Academic dentistry bridges research, clinical practice and teaching. Dental clinical academics work in both universities and in the NHS. In universities they undertake research and teach undergraduate or postgraduate students. In the NHS they ensure their knowledge is always based in current clinical practice.
Early career clinicians who are applying to an academic post with a PhD and a substantial research portfolio may choose to follow a ‘Teaching and Research’ pathway with clinical training and further research development.
A ‘Teaching and Scholarship’ pathway allows the development of clinical training alongside teaching-focused research. Both the ‘Teaching and Research’ and ‘Teaching and Scholarship’ posts may lead to a Senior Lecturer or Senior Clinical Teacher/Honorary Consultant appointment.
Senior Lecturer or Senior Clinical Teachers, without an Honorary Consultant role, are also quite common and are often held by individuals whose emphasis has been on academic, rather than clinical, training.
Within the UK there are a number of other funded academic trainee posts, including:
- NIHR-funded Academic Clinical Fellow or Clinical Lecturer posts in England
- Scottish Clinical Research Excellence Development Scheme (SCREDS)
- Northern Ireland Clinical Academic Training Programme
Why choose clinical academia?
Whichever route is followed, these positions can develop an academic trainee in their research, teaching and clinical excellence to apply ultimately for a Professorial appointment. These academic leadership posts allow individuals to influence clinical departments, dental schools, universities and national bodies, thereby improving the care of patients and the education of future dental professionals.
The Dental Schools Council is committed to promoting clinical academic careers to both clinicians and the wider public. We produce a yearly survey of clinical academics and run a service for advertising clinical academic jobs on this website.