Early careers working group

SAPC is committed to supporting primary care researchers throughout their career and especially at the earlier stages. We have an early career academic working group, comprised of members of the SAPC executive committee, and external members, both clinical and primary healthcare scientists, researchers and educationalists. We work as a group to ensure that SAPC addresses the challenges facing early career academics in primary care. The group is led by Dr Becci Morris.

We have gained some insights into funding and how to support your career financially.

Early Career Interviews

Academic primary care welcomes researchers from many backgrounds and disciplines. Many researchers in primary care bring different skills; statistics, sociology, health services research amongst several others.  

Jeremy Howick is a School for Primary Care Research Fellow in the Department of Primary Care. Jeremy talks about his research on the use of placebos with patients and how this work is possible because of his expertise in the philosophy of medicine. Jeremy is also a keen teacher.

Niamh Redmond is a research fellow in the Centre for Academic Primary Care at Bristol. Niamh talks about how she ended up running clinical trials in research relating to children and infection, coming to academic primary care via a career in industry and with a background in human physiology.

There are opportunities within academic primary care for GPs to have portfolio careers. These might incorporate teaching or research at differing levels.

Graham Easton is a practising GP and the program director for GP speciality training in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London. Graham talks about his career in education, via an ongoing and successful career in journalism.

Greg Irving is a practising GP and academic clinical lecturer in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge. Greg talks about his career pathway to date, following the NIHR model of doctoral fellowship to clinical lectureship.

If you are a GP and would like to read more about careers the following book may be useful: 'A career companion to becoming a GP: developing & shaping your career' ed Hutt, P & Park, S (Routledge). 


Working group members:

SAPC executive member

  • Dr Rebecca Morris, University of Manchester

External members

  • Dr Jenni Burt, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Ceire Costelloe, Queen Mary University of London
  • Dr Sophie Park, UCL
  • Dr Matt Webb, Keele University 

The group is currently working on several strategies to improve careers in primary care for those in early careers. These include:

  • Standardising opportunities for early career academics across institutions by devising a ‘gold standard’ guide endorsed by SAPC, to ensure development opportunities.
  • Information and support in gaining independence as a researcher.
  • Improved mentoring opportunities to achieve consistency across groups; clinical and Phocus.
  • Networking opportunities and events with people at the same level to facilitate both collaboration and support.

Additional to this ongoing work SAPC already supports early career academics in several ways:

  • Membership of a large organisation with a nationwide reputation and a growing international reputation.
  • Regional and National conferences offering networking opportunities and prizes for early career researchers.
  • Bursaries for first time attendees at the conferences.
  • Parallel meetings for ECAs and buddying scheme for first time attendees.
  • Consistent primary care presence when moving between institutions and posts.
  • Access to special interest groups.
  • Cross over with work by PHoCUS group to tackle career pathways.
  • Access to mentoring scheme (PHoCUS)
  • Representation for clinical academics at relevant national organisations (e.g. RCGP, BMA)
  • Regular newsletters which advertises training opportunities and vacancies in primary care, along with other relevant news and information.

Please feel free to contact Becci Morris who leads the group if you have any questions and would like to know more.