Academic Research Foundation Programme Description (Exeter)

2 posts


These posts provide the opportunity to develop research skills alongside their clinical foundation training. Clinical training is undertaken in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, with research training supervised by clinical researchers from the University of Exeter. The posts will be of particular interest to those considering an academic career. Research time is concentrated in the second (F2) year of the program where 1/3 of working time will be allocated to research. Projects can be undertaken in a range of areas that can usually be tailored to the interests of the trainee. We aim to be flexible with the Clinical posts in the second year and therefore research time can be structured to fit the preferences of the trainee with agreement from the academic supervisor and the clinical supervisor.


For the F1 year, applicants will be asked to preference four standard rotations which will be allocated to the trainees on academic programmes (education and research) in Exeter based on their FPAS application score.

Currently, trainees will be asked to preference (please note, all posts are subject to change):

General (internal) Medicine (Gastro)/General Surgery/Emergency Medicine
General Medicine/Emergency Medicine/Urology
General (internal) Medicine/Anaesthetics/General Surgery
General Surgery (Colorectal)/Acute Internal Medicine/General internal Medicine

There will be 5 Academic days in F1, the use and purpose of which is to be agreed on an individual basis with the educational supervisor.


This is a one-year academic post that integrates academic work with clinical work throughout the year with approximately one third of time dedicated to the research opportunity.

The post will have 2 placements at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, with the first placement based in an acute medical environment and the second in an appropriate clinical department, to be agreed with the foundation school according to individual progress, educational needs and personal interest. The second post must be a placement that is familiar with training foundation doctors and usually exists on the non-academic foundation programme.

Research time can be structured to fit the preferences of both the foundation doctor and supervisors, providing the equivalent of a total of 4 months research is undertaken during the year. For example, research time could be taken as a series of research allocated weeks, by allocating a proportion of each week to research or potentially a 4 month block (with x2 four month clinical periods).


1. To provide training and research experience in a world leading clinical environment to allow the post holder to understand what is involved in clinical research.

2. To provide excellent clinical specialist and general medical training in an excellent clinical environment

3. To allow the applicant to generate research output (such as research papers or conference abstracts) that will support developing an academic career.

4. To have developed key skills relevant to research, but also useful in all areas of medicine, e.g. critical appraisal of evidence, analysis of data, concise simple writing and being part of a successful team.

Research Areas and Supervision

A range of research areas and supervisors are available through the University of Exeter Medical School. Further information on the University of Exeter’s world leading research programs can be found at  Projects can usually be tailored to the interests of the foundation doctor. Supervisors and projects will be agreed during the F1 year and should be discussed with and approved by the academic foundation program lead who will support trainees in identifying a suitable project and supervisor. Due to the limited available time we encourage trainees to select projects that use existing data or can be undertaken without need for new ethical approval.

The foundation doctor should meet their supervisor for 1:1 supervision a minimum of 2 weekly during the 4 months research (pro rata where the research project is spread over a longer period).

Expected outputs from the trainees’ academic time

It is anticipated that that the academic foundation doctor will:

  • Contribute to at least one publication and present a poster or oral presentation at regional or national conference.
  • To develop research skills, ideas and contacts for future academic work
  • Gain experience of life in an academic department and understanding of clinical academic careers.

Additional training and resources

  • Trainees may access additional learning opportunities through the University of Exeter, including online modules and modules from taught Masters Programmes, for example  Health Research Methods or Genomic Medicine.
  • Trainees will have access to University of Exeter IT resources, including journal access