Candidate Guide – Applying for Specialty Training as NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) Academic Clinical Fellow 2021
Tip: Please read the whole application process before starting an application.
The full recruitment timetable is as follows:
- Applications open: Thursday 1 October 2020
- Applications close: Wednesday 4 November 2020
- Shortlisting and interview window: Monday 9 November 2020 to Friday 15 January 2021
- Initial offers from: Thursday 21 January 2021
- Hold deadline: Thursday 28 January 2021
Training Posts and Locations
Cardio-thoracic Surgery/Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery
Medical Oncology/Respiratory Medicine
General Practice/Renal Medicine/Haematology
Geriatric Medicine/General Practice
Please see the relevant job descriptions on the advert for further details of the academic posts.
Further details of the Schools, posts and rotations can be found on the relevant School website.
The vacancies are correct at point of advertisement but may be subject to change. Any alterations to the vacancies published will be notified to candidates that register an interest by starting an application via Oriel.
There are rules regarding eligibility to apply for specialty training in the United Kingdom. If you are submitting an application, you will need to make sure that you meet all the eligibility criteria by the closing date of applications unless an alternative date is specified.
Tip: It is important that you demonstrate the essential criteria in the person specification to ensure your application proceeds through the process. Refer to the person specification when completing your application.
Evidence of Foundation Competence or equivalent
Applicants to CT1/ST1 training programmes are required to provide evidence of having met the UK Foundation Programme competences, or equivalent. Foundation competency can be demonstrated in any of the following ways:
- Applicants that are currently undertaking the UK Foundation Programme are not required to provide any further evidence at the time of application, but will be required to provide a Foundation Programme Certificate of Competence (FPCC) to the employer and the HEE Local Office/Deanery on completion of training and prior to commencement in post
- Applicants who have successfully completed the UK Foundation Programme no earlier than 1 January 2017 are required to upload their FACD 5.2 or FPCC to their application form, at the time of application submission.
- Applicants who are currently undertaking a specialty training programme and are in possession of a National Training Number (NTN) or Deanery Reference Number (DRN) will be considered to have had their Foundation competences assessed on entry to specialty training and therefore do not need to confirm this again. Applicants applying directly from specialty training do not need to provide any further evidence at the time of application. However, where they are appointed from a training programme where patient contact is not the norm, the receiving Training Programme Director should be made aware, in order that additional supervision can be arranged, as necessary.
- If applicants in this category relinquish their NTN or DRN between the time of application and commencement, they will be required to submit an Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence for the period out of training.
- All other applicants need to complete and submit an Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence. The submitted form does not have to be the 2020 Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence; as long as the post that has been assessed as delivering equivalence of Foundation competence has been wholly undertaken in the 3½ years prior to the post to which the applicant is applying, this will be accepted. Click here for a link to the Alternative Certificate of Foundation Competence.
- The Alternative Certificate should also be used for Public Health applicants applying from a medical background
Evidence of Core Competency
Applicants to ST3/ST4 training programmes are required to provide evidence of having attained core competences or equivalent. Core competence can be demonstrated in the following ways:
- Applicants who are currently undertaking a UK Core Training Programme are not required to provide any further evidence at the point of application but, if appointed, will be required to provide a Core Training Certificate or an ARCP outcome 6 prior to commencement.
- Applicants who have previously successfully completed a UK Core Training Programme are required to provide a Core Training Certificate or an ARCP outcome 6 at the time of application submission; similar to foundation competence, some specialties may have a time limit set on when an ARCP outcome remains valid before alternative evidence is required; check the relevant person specification for guidance.
- Applicants currently not undertaking a UK Core Training Programme or who have completed a UK Core Training Programme previously but are unable to provide appropriate evidence are required to demonstrate equivalence. Satisfactory evidence will vary by specialty and recruitment administrators should seek advice from the lead recruiter for the specialty.
Online Application Form
One application form is to be completed and submitted through Oriel per specialty.
To access Oriel to register and apply, please go to https://new.oriel.nhs.uk/Web
Core details can be saved and revisited at any point prior to the submission of an application. Complete instructions on how to register and use the application system are available on the home page of Oriel.
Applications for the Academic Clinical Fellow posts open at 10:00am (UK time) on the 4 October 2020 and can be completed and submitted from this date. The deadline for submission is 16:00pm (UK time) on the 4 November 2020.
Tip: Refer to the shortlisting scoring framework on the NIHR website when completing the application form.
Completing an Application
Sections of the application have specific "word counts" assigned to them. This is a character count and the number of words allowed may vary depending on the length of words used in the answer.
Tip: Use the most relevant information if the word count prevents you from including all the information you would like.
Only one application will be accepted per specialty. If multiple applications are submitted, only the first application submitted will be included in the process.
Note: Alterations cannot be made to an application once it has been submitted.
Tip: Remember to save and check your application and only press the submit button when you have carried out this process. This will ensure you are submitting the correct version of your application.
Submitting an Application
Applications can be submitted at any point until the 16:00pm (UK time) on the 4 November 2020. Late applications will not be accepted.
Tip: Submit your application at least 30 minutes before the closing time of the vacancy to ensure it safely meets the cut off deadline.
Fitness to Practice
Applicants with fitness to practice declarations will need to submit additional documentation clearly defining the declaration, including dates and outcome to Confidential.SW@hee.nhs.uk by the closing date of applications.
Re-application to Specialty
Applicants reapplying for training in a specialty that they have previously resigned or been removed should attach a ’Support for Reapplication to a Specialty Training Programme’ form to their application. This form is available to download from the Oriel Resource Bank.
Applications will not be considered without a fully completed and signed form, which must be submitted at the time of application.
All applications will be checked for evidence of the essential criteria outlined in the person specification. Applications that do not demonstrate the criteria will not continue through the process. Applicants will be notified of this decision via email and text message.
Tip: Candidates are advised to check their junk mail inbox on a regular basis in case any messages regarding your application have been filtered into there.
Where appropriate, Academic Clinical Fellow applications will be subjected to the shortlisting process.
Applications will be scored against a predefined NIHR shortlisting scoring framework by a panel of consultants from clinical and academic backgrounds involved in the recruitment process. The scoring framework has been supplied to candidates by the NIHR and no further information can be provided.
Each application will be reviewed by a minimum of two shortlisters.
Invitation to Interview
Applicants will be notified of an invitation to interview via an email from the Oriel Recruitment Portal.
Interview slots will be available to book through Oriel.
Unless you have opted out of SMS contact, you may also receive updates by text message.
Tip: Book an interview slot early to maximise choice and remember to keep checking your junk/spam inboxes.
Applicants will be provided with a link to additional information regarding the interview schedule and the additional documentation required when invited to attend the interviews.
You will need to provide details, including up to date email addresses, of three referees who have supervised your training within the past three years. One of these referees should be an academic referee who is able to advise as to your academic strengths and weaknesses.
If you are applying to more than one specialty, you may opt to nominate different referees for each specialty. If you have recently had a career break and cannot nominate referees from the past three years, then your referees must include your two most recent supervisors.
It is important that you confirm with your referees the email address that they would like you to provide on your application form. Referees will be contacted by email with details of their referee accounts, so it is important that the contact details provided are correct.
References will only be requested once applicants have accepted a training offer.
Tip: Contact your referees at the earliest opportunity to check that they will be happy to support your application, and they will be available to do so within the application timeframe.
The interview panel’s main aim is to find out whether you meet the requirements of the person specification for the post for which you are applying, and to make sure that only the best candidates are selected in this highly competitive process.
The interviews date will be confirmed closer to the time, unless published on the main advert.
The process for each candidate may take up to 2 hours.
The invitation to interview will explain what will be required from you at the interview.
Panel members will complete a score sheet for each candidate and the aggregate score given by all the panel members will be the final score of the interview. From the final score candidates will be ranked.
ACF applicants without a NTN/DRN (National Training Number/Deanery Reference Number) in the applied specialty, deemed appointable at the ACF interview, will be required to reach the threshold of ‘appointability’ at a national clinical assessment/interview.
Tip: It is more than likely the interview venue will not provide you with any food or refreshments other than water during your time with us. Therefore, if you are likely to get hungry please ensure you bring something with you that can stave off any hunger pangs.
For recruitment to specialty training in 2021 the offers process will be centralised and candidates will receive information regarding their offers for all specialties via “Oriel”.
Initial ACF offers for ACF posts will be made from the 21 January 2021. Applicants will be able to hold offers until the 28 January 2021.
Tip: Once again it is worthwhile keeping an eye on Junk/Spam inboxes as the emails can end up in here.
Candidates can request feedback following completion of longlisting if not progressed onto shortlisting or interview, after shortlisting if not invited to interview or after interview.
A second round will only take place if there are vacancies remaining following Round 1.
Question not answered?
If after reading this guide your question is not answered, please contact us.
- Candidate Support Line: 01454 252610
- Email Support: SEVRecruitment.SW@hee.nhs.uk