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Research and academic training

This page provides an overview of research and academic training within O&G.


Research is the basis on which modern medicine is practised. New developments in our understanding of disease processes and their treatment rely on both basic science and clinical research. Many trainees spend a period of 1–3 years in a research post during their training. This can be done at any stage of training. You can undertake research in a laboratory setting or as part of a clinical research team. Universities advertise research posts in BMJ Careers.

Although research isn’t an essential part of training in order to obtain a consultant post, many trainees find that their experience of research gives them an excellent insight into the use of statistics and other research methodologies, and an understanding of how science influences clinical practice. For many, a research project can be the impetus to proceed down a particular training pathway and to develop an area of particular interest as a consultant.

The Royal College of Physicians has produced a research engagement toolkit, which provides advice on how to get involved in research at any stage in your career.

Academic training in O&G

Academic training in O&G is essential for the future development of the specialty. Academic departments of O&G operate within the teaching hospitals framework and may be independent or integrated into larger units. All work closely with their NHS counterparts.

Career paths in academic medicine have been redefined to enable access to academic training at all postgraduate levels. There are a number of academic foundation year posts, which provide interested trainees with a taste of academia. There are also dedicated academic training programmes that enable academic training to run alongside normal clinical training.

To progress to a senior position in an academic department as an O&G consultant, you’ll need to follow an academic clinical career path involving a period of research training leading to publications and a higher degree such as a PhD or MD. Find out more about academic training in O&G.

The RCOG actively supports the development of academic O&G. Find out more about the College’s work in academic O&G.

Download the O&G careers prospectus

Discover the opportunities offered by a career in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Elsewhere on the site

About the College

Find out more about the College and how we support our members

Specialty training in O&G

Overview of the specialty training programme in O&G, including assessment and certification of training