What does it take to become a clinical academic?

Last updated: 22nd July 2021

Healthcare scientists are naturally curious and well-rehearsed in the scientific method to take ideas and test them to further medical knowledge. They have a sound understanding of the scientific and clinical basis of their specialties which often span multiple different clinical disciplines. Healthcare scientists are ideally placed to understand the scientific and clinical questions arising from their practice to develop the research to answer them. Becoming a clinical academic is a natural progression.

It is key for clinical academics to understand their local work setting and to get to know what is going on around them. Exploring and talking to people in your local setting is essential to understand how things work and what opportunities are out there. This will involve a great deal of networking and building relationships which may become research collaborations or otherwise enable research ambitions.

Learning how the academic world works compared to the clinical environment is important to enable effective selling or yourself and your ideas to funders and colleagues in other institutions. Reaching out to build working collaborations beyond local institutions further expands clinical academic research interests and influence.

An additional characteristic of successful clinical academics is resilience. When applying for research funding and publishing research outputs there is plenty of rejection to manage along with the successes. Continually adapting and respond to those stimuli will become a way of life.

That said they are rewarding careers, allowing for greater job satisfaction. Hear what Clinical Academic Healthcare Scientists have to say about their careers in our clinical academic profiles below.