Dr Dominic Marshall
Academic Foundation Programme (2018)
What interested you about the AFP?
I came to the programme with a background in research first acquired during my BSc degree in molecular and cellular biology and then continued during medical school. I was keen to continue research and gain more experience in clinical research. The AFP offered protected research time and support to develop my research skills.
What does the work involve?
I have had a fantastic experience during the AFP both in my clinical and academic work. During the FY1 I had one day per week during a 4-month rotation, this allowed me time and space to research the different groups I could work with in Oxford. It also allowed me to pursue online courses in biostatistics (which OUCAGS financially supported) and finish projects I had worked on as an undergraduate. As an FY2 I made contact early with the laboratory I wanted to work with. I used this time to plan the project and do preliminary work to ensure I could get off to a quick start when my research block began. The research block itself has been very valuable, 4 months of protected time to focus on research and build ideas for a PhD in the future.
I have also been involved in teaching for an Oxford College and obtained a formal teaching qualification.
The Oxford AFP was attractive because it offered the freedom and independence to identify my own research project and supervisor to work with. It also offered a small budget, support from a great team at OUCAGs and opportunities in a world leading institution.
What have been the pros and cons of the AFP, and how has it shaped your future career plans?
The AFP has been a great opportunity to extend my research experience with protected time and funding. It has also offered the opportunity to be part of a community of academics with whom I can discuss my research and opportunities to present my findings. My intention is to progress further in my clinical training prior to returning to academia to study for a PhD.
I have no regrets about choosing to enrol on the AFP.