Specialised Foundation Training and SFP Recruitment

*UPDATE - 11/01/23 : WEBSITE TECHNICAL ISSUES - We have been made aware that a number of images and links on this page have been broken. We are working with HEE web support to get these reinstated as soon as possible. Please be patient with us at this time and we kindly ask that you hold off contacting the school until we are able to resolve this matter. SFP applicants allocated to the North West of England who wish to raise specific queries regarding their SFP programme, their employment arrangements and research opportunities are advised to contact the Foundation Programme Administrator directly at the relevant trust site using the contact details found here: https://www.nwpgmd.nhs.uk/foundation-training/medical-education-managers.... Thank you*




**UKFP/SFP 2023 Applicants Handbook** 

**SFP 2023 NWEFS Indicative Programme Charts** **v1.0 - NEW

**SFP 2023 NWEFS Shortlisting & Interview Criteria and Educational Achievements Scoring** (**v1.0**) - NEW

**SFP 2023 NWEFS Specialised Foundation Recruitment Frequently Asked Questions** (**v1.1**) - NEW





The North West of England Foundation School wants to ensure that applicants have access to the most up to date and accurate information. Any queries directed to the school for which the answer can be found on this website, in the Applicants Handbook and above local SFP recruitment documents may not be prioritised. In the first instance we strongly recommend all applicants to download and thoroughly review the guidance which can be found on the links above.


**HEE web support are in the process of fixing our recruitment webpages. For urgent queries please review the above SFP documents or visit the UK Foundation Programme Office website**


Welcome to the 2023 – 2025 application process for Specialised Foundation Programmes (SFPs) at the North West of England Foundation School


SFPs are an opportunity for doctors to develop their research and/or teaching skills and/or medical and management capabilities.  There is great variety between specialised programmes with some focusing on more traditional pathways while others focus on quality improvement and even health informatics.

All programmes have one common purpose and SFPs are designed to ensure that all trainees achieve the core competencies of foundation training whilst simultaneously supporting the development of key skills in other areas of medicine. 




Applying for an Specialised Foundation Programme

Applications for SFPs can only be made via the national Foundation Programme website and the recruitment portal, Oriel.  The application window is the same as the application window for FP and applicants will be invited to express an interest in applying for SFP during completion of the national application on Oriel.


Applicants choosing to apply for SFP will need to submit separate applications (up to a maximum of two) in addition to their FP application form. Once the national application process has closed (on the 20th September) the North West of England Foundation School will begin their local recruitment processes to shortlist and interview applicants for SFPs.


National UKFPO and NWEFS Timeline for 2023-25 SFP Recruitment





It is the applicant’s responsibility to allow enough time to register, enrol and apply within the application window. The foundation school cannot be held responsible for those who miss a deadline if they have chosen to leave completing their FP/SFP application until the last minute. 


All SFP offers will be made in the Jan – Feb offer period.  Successful applicants will have the opportunity to accept/decline offers on Oriel by the stated deadlines.  Applicants applying for SFP who are not successful in obtaining an SFP offer by the close of SFP recruitment will automatically transfer to standard FP recruitment. Full details of the national application process and timeline, including the 2023 national person specification can be found on the national Foundation Programme website.


Ranking your SFP Preferences


Please rank all of the programmes you wish to be considered for, in order of preference, under the "Preference" column by using the drag and drop function on Oriel. Any programmes you do not wish to be considered for should remain in the "Not Wanted" column. The more programmes you preference, the greater the likelihood of being offered a programme of your choice, if you are successful at interview. We recommend you rank as many of our SFP Posts as possible to increase your opportunity for a place, but this is entirely your choice


Referee details can be amended prior to the closing date or until the reference has been returned. To amend referee details, applicants must access this information through the FP vacancy. Applicants are not required to provide referee information in the SFP application.

Specialised Foundation Programmes Available to 2023-25 Applicants


The North West of England Foundation School in 2023 will offer 63 SFPs in our acute employing trusts, across the 3 key areas of academia; Leadership, Research and Education (summary below):


Employing Trust

Total No of SFPs

Academic Component









East Lancashire





Lancashire Teaching




Liverpool University 21 6 15


Manchester University 12  available  available


Pennine Acute 3 3  


Salford Royal





UH Morecambe Bay 3   3  


Please click here to download a detailed breakdown of the programmes available (Research, Education and Leadership) in our school for 2023-2025. This programme information is indicative only and may be subject to further changes between 24.08.2022 and 25.02.2023 by HEE and the employing trust due to a required alteration in service requirements. With regards to Research based SFP placements, some trusts do not currently show the specific specialities assigned to them on the chart. Our academic employing trusts will try their best to accommodate personal requests that address peoples research interests. There tends to be some flexibility on the research topic pursued, as long as there is a suitable academic supervisor to support this. Most research placements will be focused towards the clinical element within the specific training programme (track) in the first instance, so topic projects will usually be tilted towards these in some way. However we strongly recommend you speak to each trust you are interested in indepedantly as there may be some variation with this rule as some sites may be more flexible than others. Further information on Research, Education and Leadership programmes this can be found by scrolling down this page to Where to find additional information on our SFP Programmes. If you cannot find the information you require in the additional information section, please contact the relevant Postgraduate Administrator / Foundation Administrator with any queries using the contact information here


For information on the location of the employing trusts and facilities available please visit our Trust Map page and click on the relevant map pin. 


Academic Programmes in Education and Leadership


HEE-NW offers funding and study opportunities for trainees on SFP Education and Leadership pathways to undertake the following modules at Edge Hill University. Trainees on a Research pathway are also welcome to enrol on these courses, however the funding of this would need to come from the trainee's own source instead. If you are an SFP Education or Leadership trainee and have not been contacted by the team at Edge Hill University, please email foundation.nw@hee.nhs.uk and we will look into this for you.


SFP trainees are advised to enrol on the following module: Medical Leadership HEA4117. This module will be funded by the North West of England School of Foundation Training and Physicians Associates. Enrolment is due to take place as soon as possible and will have ten intakes throughout the year. Most trainees opt for a February start to allow themselves time to settle into their new foundation programme posts. The link to the Edge Hill University website can be found hereUnlike CPD4454, HEA4117 runs over 10 cohorts during the year. Further information regarding this module can also be viewed here: https://nwpgmd.nhs.uk/Postgraduate-Module-in-Medical-Leadership


SFP trainees are advised to enrol on the following module: CPD4454 Teaching and Learning in the Clinical Context.This first module will be funded by the North West of England School of Foundation Training and Physicians Associates. A further two modules can also be undertaken to complete the full PGCert in Teaching and Learning in Clinical Practice. These will be funded by the employing trust or if this is not possible, self-funded by the trainee. These modules are: CPD4456 & CPD4455. PGCert enrolment is due to take place in September 2022 and will have intakes for both September 2022 and February 2023 starts. Most trainees opt for the February start to allow themselves time to settle into their new foundation programme posts.

Students on the PGCTLCP have 3 years to complete the PGCert, but if they wish to complete it sooner may do so over 3 semesters, which is the more usual progression route.The link to their website can be found here PGCert Teaching and Learning in Clinical Practice . Applicants who are successfully allocated to one of these programmes will be invited to enrol by the admissions team at Edge Hill University.


Where to find additional information on our SFP trusts/programmes


If you would like to know more about the tracks, academic foundation programmes and supervisors on offer at individual trusts then please use the links and contact details provided below. We recommend that you read the additional programme information contained within the highlighted links first before you contact the academic leads with any queries. If visitors notice any programme information that appears out of date, we advise applicants to contact the SFP trust directly for an updated set of guidance.


Alder Hey 

Academic Lead: Dr Melissa Gladstone



Please click the following links to access additional information about the academic opportunities at Bolton : Education / Leadership

Academic Lead: Dr Mayen Egbe


East Lancashire

Please click here to access additional information about the academic opportunities at East Lancashire.

Academic Lead: Dr Thanos Konstantinidis


Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

Please click here to access additional information about the academic opportunities at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. Meet the team here.

Academic Lead:  Dr Aashih Vyas


Liverpool University

Aintree University Hospital Site & Royal Liverpool Hospital Site

Please click here to access additional information about the academic opportunities. 

Academic Lead: Dr Cecilia Jukka


Manchester University

Please click here to access additional information about the academic opportunities at Manchester University FT

Academic Lead: Dr Easwari Kothandaraman


Morecambe Bay

Please click here to access additional information about the academic opportunities at Morecambe Bay.

Academic Lead and honorary senior lecturer in Manchester & honorary clinical lecturer in Lancaster: Dr Marwan Bukhari


Pennine Acute

Please click here to access additional information about the academic opportunities at Pennine Acute.

Academic Lead (acting): Dr Anindya Lal Mukherjee


Salford Royal

Please click here to access additional information about the academic opportunities at Salford Royal.

Academic Lead : Dr Sanjeet Kamath


If applicants are having difficulty contacting an academic lead we advise that they contact the relevant Postgraduate Administrator / Foundation Administrator with any queries - click here. 



Integrated Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) 


The aim of the The Integrated Clinical Academic Training programme is to facilitate and support the academic development of both undergraduate and postgraduate clinical trainees who are interested in following a clinical academic career path.

 Liverpool ICAT Overview

The Liverpool ICAT is a part of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Liverpool. The governance of ICAT is through the Executive Group and the Board, both of which has representations from the University Research and Teaching Institutes, HENW, NHS Trusts and also includes academic trainee members. The nominated ICAT academic lead and local SFP lead for Foundation Years is Professor Paul May, Director of Clinical Academic Development at the University of Liverpool.  The local lead for Aintree University Hospitals NHS Trust is Dr Nicola Goodson, Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology. Liverpool ICAT website address www.liv.ac.uk/icat

Manchester ICAT overview
The Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) hosts the Manchester Integrated Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) programme. The aim of the ICAT programme is to facilitate and support the academic development of both undergraduate and postgraduate clinical trainees who aspire to follow a clinical academic career path. All aspects of the ICAT programme are overseen by the ICAT Operations Group.

To achieve this aim, the ICAT programme is managed as a partnership between The University of Manchester and Health Education England - North West and in close liaison with the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre (NIHR TCC), which oversees ‘Integrated Academic Training’ nationally and is responsible for the allocation of funding to support programmes.

Academic Foundation doctors in the North West benefit from this integrated and coordinated approach to academic training via:

Access to research supervisor’s research within world-class facilities that cover the full healthcare continuum

Attendance at dedicated Manchester ICAT training and networking days held in the University

Access to a University-based academic teaching programme designed and delivered by the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences training team. Individual SFP programmes across the Manchester hospital sites (MRI, SRFT, Wythenshawe) also offer their own bespoke teaching and support schedules that utilise local clinical researchers and dedicated Clinical Research Facilities.

Further information can be found on the Manchester ICAT website: http://www.mhs.manchester.ac.uk/icat/


ICAT Contacts


Professor Paul May (Director of Clinical Academic Development - University of Liverpool ICAT)


Professor Calum Semple (Deputy Director - University of Liverpool ICAT)


Dr Cecilia Jukka (Liverpool University Hospitals, ICAT SFP Lead)


Debbie Sweeney (University of Liverpool ICAT Project Officer)


Laura Skinkis (University of Manchester ICAT SFP Lead)


UoM ICAT Programme Enquiries


UoM ICAT Website


Dr Amy Gadoud (Lancaster University - ICAT Lead)


Beth Whittaker (Lancaster University - ICAT Officer)


Lancaster University ICAT Website