The Primary Care Unit is a highly active teaching environment, fostering learning in academic primary care and topics relevant to primary care. This page provides an overview of our teaching and training activities. We provide signposting for those who wish to apply for funding for research – see our funding pages here.
The General Practice Education Group (GPEG)
GPEG organises teaching in primary care for medical students at the University of Cambridge. The University has a traditional course for medical students, divided into pre-clinical and clinical components. Medical students spend their first three years reading for a degree in Medical Sciences. We contribute to the teaching of these undergraduates, providing their first contact with patients through the Preparing for Patients section of the curriculum. Successful completion of their degree allows them to enter the Clinical School, where they spend three years studying clinical medicine before qualifying as FY1 doctors. Students who already have a degree pursue the Cambridge Graduate Course.
We provide all Clinical School students with placements with GP tutors in practices for clinical teaching, working with our GP tutors in around 140 teaching practices across the Eastern region. Our expert seminar leaders teach specific topics within primary care and we are supported by Primary Care Unit researchers across a very broad range of topics and methodologies. We encourage students to select their research components (the Student Selected Component or SSC) with us so that they can focus on a topic of relevance to primary care and general practice.
MPhil in Primary Care Research
This course is a full-time one year course, based in the Cambridge Institute of Public Health’s Department of Public Health and Primary Care. More than half of the curriculum is shared with the MPhils in Public Health and Epidemiology. The aim of the course is to provide students with theoretical knowledge and skills as well as practical research experience to launch an academic clinical career in primary care.
The course draws on local strengths in working with large databases, primary care-based clinical trials and a wide range of other appropriate methods of quantitative and qualitative data collection and analyses.
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows
The Health Education East of England, in collaboration with the Primary Care Unit, University of Cambridge, offers two NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow posts annually. Strong candidates with an interest in pursuing a career in primary care research are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will be encouraged to complete the University of Cambridge MPhil in Primary Care Research, or equivalent degree, and will receive individually tailored academic mentoring and supervision in order to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in research methods and medical education.
Academic training within the post is fully integrated into the highly regarded Cambridge GPST Programme with an academic strand maintained across the whole four-year period tailored to the post-holder’s needs. The academic programme will also include practical experience of research.
Research training for nurses, midwives and AHPs
The Clinical Nursing Research Group (CNRG), led by Florence Nightingale Foundation Professor of Clinical Nursing Research, Christi Deaton, is conducting research focusing on improving outcomes in people with long-term conditions, and building research capacity and capability among nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHFT) and the School of Clinical Medicine.
The Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) are funding internal research fellowships for Cambridge nurses, midwives and AHPs (NMAHPs). These are intended to buy out time from clinical duties, and provide support and funding for patient and public involvement activities and pilot work so that applicants can develop a competitive doctoral or post-doctoral fellowship application.
Opportunities for PhD students in topics relevant to primary care
The Primary Care Unit is keen to recruit postgraduate research students from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. We value the contribution PhD students’ research plays in the life and culture of the Unit, and see it as a vital way in which research at the Unit will develop. Funding information is offered here.