Academic Clinical Lecturers

Imperial is proud to have one of the largest cohorts of National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) trainees in the UK. We currently have approximately 35 NIHR and locally funded Academic Clinical Lecturers in posts across Imperial and Imperial Partners Academic Health Sciences System, who have been successfully running NIHR schemes since their inception in 2006.

Please see below for information on how to apply, eligibility criteria, research, registration, contracts, bursaries and funding.

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Clinical Lecturer (CL) Posts at Imperial College London: 2019/ 2020


There are some important differences to CL posts for the coming year.  As in previous years, all are aimed at providing post-doctoral research training, and ideally to facilitate an application for intermediate research fellowship or clinician scientist application, and progressing a clinical academic career.

NIHR has awarded 5 CL posts to Imperial College London for 2019, and others may be available via individual departments. All applications to these posts should be made through the Oriel online recruitment portal.  HEE manages recruitment to these posts on our behalf and enquiries about the application process should be made directly to HEE

There are 4 CL posts available in a range of clinical specialties which will recruited to in the usual way (so called "formula posts"). These are specific to individual clinical specialties, will be advertised in Oriel under the appropriate specialty, and would allow the candidate to develop a research interest in any area at Imperial College London within that specialty.

In addition we have 1 CL post available in cross-disciplinary research themes to which candidates from a restricted selection of specialties may apply.   These “themed posts” will be advertised separately, and the application form itself may appear on a different specialty page within Oriel from the specialty you are applying for. These CL posts aim to achieve the same outcome, and are at post-doctoral level, however the proposed research will be restricted to that of the research "theme". Candidates would remain of course as a clinical trainee within their host specialty. One post is in an “acute care” theme aimed at either a GP or anaesthetic trainee, and the second in a “platform science (-omics)” theme and potentially available to an SpR in Paediatrics, O+G or histopathology.

If therefore you win a CL post in a themed post, the research you explore in your CL years MUST be in this broad area at Imperial College London, but does not necessarily have to be that suggested in our outline proposal, although this will be the preferred route. All of our research themes were identified as being major strengths within Imperial College, likely to produce high quality research, and hopefully an outstanding clinical academic future.

Interviews for formula and themed CL posts will be separate: interviews for formula CL posts will be specialty specific, interviewing for all CL posts available in one specialty across London (e.g., Cardiology or General Surgery). Interviews for themed CL posts will be undertaken by research theme, and the best candidates appointed regardless of clinical specialty.

For all CL posts, clinical training will be provided in the NW London rotations, amongst the highest rated programmes in the UK, but may not always be in Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust depending on the needs of all trainees within a programme. It is likely (but not yet guaranteed) that these CL posts will become additional to current training programmes which should allow more flexibility of location of clinical training (within ICHT sites if appropriate)

For further details about both types of CL posts available please click the relevant section below.


CL Posts in "Research Themes" 2019/2020

Theme: Acute care: (Research focuses on any aspect of acute care):  available in  Anaesthetics

Anaesthetics & Pain Medicine at Imperial is one of the leading academic anaesthetic departments in Europe. We lead two major strategic initiatives: (1) London Pain Consortium (Wellcome Trust Strategic Award); (2) Centre for Perioperative and Critical Care Research, a cross departmental partnership supported by the NIHR-Imperial BRC. Notable achievements include novel receptor-specific domain antibodies to block inflammatory signalling to prevent acute lung injury; Understanding the effect of anaesthetics on organ function. Our group were the first to discover the neuroprotective effects of xenon. Pre-clinical and early clinical development of the Angiotensin II type 2 receptor antagonist EMA401 as a “first in class” analgesic for neuropathic pain, now being developed by Novartis.

Research opportunities in anaesthetics include: translational research in sepsis/acute lung injury, Developing precision medicine tools in sepsis, testing novel rapid microbiological diagnostics in conjunction with the London NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative; Detailed phenotyping studies (in conjunction with the NIHR-MRC and clinical phenome centres at Imperial); Big Data analysis as part of the NIHR-Heath Informatics Collaborative; Acute pain and peri-operative and critical care.

Anaesthetic training in this post is fully supported by the Imperial School clinical training programme director, and all opportunities exist to complete clinical training in NW London 

Enquiries to

Prof Anthony Gordon, ICU, Charing Cross Hospital. Tel: 020 3313 0657 Email:

Prof Masao Takata, Prof of Molecular Physiology in Critical Care, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. Email:

Prof Andrew Rice,  Professor of Pain Research, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. Email:  Tel: 020 3315 8816

Prof Daqing Ma,  Professor of Anaesthesia, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. Tel: 020 3315 8495 Email: 

These programmes are fully integrated with clinical training pathways at Imperial Trust. This enables CLs to complete the necessary clinical competencies. All are provided with protected research time. Clinical training is structured and integrated in consultation with Training Programme Directors, in all these specialties. Imperial and its linked DGHs provides all necessary clinical training.






Recruitment of all CL opportunities, on the Integrated Academic Training programme, is conducted via Health Education England regions and managed through Oriel, the national NHS online recruitment system.  For Imperial College London, recruitment to CL posts is coordinated by the London Recruitment team, based in the Operations Department of Health Education South London and overseen by NIHR. Details are available on the NIHR website  and the London LETBs Recruitment website .

Recruitment windows usually open in April for posts starting in the following year. CL opportunities at Imperial College London are available in different specialties each year.

CL posts are for a maximum of four years. The end date will be determined either by the end of the four-year period or by the date of a receipt of medical trainee’s Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). The posts are designed to include 50% time carrying out academic research combined with 50% time in clinical training. The CL awards use clinical training opportunities on current GMC approved training programmes. At Imperial College, these opportunities are available in most GMC defined medical specialties. Once in the programme, London academic trainees are administratively overseen by the Integrated Academic Training Team (IAT) in Health Education South London. The IAT team has good links with (and regularly liaises with) members of the Imperial College AHSC CATO team on matters relating to the administration of NIHR clinical academic training programmes. Day-to-day management is by clinical and academic supervisors and training programme directors at Imperial College.


This programme is aimed at medical trainees who possess a higher degree (PhD/MPhil) and have a commitment to an academic career.  The ultimate aim is to prepare trainees in obtaining a Clinical Scientist Fellowship or a Senior Clinical Lectureship post. Imperial College usually has around five CL opportunities available each year in a range of clinical specialties.  


CLs will have a contract with Imperial College London and an honorary contract with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Honorary contracts normally run concurrently with the substantive contract and are issued to allow trainees to work in the organisation where they do not have a substantive contract.

Contracts will be issued by the relevant HR Department and coordinated at departmental level by Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare Trust. There are a number of requirements, checks and different forms to fill out in order to finalise the contracts and it can take some time to complete, so trainees are advised to make contact early and establish who their departmental administrators are to assist them with these tasks. This is particularly important for trainees who are new to Imperial College or the Trust who will have to complete a more comprehensive process than those who have been employed by Imperial College before.

Clinical Academic trainees will also be required to complete other routine HR new starter and induction formalities, such as collection of ID cards, completion of induction training activities, Information Governance Training and other statutory and mandatory training sessions. 




Funding and bursaries

There are currently two sources of funding available to Imperial NIHR  Clinical Lecturers to support their research. Each fund has a distinct purpose, eligibility criteria and application process - both are coordinated through the CATO. Academic trainees are advised to consider their academic training, research consumables and skills development needs early on in their programmes in order to achieve maximum benefit from the funding available. See funding section for further information.

The three funding sources for CLs are listed below: 

  • National Institute of Health Research Trainee Coordinating Centre Bursary (NIHR TCC)
  • Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Funding
  • CLs are urged to apply for a Starter Grant from the Academy of Medical Sciences (AOMS).  This grant offers up to £30,00 over 1-2 years for research consumables.   CL’s applying for a CATO managed BRC research consumables bursary will be asked if they have applied for an AOMS grant as part of the BRC bursary application process.


CATO trainee forums and meetings

During the course of each year, the CATO team organises a number of educational events and other activities which clinical academic trainees are strongly encouraged to attend. These are provided to disseminate information, present trainees with opportunities to ask questions, share information and encourage networking, social interaction and support.

Courses and development

During the course of their clinical academic training CLs are required to attend a range of generic courses to progress their academic and research skills, teaching skills and personal and professional development. These could be courses or workshops delivered internally by Imperial College London (The Graduate School and the Education Development Unit), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, or by external providers and other organisations. In many cases, trainees could apply for NIHR/CATO funding to cover the costs of attending these courses. Further details about potential areas of learning can be found in the AHSC CATO guide (PDF).

Expectations of CLs

In addition to developing generic and research skills, trainees at Imperial undertaking CL posts will be expected to have applied for an intermediate fellowship or clinician scientist award within 2 years of starting their CL post.  This requirement will be monitored.


Support and resources

There are a number of individuals who can help and support doctors during their clinical academic training at Imperial, including the CATO team.

Other clinical academic trainees

Through the events organised by CATO and other occasions arranged by each specialty/division trainees will have an opportunity to meet and network with other trainees following academic programmes at Imperial. Trainees are encouraged to take full advantage of these opportunities to meet and stay in touch with others who are in similar situations to themselves, to share experiences and offer and benefit from some peer support.

Departmental administrators

Each of the schools, institutes and departments at Imperial College has administrative divisional/specialty teams who will be able to help academic trainees during their time at Imperial College. To find an up to date list of contacts, visit the Imperial College Faculty of Medicine webpages and search for the administration teams in the Departments section of the Faculty of Medicine.

CATO Guide

The  AHSC CATO Guide (PDF)‌ is an extensive resource of information about the programme at Imperial, and a useful and important ‘how to guide’ for trainees undertaking the IAT pathway. If you have any further questions please email the CATO team,