Improving Support for Clinical Academics

The BHF has strengthened its commitment to supporting the career development of research-active clinicians in the cardiovascular sciences by implementing new support guidelines for institutions, funders and trainees.

The BHF recognises the essential work performed by clinical academics at the interface of medicine and research, and their position to combine disciplines in order to advance discovery. However, we also recognise the unique challenges that are faced by clinical researchers as they balance their research, postgraduate training and clinical duties with their home lives. They therefore often require careful and sustained career support.

In order to address these challenges, the BHF has subscribed to a programme of Principles and Obligations that describes what is expected of institutions, funders and clinical trainees in receipt of nationally competitive clinical research funding. These guidelines were developed in consultation and partnership with key organisations across the academic clinical research landscape.

The BHF wants to ensure that academic training is recognised and integrated with clinical practise and that clinical academics feel valued for the important work they undertake. As a result, the guidelines place emphasis on:

  • Ensuring the accrued employment rights of clinical academic trainees are retained and transferrable in the event of the fellow relocating. These include (as a minimum) all family and care-related leave/pay and sick leave/pay.
  • Trainees having access to an appropriate programme of research and management skills training.
  • Ensuring institutions offer high quality mentorship, leadership and support to allow the trainee to pursue their next career steps. This also includes the composition of a diverse mentoring pool by the institution to reflect a diverse workforce.

Read the Clinical Trainees Principles and Obligations in full.