic Fellows Scheme Eligibility Questionnaire

Please complete and return

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

Academic Fellows Scheme

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

Meet the team

Professor Adrian Edwards

Professor Adrian Edwards

Director, Division of Population Medicine

Dr Harry Ahmed

Dr Harry Ahmed

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Epidemiology. Director, Academic Fellows Scheme

+44 (0)29 2251 0194
Kara Dominguez

Kara Dominguez

Administrator, Academic Fellows Scheme

+44 (0)29 2251 0194