How do I apply for an ACF or ACL post?

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

How do I best structure my research blocks?

As soon as they have been appointed, ACFs and CLs (medical) should make contact with the Clinical Lead/Training Programme Director and Academic Training Lead for their specialty to discuss and agree how the research block will be organised. For ACFs, research blocks are usually organised in 3 month or 3+3 month back to back concurrent periods, but this will depend on the specialty. For CLs, the structure of research blocks can be variable but many are organised in 6-month or one-year blocks. Each specialty/division will have a slightly different model and approach, depending upon local circumstances, and the research time must be planned in full agreement between Clinical and Academic Leads. Planning for this should start as soon as the ACF/CL appointment has been confirmed.

How do I open an email account, receive an ID and gain library access?

If you are a new ACF or CL (medical), to open an email account, receive an ID card and access the library you need to have your contract (honorary or substantive) in place. Please contact the following departments directly to arrange the services you require:

What is study leave and how do I apply for it?

Study leave funding allows clinical academic medical trainees to enhance their clinical education and training in areas not easily acquired in the clinical setting or locally  - and is used to support the development of clinical knowledge and understanding. This funding is available to clinical academic trainees (ACFs and CLs) over and above the bursaries and funding provided specifically to support academic training, in exactly the same way as for non-academic clinical trainees. Please note: trainees in OOPRs and OOPEs are not entitled to study leave funding. Trainees in an OOPT are entitled to full study leave funding.

ACFs and CLs must be in a recognised training post to be eligible for study leave. Applications are managed by the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Medical Education Centre. Further details can be found on the Trust Intranet, or by contacting the relevant Postgraduate Education Centre Team by email, see below:

Once study leave applications have been approved, trainees will be reimbursed for the study leave costs via payroll.

  • ACFs  will be reimbursed directly via the Trust payroll
  • CLs on Imperial College London contracts will need to apply for study leave via the Trust's process and then they will need to follow the College process for expenses reimbursement (My Expenses), i.e. there are 2 steps to the claim process
  • CLs will need to upload a screenshot/copy of the confirmation in My Expenses showing their application was approved at Trust level. When submitting the claim in My Expenses, CLs should use activity code H34001 (Health Education England) plus the relevant College departmental cost centre
  • Initially, CL study leave costs will be charged to a College departmental cost centre and approved by a departmental approver. The costs will later be recharged back to HEE by the Central Faculty of Medicine Finance Team.

For more details on study leave, please go to HEE PGME support portal here 

Who do I contact about my Imperial College and Healthcare NHS Trust contracts?

For medical trainees undertaking the Integrated Clinical Academic Training Pathway, the following applies: ACFs will have a contract with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and an honorary contract with Imperial College London, 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 at the organisation where they do not have a substantive contract. For queries about contracts please contact the following:

  • Imperial College Healthcare Trust

Human Resources Department, Medical Personnel (imperial.honorarycontracts_doctors@nhs.net)

+44 (0)20 3311 5326

  • Imperial College London

Human Resources Department (hrstaffhub@imperial.ac.uk)


Will I be on-call during my academic block?

For medical trainees undertaking the Integrated Clinical Academic Training Pathway, academic blocks will not usually include on-call commitments, so trainees will only be paid at the basic salary rate for the duration of their academic time. This may, however, vary by clinical specialty and trainees should talk to their Clinical Training Programme Director or department training lead. ACFs/CLs may wish to supplement their salaries during academic training by arranging to undertake ad hoc shifts that fit easily around their academic blocks. This should not detract from their academic work and should be limited.

How do I make an Out of Programme request (OOP)?

For medical trainees undertaking the Integrated Clinical Academic Training Pathway, formal requests to go 'Out of Programme' must be made to Health Education England (HEE) and the NIHR, via the Operations Department of Health Education South London and overseen by the NIHR. Details and advice on OOP are available on the London Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education website.

  • Trainees are advised to discuss their OOP requests with their supervisors and clinical academic leads before submitting a formal application
  • Trainees need to consider and submit OOP requests to HEE well in advance of requiring time out
  • Please note that when an OOP request is granted by HEE, this does not mean that the NIHR will automatically grant trainees the ability to return to their academic post
  • OOP can be granted for up to four years to academic trainees
  • OOP requests are subject to the approval of the Postgraduate Dean and NIHR and will, therefore, be handled centrally by HEE and not the Imperial AHSC CATO office.

I am a CRTF can I apply for my funding and bursary allocation if I am undertaking my PhD?

Only medical trainees undertaking the Integrated clinical academic training pathway are eligible to apply for the NIHR bursary, BRC funding and the Research training award. 

If trainees are Out of Programme, studying a PhD, and were formerly an ACF at Imperial College London, they are not permitted to make a funding application.

How do I apply for funding for the MSc in Genomic Medicine?

In recognition of the major impact that Genomics is expected to have on healthcare research and delivery in the future, Imperial supports the Health Education England (HEE) drive to encourage healthcare professionals (all professions) to study Genomics. The Master’s in Genomic Medicine has been developed to provide a multidisciplinary and multiprofessional course in genomics that can be applied to clinical practice and medical research. The Master’s will enhance knowledge and skills in this rapidly evolving field.

Funding for the MSc in Genomics is currently available through HEE. For more information and how to apply please visit the HEE webpages. Imperial is one of many providers offering the MSc programmes in Genomics. Visit the Imperial College MSc Genomics web pages for more information or read the Genomics Guidance Sheet.

I’ve been offered a CL post at ICL starting in a month...

I’ve been offered a medical CL post at Imperial, starting in a few months’ time.  Should I contact the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust HR team?  

Yes, contact them now! The more advance notice you can give to HR, the more time they will have to get contracts and other arrangements in place to ensure your first day goes smoothly. Your primary contract will be with ICL (the university) but you need an honorary contract with the Trust for day 1 of your CL post.

You should contact the Medical Personnel Team ( imperial.medicalhradmin@nhs.net )

I am a CL at ICL about to go on maternity leave...

I am currently a medical CL on an Imperial College London substantive contract with an honorary contract at ICHT (‘License to attend’) and will soon be going on maternity leave – how does this impact on my NHS terms and conditions?

This should not make a difference to your maternity pay entitlements as Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust considers ICL employment as continuous service for maternity leave. Also, maternity pay payments should be calculated based on total salary (including any banding payments you may currently be receiving).

 Since everyone’s circumstances will be slightly different, specific questions about maternity/paternity leave should be directed to the Medical Personnel Team: (imperial.medicalhradmin@nhs.net)


I have been offered an ACF post at ICL, who do I contact?

I’ve been offered a surgical ACF post at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (St Mary’s initially) and Imperial College London.  Who should I contact about starting arrangements?

You should contact the Training Programme Director for the specialty, the HR Department/Team of the College department and the Trust HR Team. Your Academic Programme Lead should have been in touch with you already. Do this now so everything can be sorted before you start.