Important note: Please check the organisation’s website for application dates. The presence of this posting does not necessarily mean applications for this opportunity are currently open. 


The National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme for doctors in training in England is sponsored by the National Medical Director of NHS England and managed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership & Management (FMLM)

The scheme has been established to fast track and support those doctors in training who present with the clearest potential to develop as medical leaders of the future.

What is it?

The scheme provides doctors in training with a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in a national healthcare-affiliated organisation outside of clinical practice to develop their skills in leadership, management, strategy, project management, and health policy.

The organisations currently in the scheme are: BMJ, BUPA, Care Quality Commission, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, General Medical Council, Health and Social Care Information Centre, Health Education England, Macmillan Cancer Support, Monitor, NHS England, NICE, Public Health England, Royal College of Psychiatrists, St Andrews Healthcare, Royal College of Surgeons England, Trust Development Authority.

What it offers

Clinical fellows have the opportunity to work with senior leaders to fast track their leadership skills and experience in a diverse range of organisations. The participating organisations have the opportunity to be part of a prestigious scheme to develop a growing pool of future medical leaders who will go on to shape healthcare in this country.

It has been the most memorable and influential year of my career to date and taught me a great deal about healthcare policy, corporate structures and most importantly, about myself and my potential as a leader.” Dr Ahmed Rashid, National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow 2014/15

How it works

Candidates may apply for a place on the scheme during the recruitment period held from December to February each year. Shortlisted candidates are interviewed in February and successful applicants are seconded from their current NHS trust to take up a fellowship role for 12 months, starting 1 September, as an out‐of‐programme experience (OOPE, or equivalent).

The scheme is open to doctors in training from all specialties who have completed both years of foundation training by the start of the fellowship, commencing 1 September, each year. Candidates are eligible to apply providing they have full GMC registration and do not expect to gain CCT around or before 1 September of the year they are applying. General Practice ST3 trainees with CCT before or around 1 September of the year they are applying are eligible to apply.

History of the scheme

Originally established in 2005 as the Clinical Advisor Scheme by the Chief Medical Officer for England, it initially offered just one place each year. In 2011 the scheme was renamed to reflect its sponsorship by the NHS medical director for England and its management by FMLM.

The scheme has expanded to include host organisations in both the North and South of England, and now has close links to similar fellowship schemes in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. To date, more than 100 doctors in training have participated in this scheme.