Specialised Foundation Programmes in the South West

The recruitment process for two year Specialised Foundation Programmes commencing August 2022 opens in September. For more information, the UKFPO Applicant’s Handbook is available on the UKFP website. Recruitment will be managed via the national online recruitment system, Oriel. For the purposes of Specialised Recruitment only, Peninsula and Severn Foundation Schools will be one Specialised Unit of Application (known as South West) for August 2022 recruitment. The South West Specialised Unit of Application (SUoA) offers 25 posts across across the two Foundation Schools, as described below.

Shortlisting Information

Shortlisting will be carried out for all applicants using Educational Achievements (Additional Degrees, Presentations, Prizes and Publications) and the following White Space Questions depending on programme type:


Career Goals, Achievements/Experience (both questions), Programme Interests, and Research.


Career Goals, Achievements/Experience (both questions), Programme Interests, and Education and Teaching (first question only).

Leadership and Management

Career Goals, Achievements/Experience (both questions), Programme Interests, and Leadership.

The Teamworking and General questions will not be used by the South West but may be used by other Specialised Units of Application, so please check the websites of the other SUoAs you may be applying for, to ensure you answer all required questions.

IMPORTANT – If you wish to be considered for a programme you must have answered the relevant questions on the application form. Under Programme Interests you are required to tick the programme(s) you are interested in (Research, Education and Teaching, Leadership and Management). For example, if you do not tick the Research box and answer the question on research, you will not be considered for shortlisting, even if you rank the Research programmes. The system will still allow you to rank the programmes regardless of the questions you have answered.

Severn Foundation School - 15 Posts

6 x Research Foundation Programmes based at North Bristol NHS Trust
9 x Research Foundation Programmes based at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust

The Severn Foundation School and the University of Bristol offer 15 Specialised Foundation Programmes (SFPs). Our research opportunities are unbundled from the clinical rotations allowing successful applicants to competitively select the most suitable combination of research area and clinical rotation. There are a wide variety of research opportunities encompassing a range of academic subjects. Thus, the SFPs in Severn offer a great opportunity for future academic clinicians to start their career and develop a good grounding in clinical research.

The Specialised Foundation Programmes for Severn are based in either North Bristol NHS Trust (Southmead Hospital) or University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (Bristol Royal Infirmary/Weston General Hospital). The F1 year will allow the newly qualified doctor to gain experience in a range of clinical placements. The F2 year comprises an academic block of four months, during which the F2 doctor will undertake a research project and continue with one day per week clinical work. For the remaining 8 months of the F2 year, doctors will undertake more specialised medical training, e.g. General Practice, ITU/Critical Care, whilst continuing 1 day per week of academic work. During the F2 year doctors will also attend the Research Methods course designed specifically for this programme.

Information about Specialised Foundation Programmes in Severn

Peninsula Foundation School – 10 Posts

6 x Education Foundation Programmes based 2 each in Truro, Exeter and Torbay
2 x Leadership and Management Foundation Programmes based in Torbay
2 x Research Foundation Programmes based in Exeter

The Peninsula Foundation School offers 10 Specialised Foundation Programmes offering a range of opportunities for academic clinicians focusing on research careers and clinicians who want to develop special interests in Education and Teaching, or Leadership and Management. Each programme starts with a generic clinical F1 year comprising 3x4 month rotations.  In F2, the pattern is for 2x6 months clinical posts with time allocated either in-week or in separate clinical/specialised weeks depending on the type of specialised programme. One of the 6-month posts will be in acute medicine and there is some choice for the second clinical post.

Education and Leadership and Management posts

Research posts

These posts provide exciting opportunities to develop key skills and experience in Medical Education or Leadership and Management while also gaining the generic foundation capabilities through a clinical placement in the acute trust.

Successful applicants can complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education or Healthcare Management, Leadership and Innovation at University of Plymouth Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry which is at the forefront of contemporary developments in clinical education. The F1 year is a standard F1 programme with 5 study days to attend the first module of the PG Cert and the associated learning sets.

These posts will be of particular interest to those aspiring to an academic career, but the research skills will be generic and the experience of benefit to anyone with an interest in health and health service research.

Wide ranging research possibilities exist through the University of Exeter Medical School.  Each research foundation trainee has the opportunity to preference their research area, such as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mental Health, Environment and Human Health, Dementia and Ageing, Evidence synthesis and modelling for health improvement, Primary Health Care, and Diabetes.

Research Opportunities available at University of Exeter for Foundation Doctors

Information about Specialised Foundation Programmes in Peninsula