Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies', we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies', only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

ACF programme in Core Surgery

Our programme is based at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences (NDS). The department combines cutting-edge, laboratory-based research and clinical research.

The programme lasts three years and starts at ST1. Professor Paul Johnson is the academic training director, and also acts as academic mentor to all Core Surgery ACF doctors during their appointment. 

All posts have run-through to higher specialty training at ST3. The specialties usually available are General Surgery, Paediatic Surgery and Urology.  Other surgical specialty  ACF posts may be available on a year-to year basis but are generally for ST3 level.


ACF rotations over the 3 years consist of 6 posts in a variety of surgical disciplines. These may include general, transplant and paediatric surgery, and  surgical assessment. However, the exact duties of each post on the rotation will vary.


All Core Surgery ACFs are guaranteed the equivalent of 25% per week of protected research time. This is usually given on a weekly basis, but a few projects lend themselves better to blocks of research time. 

A wide range of general surgical research projects are available within NDS. This includes projects in the sub-specialties of transplantation, vascular, colorectal, and evidence-based surgery (view research areas on the NDS site). There are also many other research opportunities within the Medical Sciences Division that are relevant to general surgery.

Projects are tailored to the interests of our ACF doctors and are closely supervised. ACFs are also given plenty of opportunities to learn new research techniques in a supportive environment. All have free access to the Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research and are strongly encouraged to participate.

During their ACF, doctors will be supported in preparing applications to continue their research. Applications will be for research training fellowships or, for those who already hold a doctorate, post-doctoral funding.

Should these applications be unsuccessful, our ACF doctors continue in the clinical training programme for the advertised specialty. In accordance with NIHR ACF rules, this is provided they have met their clinical competencies.  

Last reviewed: May 2015 

profiles of ACF doctors in core surgery

Dr David Fawkner Corbett, ACF in Paediatric Surgery