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Integrated Academic Training (IAT)

About the IAT programme


 

The King's College London NIHR-funded Integrated Academic Training programme allows medical and dental trainees to undertake academic and clinical training concurrently. Trainees join the scheme at two stages during their specialty training: 

Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) 

ACFs are trainees in the early stages of their specialty training with outstanding potential for a career in academic medicine or dentistry. Fellowships last for a maximum of three years (four years for GPs). ACFs spend 75% of this time in specialty clinical training and 25% of the fellowship undertaking research and/or education training.

Academic Clinical Lecturers (CL)

CLs are advanced in their specialty training, have obtained a doctoral research degree and have outstanding potential for continuing a career in academic medicine or dentistry. Lectureships last a maximum of four years and are split equally between specialty clinical training and research/education training. At the end of the lectureship, CLs will have completed their specialty training.


Description and management of the IAT Programme

The KCL Integrated Academic Training (IAT) programme sits within the King's Health Partners (KHP), Education Academy and links to training at undergraduate, foundation and postgraduate speciality levels as well as the extensive research infrastructure linked to the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine (FoLSM) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). Both FoLSM and the IoPPN, who host ACFs and CLs, hold Athena SWAN Silver awards.

ACFs and CLs at King's undertake their training within KHP, one of only six Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) in England designated by the Department of Health. This environment brings together academics and clinicians who are committed to ensuring faster translation and adoption of research innovation into clinical practice. It also provides excellent clinical and research training opportunities for ACFs and CLs.

The IAT programme at King's has trainees in a wide spread of specialties, including Asthma, Allergy & Respiratory Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease & Pharmacology, Clinical Genetics, Clinical Neurophysiology, Clinical Pharmacology, Clinical Oncology, Dentistry, Dermatology, Diabetes, General Practice, Haemato-oncology , HIV/GUM, Infectious Disease and Microbiology, Medical Oncology, Mental Health, Neurology, Ophthalmology, Palliative Care, Pediatrics, Public Health, Radiology,  Rehabilitation Medicine , Renal Medicine, Rheumatology, Urology, Vascular Surgery, Women's Health.

Trainees are contacted after appointment and before taking up a post, with details of our programme, PGCert course registration and speciality contact information. Academic leads discuss research projects and potential supervisors. Regular IAT induction events are held and new trainees are provided with a handbook to orient them to KCL, the IAT programme and academic training requirements. Separate academic induction events for ACFs and CLs are arranged, allowing these sessions to focus on our trainees’ specific needs.


Clinical and academic training environment for ACFs and CLs

Trainees benefit from a rich academic training as well as high quality clinical training with access to teaching in different modalities including simulation across all sites.

Research quality and infrastructure:
Our comprehensive research infrastructure facilitates training in all NIHR priority theme areas. A distinctive strength is our multi-disciplinarity, bringing social sciences, engineering and other disciplines to bear on health research challenges. Examples of this approach include a Research Councils UK programme in conflict and health (combining social science and health systems research).

The training of integrated academic trainees and other clinical academics benefit enormously from the quality of research and training delivered by the Academic Health Sciences Centre (KHP), which is made up of King's College London (KCL) and three NHS Foundation Trusts: Guy’s and St Thomas’ (GSTT), King's College Hospital (KCH) and South London and Maudsley (SLaM), who all have excellent research and training track records.

  • In the UK’s national research assessment, REF 2014, KCL was ranked third for “clinical medicine” and second for “psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience” (power).

  • KCL received new research awards relevant to health of £180m in 2017/18.

  • KCL hosts 70 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences, seven Fellows of the Royal Society, 30 NIHR Senior Investigators and three NIHR Professors.

  • Citation data provides further evidence of excellence in health research. The RAND analysis of highly-cited publications in biomedical and health research (2004-2013) ranked King’s third among universities in England in 2013 (fifth over the entire period);

  • KCL is also first worldwide for highly-cited papers in psychiatry/psychology (SciVal 2014). The IoPPN produced more highly cited publications in psychiatry and mental health (Scopus, 2016) than any other university in the world.

  • We host the first and largest BHF Centre of Excellence. Activity in the Centre includes research into heart muscle diseases and heart failure, rare genetic diseases and premature heart aging, as well as research into vascular disease and hypertension.

  • The IoPPN is a world leader in psychiatry and neuroscience research. In the 2014 REF, the impact of the research was judged to be 100% world leading or internationally excellent. The IoPPN hosts an MRC Dementia Research Institute Centre and in 2015 opened the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute. In 2016 we were awarded the MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders bringing together discovery biologists with clinical scientists in autism, psychosis and epilepsy and an MRC Experimental Medicine Translational Grant to develop pain medications reflecting a partnership between pain neurobiology and human experimental imaging.

Supervisory arrangements

  • IATs have a synergistic network of clinical and academic supervisors. As with clinical trainees, IATs have clinical and educational supervisors and clinical and academic progress is assessed via ARCP.

  • Each trainee has a named Academic Lead (approved by the executive Deans of FoLSM and IoPPN). Academic Leads work closely with clinical Training Programme Directors to facilitate planning of rotational posts and academic blocks to ensure clinical speciality training needs are met and protected research time is available. They also undertake allocation of academic supervisors. Academic supervisors are faculty members who have undertaken equality and diversity and unconscious bias training.

Further support for clinical academics

  • Trainees access dedicated personal and professional development sessions offered within our PGCert. To enhance the personal support available, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics mentorship programme was established across our BRCs.

  • All Faculty have experienced supervisors and also provide pastoral support. 

  • The size of our programme facilitates peer to peer interaction and collaboration across speciality groups. Regular IAT interdisciplinary teaching and competitive events (Poster and Paper competitions) facilitate discussion, collaboration and an understanding of the scope of research available.

  • The close relationship of academic trainees to both the Faculties and Foundation programme fosters a KHP academic identity and pathway, as well as providing opportunities for bench and bedside teachingand mentoring of junior staff.

Our track record for developing ACFs and CLs

Since 2007 KCL has hosted over 350 IATs. KCL academic trainees have an excellent track record of both clinical and academic progression. 

  • To date, 163 ACFs and 75 CLs have completed the KCL programme.

  • Of the completed ACFs 79 (48%) have continued to PhD. Of those ACFs who have now completed PhDs 15 (53%) have gone onto CL posts at KCL and others have been appointed to CL posts in other Universities.

  • For our completed CLs, 39 (52%) continue to be research active faculty members at KCL, nationally and internationally.

  • Our trainees have obtained intermediate fellowships (from funders including NIHR, Wellcome and MRC) and have been appointed to key national roles (including clinical lead for NHS Genomics England).

  • 12 of the 21 ACFs who completed training as at April 2018 have already started competitively funded PhD fellowships; two are preparing fellowship submissions and three have moved into further NIHR funded posts at another Institution. This means that over 80% of our ACF graduates from the last year are continuing to be research active.

  • The outputs from our CLs are also impressive with 13 (76 %) continuing in research active or educational posts. Of these trainees 54% remain at KCL as Faculty members. Current KCL academic leads include CL alumni (Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Vascular Surgery, Palliative Care).

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