For the 2017 intake of interns, an Academic Track was created, on a pilot basis, following a proposal to NDTP by the Intern Network Executive (INE). The Academic Track has been designed to give interns the opportunity to undertake a three-month project in clinical research, medical education or healthcare leadership and management. The 2017 Pilot was successful and there were subsequent intakes in 2018 and 2019.
Each of the six Intern Networks hosts an academic track intern post, with four academic interns rotating through the post (24 Academic Track posts in total, per year). Academic Track interns undertake additional activities during one of their four internship rotations and achieve a substantial project during their intern year. They gain real-life academic/management experience in addition to their clinical experience.
An intern on the academic track gains the same clinical experience as an intern undertaking the traditional internship programme and receives the same Certificate of Experience from the Medical Council of Ireland. However, they will also:
- Have protected time during the working week to undertake a research project/participate in medical education/become involved in a quality improvement project at their hospital.
- Be assigned an academic supervisor in addition to their clinical supervisors. The academic supervisor will provide guidance and support in carrying out their project.
- Have access to research seminars and workshops, and additional training and education. There will be a bursary available to cover research costs (e.g. bench fees).
- Be required to achieve the same competencies as all other interns, and to complete the same mandatory elements of intern training as all other interns in addition to their academic goals.
NDTP hopes that the availability of the academic track internships in Ireland will contribute to the retention of medical graduates of Irish medical schools who have academic as well as clinical ambitions. Furthermore, this initiative provides an early and dedicated focus on research skills among doctors, many of whom will go on to undertake further and more sizeable academic research during their careers and work as academic clinicians.
Applicants must indicate at Stage 1 of the Medical Intern Application, an interest in being considered for the Academic Intern Track. They will then be contacted by the Intern Network Executive (INE) and asked to provide further documentation to support their application.
Candidates who are shortlisted for interview, usually held in March in advance of the July intern intake, will be contacted by the INE. Candidates who are deemed appointable at interview will be ranked in order of merit based on the same criteria used by the National Recruitment Services when allocating intern posts in the overall intern match. For criteria, please click here.