Is there a decile 'cut-off' point for SFP interviews?
Yes, applicants must have a minimum EPM decile score of 37. We will also use the decile score as one of our measures in the shortlisting process along with other degrees, presentations, publications and prizes etc.
Is there a chance to get in touch with the current Severn SFP F2s?
We can put you in touch with some of last year’s and this year’s SFP trainees
The research posts in Severn are described as ‘unbundled’ from the clinical posts. Does this mean academic foundation doctors are able to design their own mix of rotations, subject to competition with others?
No, it means that there will be a list of clinical rotations and a list of academic research project areas and the candidate will rank each separately. This means that we will be better able to match the research opportunities to the best candidates each year rather than potentially shoe-horning them into fixed programme choices. Thus the best candidates will get the first choice of clinical rotation and project area. It also allows us to accommodate year by year fluctuations in the number of our best candidates wanting to do research in each discipline so for example we might have 3 of our best candidates want to do Psychiatry and none doing Surgery (or vice versa) whereas before we had to have someone in each research area because the clinical job was associated with a specific research project.
I am concerned that a situation could arise where all those accepted into the scheme are chasing the same posts and therefore some could end up with a rotation they don't desire
The offers will be made of a clinical rotation and an academic project area. These will be the best match that we can make, based on the candidates’ performance. For the first time we will have more academic project slots than we will have candidates, as each project area has indicated the maximum numbers of SFPs that they can accommodate. This means that we will be able to offer candidates programmes that more closely match their interests. Of course this will never be perfect but we believe that it will be better than before – although even under the old system, most candidates got offered programmes that were in ranked in their top 3 choices.
I understand that we have two days to accept or reject the Specialised Foundation Programme offer. Would we know to which academic projects we were to be allocated within this time?
Absolutely - and you are completely at liberty to decline if the clinical rotation and academic research project do not suit your preferences.
Are the clinical F2 rotations purely in Bristol hospitals or are there opportunities to select a GP rotation in this year? I am interested in the Primary Health Care research area and would therefore be keen to select this.
Many of the F2 placements include GP and we have specific research opportunities there too. If you have more queries specific to an area of research you should contact the respective programme lead (Programme Descriptions webpage).
Is each SFP rotation specifically linked to an academic research area or should I apply for a rotation (e.g. SFP1) and then choose which area I would like to do the academic 4 months in (eg Paediatrics or Primary Healthcare)?
On application you will rank the clinical rotations in order of preference. If you are invited for interview you will rank your academic project preferences. Successful candidates will then be matched to their highest ranking available rotation/academic project based on their performance. This unbundling of the academic projects from the clinical rotations should enable us to better accommodate individual preferences by increasing our flexibility.
I understand that some foundation schools offer Specialised Foundation Programmes which are not tied to a specialty, but other units of application offer Specialised Foundation Programmes which have set themes, such as Neurology, Haematology, or Surgery. Does the Severn SFP offer more of the former programme structure or would applicants be applying for more concrete speciality posts?
We have a wide mix of potential project areas. Some are ‘tied’ to specialities like Paediatrics or Psychiatry or GP. Others like Medical Physiology/Pharmacology and Public Health/Clinical Epidemiology can host projects that are applicable to many different specialities depending on the successful candidates area of interest (see Programme Descriptions webpage). However, it should be noted that even the project areas that appear to be tied to a clinical speciality can host projects that are of broad interest, ie SFPs in GP doing projects on ovarian cancer or microbiology. So we encourage candidates to think broadly when making their choices.
How is the field of research allocated and will you know the field of your research when you are given a job offer?
You will be asked to rank the project areas at the time of shortlisting for interview. If successful you will then be matched to (and offered) your nearest preference for clinical rotation and academic project. Your specific project will be identified once you have started on the SFP rotations in discussion with the lead for your academic discipline.
I am unsure about how the rotations are allocated. Are both the F1 and F2 years based in departments of hospitals in the same city as the research programme, eg Bristol or are they spread out around the district general hospitals at any point?
The clinical rotations are within University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust or North Bristol NHS Trust. You will be asked to rank the clinical rotations on application - they will be clear on the website. If short listed for interview you will also be asked to separately rank the research project areas. After the interviews the successful candidates will be offered the best available match to their choice of clinical rotation and academic project.
Who should I talk to about the Peninsula SFPs?
Peninsula Foundation School offers SFPs in Research, Education or Leadership and Management. For more information, click here.
Do the teaching sessions on the timetable contribute to the 60 hours of teaching we have to attend to complete the requirements for FY2?
Yes, they count at both Trusts and this is why we take a note of attendance. However, you should have a mix of local trust and regional training sessions as well as the academic on your ePortfolio. We have had the content of the teaching approved by the Educational Strategy Lead and the Foundation School Director and the component of the teaching have been mapped onto the national core competencies required for SFPs. You should have a balanced portfolio of foundation teaching with a solid base of clinical teaching sessions supplemented with the academic teaching. This should take you well over the 60 hour minimum standard.
Do I need to give feedback from the teaching sessions?
We solicit feedback from SFP F2s on the whole teaching programme at the end of the sessions.
Teaching and Learning for Health Care Professionals
By Teaching and Learning for Health Care Professionals (TLHP).
Faculty of Health Sciences.
Four half day sessions.
Session 1: Designing and planning your teaching
- Update on trends in medical education
- Basic principles of planning your teaching
- Defining learning outcomes
- Designing content
- Evaluating your teaching
Session 2: Facilitating small group learning
- Role of the educator
- Facilitation skills
- Dealing with diversity
- Small group techniques
- Designing group activities
- Creating resources
Session 3: Giving effective feedback
- Purpose of feedback
- Formative versus summative assessment
- Developing learner competency
- Role and responsibility of the educator
- Improving learner performance
- Stimulating critical reflection
- Models and framework for feedback provision
Session 4: Teaching and learning in the workplace
- Exploring the workplace as a learning environment
- Benefits and challenges
- Collaborative practice and learning
- Role and responsibility of the educator
- Supporting/supervising the learner
- Teaching with patients
- Teaching professionalism
- Models for teaching when time is limited
As the programme is mapped to the HEA, there is potential for the trainees to apply for Assistant fellow of the HEA (AFHEA) at a one off cost of £200. They do have to write 2 x 750 word account of their development as a teacher.
We can offer help with this writing.
As this programme replicates the teaching programme in the academies, this means your trainees can access the equivalent sessions if they miss the dates you have set. They would book through Eventbrite.