Specialised Foundation Programmes (SFP) - previously Academic Foundation Programmes (AFP)

A Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP) provides foundation doctors with the opportunity to develop research, teaching and leadership / management skills in addition to the current basic Foundation competencies. They are intended to be beneficial to both trainees who plan to go into academic medicine as well as those who choose a different medical career. Further information can be found on the SFP section of the United Kingdom Foundation Programme (UKFPO) website and also on the SFP recruitment section of the UKFPO website and the SFP recruitment pages of the HEE website. 

Recruitment timelines for all UK Foundation Schools can be found on the UKFPO website .

Applicants who apply for an SFP but are not successful are still eligible to apply for a ‘standard’ Foundation Programme (FP) via the national process. However, if an applicant accepts an SFP and subsequently withdraws, they will need to reapply the following year, they will not be entered into the national FP process. You can only accept 1 SFP / FPP / PFF or FP post.

All applications should be submitted through Oriel (National Online Application System). Applicants can access Oriel via https://new.oriel.nhs.uk/Web.

Applicants are advised to start their applications early to allow sufficient time to complete necessary sections of the application form and to gather evidence in support of their application.

An overview of the Specialised Foundation Programme process is attached at the bottom of this section.

Specialised Foundation Programmes

The full rotations for the Yorkshire & Humber Foundation School (YHFS) Specialised Foundation Programme posts are available at the bottom of this page.

East Yorkshire

  • 21 Specialised Foundation Programme Research Programmes
  • 3 Specialised Foundation Programme Medical Education Programmes 
  • Collaboration with the Hull York Medical School both Hull & York Sites. HYMS Website
  • Enrolment on either the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research & Statistics or the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Professions Education
  • Projects can be developed in a number of specialties and research areas; potential projects and their SFP supervisors are listed here

Cross region programmes FY1 East Yorkshire and FY2 South Yorkshire

  • For the 2023 cohort we are also introducing 3 Medical Education programmes that have their FY1 year at Diana Prices of Wales hospital in Grimsby, East Yorkshire and their FY2 year in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The Medical Education PGCert will be hosted by Sheffield University

South Yorkshire

  • 9 Specialised Foundation Programme Research placements
  • 12 Specialised Foundation Programme Medical Education placements
  • 12 new Medical Education posts for August 2023 6 based in Barnsley and 6 based in Doncaster. The academic placement is supported by Sheffield University
  • Collaboration with University of Sheffield Medical School. University of Sheffield Medical school website
  • The webpage link at the end of this paragraph links to some of the projects completed by previous academic foundation trainees, and to a list of potential projects for future years. Projects can be developed in many specialities and trainees at Sheffield are welcome to contact potential supervisors and develop ideas in their own areas of interest, and we offer help with this. University of Sheffield SFP
  • Projects can be developed in a number of specialties and research areas; potential projects and their SFP supervisors are listed here

West Yorkshire

How to Apply

For details of how to apply, please see our Allocation Process section.

Research Placements

Research programmes are offered by each of the three Locality Schemes within YHFS. These incorporate a standard F1 training programme and an F2 training programme which includes a four-month attachment in Research.

These placements provide trainees with the opportunity to experience life as a Clinical Academic Scientist before considering applying for a Specialty Training Academic Clinical Fellowship.

During their 4-month Research Placement, the trainee will spend time in a research laboratory, attend laboratory meetings alongside researchers and scientists, carry out a small research project and conduct a review of the research literature on their chosen research topic. The F2 trainee will write up their project and present their findings to their Research Group.

From August 2018, the four-month Research post is not 'fixed' to a speciality. Instead, trainees will submit an application for the project of their choice from a given list.  This new process has been in place since August 2017. You can access the application form at the bottom of this page.

Medical Education

These placements give trainees experience in generic teaching skills which are fast becoming an essential tool for the modern doctor.

Academic Presentation Day

FY2 SFP Research trainees will be  given the opportunity to present their work to their colleagues and Peers at an annual Presentation Day event. All trainees will produce an abstract and poster for the event. These will be assessed by the Foundation School Director, Deputies, YHFS Academic Lead and Medical School Leads. The top 7 posters will be given the opportunity to orally present at the event. Previous event information can be found on the FDocs online portal here

This event was face to face again in 2022 following an online event in 2021 due to Covid.

Academic Inductions

On Wednesday 6th September 2023 there will be a YHFS SFP Induction taking place at a venue to be confirmed for all FY1 SFP trainees. Further details will be sent out directly to trainees. There are also local inductions in East, West and South Yorkshire, organised by the local Medical schools. Information about these events will be sent out from those organisations.

Academic Careers

1. Academic Clinical Fellowships

If you are about to enter higher specialist training and have the potential to be an outstanding researcher and/or educationalist, you will be able to compete for the new Academic Clinic Fellowships (ACFs). The new Academic Clinical Fellowship is targeted at doctors in the early years of specialty training. It provides a clinical and academic training environment to help the Academic Clinical Fellow prepare a competitive application for a training fellowship for a higher degree or, if applicable, a postdoctoral fellowship. Funding is available for a maximum of three years (up to four years for GP Academic Clinical Fellows).

2. Clinical Lectureships

If you are currently engaged in specialist training and have recently obtained a PhD or equivalent or expect to do so soon, you will be able to compete for the new Clinical Lectureships (CLs). These provide opportunities for post-higher degree research or educational training for doctors working towards completion of specialty training. Clinical Lecturers are expected to apply for further research or support for continuing educational training.

Evaluating the validity of the selection measures used for the UK’s foundation medical training programme: a national cohort study

Please find below the link to an interesting research article which seeks to evaluate whether the EPM deciles, Educational Achievement (EA) scores and the SJT scores are predictive of subsequent successful completion of the programme