The scheme is aimed at exceptionally motivated clinically qualified trainees who can demonstrate the capability and drive to undertake a period of research with a view to developing a long-term career as a clinical academic.

Academic excellence, evidence of prior and productive research experience and the desire to pursue a career in clinical academia are essential. Applicants may have intercalated during their degree or have obtained a second Bachelors degree but this is not essential

Applicants are not expected to have a defined project proposal at the application stage. They should be able to articulate what areas they would be interested in developing a project within and have an idea of which primary supervisors they might work with from the exceptional GW4-CAT pool of Wellcome Trust approved supervisors.

General Eligibility
  1. To be eligible for entry into the programme you must have a qualification that allows you to practice clinically in the UK
  2. Candidates must be eligible to work in the United Kingdom at time of application
  3. Trainees who are already registered for a PhD with any other programme will not be eligible to apply
  4. All applicants will have to provide evidence of previously undertaken research such as an Academic Clinical Fellow (medical and dental graduates), an internship or residency (veterinary) or via an alternative route such as the Clinical Primer from Bristol or similar schemes from Cardiff and Exeter
  5. Applicants are allowed to reapply to GW4-CAT following one unsuccessful submission but will not be eligible if they have applied two or more times
  6. Applicants must be willing to travel between GW4-CAT sites and be a part of cohort activities and training
  7. Offers will be subject to a satisfactory completion of relevant Vetting/Barring Scheme if required, eg. DBS check
  Medical and Dental Graduates  

Most applicants will have around 2-3 years left before they achieve their Certification of Completion of Training (CCT) when they come out of programme for research (OOPR) but this may vary.

It is envisaged that those appointed will have obtained MRCP or equivalent, but not CCT or consultant status.


  1. MBBS, MBBCh, BDS, BChD or equivalent medical or dental qualification. Applicants are normally expected to have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree, preferably with honours or distinction in MB finals but this is not a prerequisite
  2. Successful completion of relevant College/Faculty Membership exam or part thereof (e.g. MRCP) or equivalent relevant postgraduate certifications necessary for participation in the relevant specialist training programme by the time of PhD registration

Dental/Medical registration and other criteria:

  1. Candidates must be in a recognised speciality training post at the time of application. Foundation trainees are not eligible to apply.
  2. Applicants will be in a position to hold full or provisional registration with the GMC or GDC with the necessary licence to practise by the commencement of and throughout their PhD
  3. Be able to provide documented evidence from the relevant training body (e.g. GMC/GDC or equivalent) of achievement of appropriate competencies for stage of training by time of appointment in line with relevant national regulatory requirements, including satisfactory outcome at the Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)
  4. Applicants who have already finished their training and received a CCT are not eligible
  5. Hold an active medical or dental indemnity policy that is valid in the jurisdiction where clinical training will occur
  6. Be eligible to be granted time out of programme for research (OOPR) if required

Please Note

  1. Clinicians who undertake OOPR must continue to participate in the ARCP process of their home locality in HEE, NES, the Wales Deanery or NIMDTA and would be expected to return at the end of the period of OOPR unless they are immediately appointed to a Clinical Lecturer post after their PhD. Trainees are only granted a Deanery transfer in exceptional circumstances or when there is a justifiable personal reason that the Deanery accepts as a just cause. Registering for a PhD will not be accepted by the Deaneries as a reason for transferring.
  2. Medical or dental trainees in their final year of training will not normally be granted OOPR. Please check with your Deanery before applying if you are unsure about your eligibility on these grounds.

  Veterinary Graduates  


  1. BVSc, MBBCh or equivalent veterinary qualification. Applicants are normally expected to have achieved a first-class or strong upper second-class undergraduate degree

Veterinary registration and other criteria:

  1. Candidates will be a Member or Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) at the at the commencement of and throughout his/her PhD: MRCVS/FRCVS

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