Pay Medical academic England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

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Medical academics pay

Medical academics are doctors employed by universities and other research organisations.

By long-standing agreement between the employers and supported by the Government, the pay of those medical academics who also do clinical work in the NHS (clinical academics) is based on that on the NHS. Hence, whilst their pay is not determined by the Doctors’ and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) it can still have an influence on the pay of these groups of doctors. 

The implementation of the annual pay award and any new pay arrangements for clinical academics are arranged by negotiation between the BMA and the university employers. The Review Body does also concern itself about the recruitment and retention of medical academics.


Clinical academic trainees - new pay arrangements

Following discussions with the BMA, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) have published a pay circular detailing the introduction of new pay arrangements for university-employed academic trainees. These new arrangements will mirror the 2016 NHS pay scale for junior doctors, both in terms of pay structure and protection of basic pay.

The BMA, UCEA and NHS Employers are committed to the principle of pay parity between the NHS and academic sectors and this pay circular is a positive demonstration of that commitment.

As well as introducing an equivalent pay scale to that now offered in the NHS, UCEA have agreed that transitional protection of trainees’ basic pay should be replicated on a like-for-like basis. Crucially, for those who are eligible, UCEA have also recommended that university employers match the flexible pay premia being offered to junior doctors in the NHS, including the specific academic pay premium.

The new pay arrangements outlined in the circular are quite complex. We will be producing commentary shortly to explain the detail of these arrangements and the impact they will have on university-employed academic trainees.

It is important to note that, because of the pressing need to make sure that these arrangements are in place by 1st April 2017, the BMA and UCEA teams have had to prioritise. As yet there have been no talks between the BMA, UCEA and NHS Employers to explore the introduction of equivalent contractual terms to those contained within the 2016 junior doctors’ contract. However, there is clear recognition by all parties of the importance of an improved joint approach to work scheduling and appointment of shared staff between NHS and academic employers. These are issues that we will explore over the coming months.

The new pay scale for clinical academic doctors in training is as follows:

 Pay for doctors in training
 Nodal point
 Stage of NHS training
 Salary (£)
 1  FY1  26,350
 2  FY2  30,500
 3  CT1 or ST1 / SpR1


 CT2 or ST2 / SpR2
 4  CT3 or ST3 / SpR3
   ST4/ SpR4
   ST5/ SpR5  
   ST6/ SpR6  
   ST7/ SpR7  
   ST8/ SpR8  


From October 2016, the new contract introduced a completely new pay system, which is based on stages of training rather than years of service. The pay system is “front-loaded” in that trainees receive a higher salary, compared with the previous system, earlier in their training.

This pay scale will only apply to new appointments and those in training below ST3 on 3 August 2016. There will be a form of pay protection for these existing trainees which will be outlined in our forthcoming guidance. Those already in training at ST3 and above on 2 August 2016 will remain on the existing pay arrangements until they exit training, until 3 August 2022, or once four years of continuous employment have elapsed, whichever is the sooner.


Pay circulars for medical academics

Download pay circulars for medical academic staff in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Medical academics in England

Medical academics in Northern Ireland

Medical academics in Scotland

Medical academics in Wales

Academic trainees in England


Further information

How pay is decided for medical academic and research staff