Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track (ECAT)

ECAT veterinary clinical lectureships

Find out more about our ECAT veterinary clinical lectureships

Background information

The University of Edinburgh has a unified College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and a ‘one medicine’ philosophy that is blind to the traditional boundaries between disciplines.  When the ECAT programme was renewed as one of four ongoing clinical PhD portfolio programmes awarded by the Wellcome Trust in 2013, it was decided to offer ECAT posts to vets as well as medics.  Following this very successful launch, this approach has continued with the renewal of the doctoral training programme in 2016.  Vets appointed to the scheme will benefit from, and contribute their different perspectives to, the peer-to-peer support of more than 50 trainees currently on programme, the experienced mentorship of the programme directors, and clinical support from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

What are ECAT veterinary clinical lectureships?

An outline of the ECAT-V scheme is shown in figure 1. Veterinary clinical lectureship posts are designed to be flexible to the requirements of individual trainees, and combine parallel specialist clinical training with the opportunity to undertake a fully-funded PhD and postdoctoral research in a supportive and scientifically stimulating environment.

Diagram showing the course of an ECAT veterinary clinical lectureship
Figure 1: ECAT veterinary clinical lectureships

Successful candidates will be appointed as clinical lecturers within the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. During the first 12 months their time will be divided between 30% clinical training (in their chosen discipline within the veterinary school) and 70% research time (to identify ideal PhD supervisors and develop a tailor-made PhD project). Successful candidates are encouraged to undertake 3 mini-projects with the aim of developing a tailor-made PhD project in one of the labs that have hosted a project. Years 2-4 will be dedicated to 100% research towards a PhD in one of the University’s major research centres.

A great strength of the ECAT-V programme is its flexibility based on career entry point. For ECAT-V lecturers who have not undertaken a clinical training residency, clinical lecturers will enter a 3 year residency training programme in their preferred clinical discipline following completion of their PhD. There is strong encouragement to develop ongoing post-doctoral research alongside the clinical training. This post-doctoral period will be supported with dedicated research time to maintain momentum.

For ECAT-V lecturers who have already completed a residency before embarking on their lectureship, the 2-3 year post PhD period will be split between specialist clinical duties and postdoctoral research. Regardless of entry point, successful candidates will have an unrivalled opportunity to develop their career as a clinician scientist and be placed in an excellent situation to apply for clinical research career development fellowships and then senior clinical fellowships, and ultimately substantive University-funded academic posts.

Further information about veterinary clinical training at R(D)SVS can be found here in Veterinary Record.