Academic Foundation Programme

Academic Foundation Programme

The Northern Foundation School currently has 21 2-Year Integrated Academic Foundation Programmes (AFP):

  • 12 based at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which includes 3 specialised academic posts, 1 in Medical Education, 1 in General Practice and 1 in Transplantation Sciences.
  • 3 based at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
  • 3 based at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • 2 based at North Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 
  • 1 based at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Details of all programmes can be found on Oriel . Individual placement descriptions can be found below:

F1 Placement Description
F2 Placement Description


The AFP Lead for the Northern Foundation School is Dr Gillian Vance who can be contacted via email or by telephone (via the Clinical Academic Office) on 0191 2228851.

Key Dates for 2021 Academic Foundation Recruitment
  • Academic vacancies are available to view on the Oriel recruitment system on 10th  August 2020.
  • Registration opens on Oriel on 12th October 2020
  • Applications open on Oriel from 19th October and close at 12 noon (BST) on 4th November 2020.
  • Candidates will be notified week commencing 23rd November whether they have been shortlisted.
  • Interview dates are Tuesday 8th and 9th December 2020.
  • Offers will be made on 13th January 2021 via the Oriel recruitment system. Candidates must accept or decline the offer on Oriel within 48 hours.
  • From 20th January 2021 cascading of any remaining AFP posts offered.

Further information on our local shortlisting and interview process

Applications for an academic foundation post at the Northern Foundation School will be assessed against the national person specification and the five white space questions that will be on the application form on Oriel. CVs will not be accpeted as part of this process.

Applicants who are invited to interview will be assessed and scored on the day. Interview slots are pre-booked via Oriel. The interview is made up of two stations, the Academic Panel and the Clinical Panel and each station will last for 15 minutes. Panels score each applicant and the scores are aggregated. The applicant has to meet the clinical standards as set out in the person specification and  weighting is given to the academic score and applicants are ranked on overall score. 

There are no alternative interview dates.

Following the interview, applicants will be awarded a final score, this  score will be used in conjunction with an applicant’s preferences to determine allocation.

Please refer to the national policy on claiming expenses to attend academic interviews which can be viewed here


The programme is run jointly by Newcastle University and the Northern Foundation School and is a fully integrated two year research-based Academic Foundation Programme. Trainees on the AFP have one protected four month academic rotation in F1 and the same in F2. Whilst working as an AFP doctor, trainees are employed for the full two years by the same Trust.

Academic programmes are trainee-centred. With guidance from the AFP Programme Director, trainees are encouraged to seek a supervisor to join or develop a project in the subject area of their interest. Projects can be predominately in clinical based research with patient contact, more translational-based research using patient samples and investigating them in a laboratory environment or basic science research based predominately in a laboratory. Clinical exposure and experiences are encouraged during the academic period.

Trainees are mentored by a Clinical Academic who acts as the Academic Supervisor throughout the two year programme.

As an honorary member of University staff during the programme, trainees have the opportunity to attend postgraduate lectures from any of the taught courses within the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Most trainees are able to produce at least one abstract from their academic period to present at a national or international meeting. Many have co-authored manuscripts which have been published, and many are successful in obtaining an Academic Clinical Fellow post, within the region or nationally, on completion of the AFP programme.

Informal enquiries to the AFP Director are encouraged before applying for a post, and help and advice can be given in finding and contacting a supervisor in the desired area of interest. Informal visits can be arranged and are encouraged.

Examples of recent publications by our AFP trainees:

Please visit the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) website to find out how to apply and to access all national documentation relating to AFP. We would especially recommend that you read the UKFPO FP/AFP Applicant Guide.

Options after Academic Foundation Training

Our Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACFs) provide an exciting opportunity for individuals interested in an academic career to combine clinical and academic training. Further information can be found here. 

Academic Clinical Lectureship (ACL) are availble to trainees that are currently engaged in specialist training and have a PhD or equivalent and further information can be found here.

Further Information

Our AFP Lead is Dr Gillian Vance who can be emailed here or you can contact the Foundation School Co-ordinator, Kerry Ferguson, here if you have any queries about our academic foundation programme.