WHAT IS THE AFP?
The AFP is a type of Foundation Programme that provides a dedicated time for foundation doctors to get involved in either academic research, education, management, leadership and other areas such as health informatics and quality improvement projects. It includes either a 4-month block in your FY2 year or it can be integrated into your second year, for example as a day release (1-2 days a week) throughout FY2.
There are a minority of AFPs that are integrated into the two years. It is dependent on the ‘Academic Unit of Application.’ These are a group of foundation schools that have joined together for the purpose of AFP application. For example North West Thames, North Central, East London and South Thames are the London AUoA.
You will be required to work on a project that either you have formulated yourself, or a predetermined project, or joining a team on an ongoing project. The level of autonomy and flexibility is AUoA and project dependent. The post comes with an academic supervisor who will oversee your work and there is usually a local university affiliated to your Foundation school that will support your learning during your academic post. Some AFP posts come with an element of clinical work such as on calls or a half day in a clinic that allows you to maintain and update your clinical knowledge. Whilst some may have no clinical commitments in the 4-month academic block.
People choose to do an AFP instead of the FP for various reasons, such as:-
As a route into academia for people that already know they want to go into academic medicine. However It is important to know that you do not have to do an AFP to be able to get into academic medicine.
As an opportunity to explore whether an academic career is desired.
As an avenue for networking, teaching, CV building, some AFPs (especially those with educational and leadership involvement) come with the opportunity to complete a PGCert which can either be fully or partly funded by the Trust.
For some, it is a way to guarantee being in a location and or getting desired job rotations.
HOW DO YOU APPLY FOR AFP?
The application process is done via Oriel similar to standard foundation programme application just with the addition of one extra section on the form. You will be required to rank the academic jobs within the AUoA that you are applying to (you are not required to rank all of them). You can apply to a maximum of two out of 15 AUoAs. The application allows you to add more achievements (e.g. publications, presentations) compared to the standard FP. Once you apply, shortlisting is carried out by the AUoA who then invites you to an interview. AFP shortlisting score is determined by adding academic decile score to the AUoA score. The shortlisting process varies across different AUoA and the achievement may be weighted differently according to the AUoA.
Point based- used by all AUoA
Ways to score points include:-
Other degrees- up to two additional degrees (compared to the standard FP which only allows one additional degree).