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Changes to academic foundation jobs spark concern

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 19 February 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q423
  1. Éabha Lynn
  1. The BMJ

Academic and doctor representative groups have voiced concern at sudden changes to the allocation of academic foundation jobs for 2025.

On 14 February the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) announced that from 2025 recruitment into the specialised foundation programmes in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland would be incorporated into the main foundation programme allocation process.1 Wales moved to this system in 2022.

The specialised foundation programme—formerly known as the academic foundation programme—enables doctors to develop their research, education, or leadership skills in addition to the core competencies they must complete during their foundation programme. The existing system of applications for specialised foundation programme posts was highly competitive.2 Each deanery, or “specialised unit of application,” set its own shortlisting criteria, which were typically based on academic outputs throughout candidates’ time at medical school. These included presentations, publications, and prizes, in combination with “white space questions” and interviews, in which candidates would further develop and reflect …

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