New report identifies opportunities for promoting clinical academic research careers

13 August 2018

A new report published by the Council of Deans of Health identifies significant barriers as well as opportunities for developing more nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working in both clinical practice and academic research. Although these roles make a vital contribution to evidence-based care, the number of clinical academics in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions is less than 0.1% of the workforce. By contrast, clinical academics make up around 4.6% of the medical consultant workforce of the UK. The report points to a lack of clear career entry points for early career researchers, the lack of a clear model of career progression and insufficient post-doctoral posts as being among the main barriers to increasing the number of clinical academics across the UK.

The report goes on to call for the creation of robust frameworks for clinical academic research career pathways in all four nations, support for clinical academics through mentoring schemes, strong programmes for continuing professional development and dedicated PhD and post-doctoral training programmes.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council of Deans of Health, said:

“To meet the needs of future patients, the generation of new knowledge and its application in practice must be sustained and this will require the development of the clinical academic workforce. Whilst we have seen some positive developments in the growth of pathways and support for clinical academics, these vary considerably between the four nations and between health disciplines. Barriers to career progression, including the lack of post-doctoral posts and administrative hurdles to creating joint appointments, need to be addressed, but as the report identifies there are a number of key steps that can be taken to support the growth of this workforce. Ultimately we must ensure that the contribution of clinical academics to the quality of health and social care is recognised and promoted”.


Notes to editors:

  1. Report: Nursing, midwifery and allied health clinical academic research careers in the UK
  2. For more information on this press release, please contact Jon Eames, 07496 693 806

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