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ACF programme in Paediatrics

Our programme provides an entry point for doctors aspiring to a research-based career in child health.

Our three-year fellowships are open to trainees at ST1-3. As far as possible, training is flexible and trainee-centred, with mentoring to ensure the attainment of both academic and clinical goals. 

The University Department of Paediatrics has strong links with the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Department of Paediatrics, which is co-located in the new Children’s Hospital.

Fellows are based across the Thames Valley region with academic time in Oxford.


Training will be according to the OxPaed training programme in the School of Paediatrics

Trainees will be expected to achieve the same competences as their full-time clinical colleagues. They will be expected to complete the MRCPCH exams within the 36 months. 


The Department of Paediatrics has a diverse and actively expanding portfolio of research. Areas include paediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, global health, haematology, immunology and infectious disease, and neurosciences.

During the fellowship, 25% of time is spent in academic work. ACF doctors are placed in research units to gain experience for the development of a research interest and the planning of grant applications. (Applications will be for a funding for a higher degree or, if applicable, post-doctoral research).

Each Fellow will have an academic (research/teaching) supervisor, normally from the Department of Paediatrics. However, trainees may engage with academic supervisors from elsewhere in the Medical Sciences Division as appropriate to their clinical and research interests.

Programme structure

Our programme's structure is as follows:

  • Year 1 –  ACF doctors choose an area of research interest and develop a protocol for their research project for the next two years. 
  • Years 2 and 3 – ACF doctors may have blocks of protected time, free of clinical duties, to allow development of the research ideas. Blocks are usually 6 months in Year 2 and 3 months in Year 3.

Research Areas

There are many research areas to choose from. Opportunities are available in the UK and overseas through the Department of Paediatrics and Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM). 


Opportunities through the Department of Paediatrics are in areas including:  

  • paediatric gastroenterology and nutrition,
  • immunology and infectious diseases,
  • haematology,
  • neonataology, and
  • neurosciences

Opportunities through Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) are in areas including:

  • genetics and susceptibility to infection (Prof D Kwiatowski),
  • clinical epidemiology (Dr J Berkley),
  • health systems research (Prof M English), and
  • epidemiology of malaria and haemoglobinopathies (Prof T Williams)


Dr Alexander Jones (Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, BHF Intermediate Clinical Research Fellowship) is happy to discuss research opportunities in these and other areas.


profiles of ACF doctors in paediatrics

Dr Mimi Hou, ACF in Paediatrics


Last reviewed: May 2015