Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track (ECAT)

FAQs

If you have a question, check here first

How do I get started in research?

Getting early experience in research, eg during an intercalated BSc or other project, is invaluable.  Engaging with a variety of small projects in summer vacations and as a junior doctor helps you to develop your ideas about what sort of researcher you want to be.  You might consider studying for a Masters degree, particularly if it is relevant to training in your specialty and gives you an opportunity to undertake research.

 

What’s the difference between an ECAT clinical lectureship and an ECAT PhD fellowship?

The clinical lectureship offers you a contract of employment until CCT + 6 months which includes a three-year PhD funded by the Wellcome Trust and a one-year introductory period.  You must have an NTN to apply.  If you are not currently a trainee in SE Scotland, your training number can be transferred by the Deanery.  Following your PhD, you will return to clinical duties (80%) and continue to have 20% protected research time in order to further develop your research and work towards an intermediate fellowship application.

The PhD fellowship offers you a 39-month contract of employment which includes a three-year PhD funded by the Wellcome Trust and a three-month full-time introductory period.  You do not need an NTN to apply.  Following your PhD, you will return to full-time clinical duties in your original Deanery.

 

Do I need to have a specific project in mind?

No.  If successful, you will devise your own project and put together your own supervisory team with the support of the ECAT directors. This is one of the strengths of the programme.

 

At what stage of my medical training should I apply to ECAT?

Typically, you will be in the early years of specialty training at the time of application, but consideration will be given to those at more advanced stages of training (eg ST4 or early years of SpR training), who are committed to an academic career.

 

I don’t yet have a National Training Number (NTN) but I have applied for one – can I apply to ECAT?

Yes.  If you have applied for an NTN and will hear the outcome before the start of the clinical lectureship (August), you can still apply and any offer will be subject to the award of a training number.

 

I have a National Training Number (NTN) but it’s not in Scotland – can I apply to ECAT?

Yes.  We work closely with the Postgraduate Dean in SE Scotland and we will do our best to accommodate your training number if you are successful in being offered a clinical lectureship.  If we are unable to transfer your training number but would still like to offer you a post, we would offer you a PhD Fellowship.

 

I don’t live in Edinburgh/Scotland – can I apply to ECAT?

Yes.  Applications are invited from those all across the UK.

 

What will my start date be?

Clinical lectureships, including veterinary clinical lectureships, start in August.  PhD fellowships, including CRUK fellowships, start in November.  It is not possible to defer your start date.

 

What is a SCREDS clinical lectureship?

SCREDS clinical lectureships are postdoctoral positions offered by the University in collaboration with the Deanery.  Further information is available here.

 

Can I work less than full-time (LTFT)?

Yes.

 

Will I do any clinical work/on calls during my three-year PhD?

Possibly - it's up to you.  You can decide whether or not you want to do the occasional shift, but the emphasis during this period really should be on your research, so we would discourage you from taking on too much clinical work.

 

I already have a PhD - am I eligible?

No, trainees who have already completed a full-time period of research leading to a doctoral degree are not eligible to apply to the ECAT programme.  However, you might be eligible to apply for a SCREDS clinical lectureship.  Further information is available here.

 

I am a GP – am I eligible?

Yes - you can apply now to the ECAT-I programme.

 

I am a nurse – am I eligible?

Yes - you can apply now to the ECAT-I programme.

 

I am a dentist - am I eligible?

Yes - you can apply now to the ECAT-I programme.