Each of the four deaneries in Scotland offer a number of academic foundation programmes. In addition to providing the basic competences outlined in the curriculum, these programmes provide foundation doctors with the opportunity to develop research, teaching and leadership or management skills. They are intended to be beneficial to both trainees who plan to go into academic medicine, as well as those who choose a different medical career.
The Scottish Foundation School offers 56 individual academic foundation programmes or appointments delivered through specific academic foundation programmes in each of the NES postgraduate deaneries. There are separate arrangements for the recruitment to Academic Foundation Programmes. These are described and advertised on the NHS Education for Scotland website and individual deaneries carry out the recruitment process.
Recruitment to academic foundation programmes mainly occurs prior to the opening of the national recruitment process, usually in May. Information about the recruitment process, including a rough guide to academic foundation programmes, is published on the UKFPO website.
Following the perceived crisis in academic medicine, the Walport group recommended an integrated structure of academic and clinical training which mirrored the run-through training structure introduced under Modernising Medical Carrers (MMC).
Scotland opted not to follow the 'Academic Clinical Fellowship' (ACF) scheme established in England and set up its own system: the Scottish Clinical Research Excellence Development Scheme (SCREDS). It is important to note, however, that neither SCREDS nor the ACF system are the sole, or even predominant, ways of obtaining experience and training in academic medicine.
The following guide sets out the options which exist for academic training in Scotland Different opportunities are available at the various levels of seniority, and the nature of academia means that careers may not follow an established or set pathway. The case studies at the end of this document help illustrate some possible career pathways.