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Academic medicine

A career in Academic Medicine and Dentistry offers a mix of clinical medicine, research and teaching.

This allows progression within a clinical specialty of interest along with the potential to lead world class research and contribute and lead teaching programmes within Medicine and Dentistry.

We aim to;

  • provide guidance and education on academic medical and dental careers within Wales and the UK. This includes undergraduates, trainees in early postgraduate posts and beyond
  • provide support and operation to the Welsh Clinical Academic Training Fellowship (WCAT) programme in Wales. This includes supporting the application process, recruitment, annual assessment, study leave and long-term career advice
  • provide support and guidance in academic training within the Foundation programme
  • provide support to other medical and dental trainees perusing academic interests outside WCAT and foundation
  • support postgraduate organisers and postgraduate centre managers in providing guidance on academic career pathways.

Within Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) we work closely with the Careers unit, Foundation and Speciality schools. Outside HEIW we work closely with health boards and the medical schools of Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea and Glyndwr. There are close links with the Welsh Office of Research and Development within the Welsh Government.

Academic careers in Wales

Academic Medicine and Dentistry offers a career encompassing clinical practice, research and teaching. This combines training within a clinical specialty and world class medical research and teaching within medical schools and beyond.

Wales offers early training in Academic Medicine through the Academic Foundation Programme and subsequently through the competitive Wales Clinical Academic Training (WCAT) Fellowship Programme.

This offers clinical speciality training with academic research together with allocated time to the complete a PhD degree. Established links exist within Welsh Universities with strong track records in medical research, teaching and supervision.

The programme is aimed to provide the senior clinical academics of tomorrow. Along with this Academic Fellowship posts and Clinical Lecturer posts exist within specialities.


HEIW offers an excellent mentorship scheme. Good mentorship is invaluable in helping you negotiate the complexities of clinical and academic training. You may well need more than one mentor – perhaps someone to offer advice on research and another for your clinical training. Your mentor may be someone from your department, but may also be someone you do not work with from day to day.

Mentorship covers everything from advice on writing your papers or experimental approaches needed, through to making introductions and showing you how to navigate the national and international biomedical world. A good mentor will give you sound and impartial advice, show you what is possible, and help you develop yourself and your career to achieve your goals.


Research opportunities are available at BangorCardiffSwansea and Wrexham Glyndwr universities.

The Wales Clinical Academic Track (WCAT)