Medical academics' pay scales

This guidance covers what medical or clinical academics should be paid, including protections for those trainees transferring to the 2016 pay scale and what pay premia and additional awards academics are entitled to.

Location: UK
Audience: Medical academics Junior doctors
Updated: Tuesday 5 September 2023
Wallet and notes illustration

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


Pay circulars


NHS Employers have published guidance to address the careers earning impact of Covid-19 on doctors in training in England. The guidance has been produced in association with the BMA and translates guidance agreed between NHS Employers and the BMA in the NHS.

Read guidance to address career earnings impact for ARCP outcome 10.2 recipients | NHS Employers



Northern Ireland

Training flexible pay premia (England)

In England, the 2016 junior doctor contract introduced a new range of flexible pay premia (FPPs) which are intended to encourage recruitment in certain specialties. The premia are only payable to those who are on the new pay scale.

  • These payments are taxable, non-pensionable and made annually until you complete your clinical training.
  • An individual can receive more than one FPP at a time, wherever they meet the criteria, though not the same premium twice.
  • These FPP are paid pro-rata for less than full time (LTFT) trainees.
  • UCEA have also recommended that university employers match the FPP being offered to junior doctors in the NHS, including the specific academic pay premium.
  • If you take maternity or other family leave whilst receiving FPP, maternity pay will be calculated including the pay premium.
  • The list of premia and an outline of the eligibility criteria are in the circular at the top of this page.


Other pay premia

Academic pay premium

The academic pay premium is £4,288 per annum. It’s paid to those who have successfully completed an approved higher degree and returned to clinical training.

General practice pay premium

The premium is £8,789 per annum and is only payable while you are working in a general practice placement.

Exceptional flexible pay premia

The details surrounding the application of and eligibility for this criteria have not yet been determined. These premia are likely to be in response to exceptional events, such as specific public health crises that may arise in the future.

The BMA is currently in discussions about the extent to which this premia could apply to the COVID-19 crisis and its value.

As such, we felt it was vital for this premium for academia and research to be included in the pay circular. It should be available to academic trainees including when they undertake such activities as university employees.


System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
   at Umbraco.Cms.Core.Models.PublishedContent.PublishedContentType..ctor(IContentTypeComposition contentType, IPublishedContentTypeFactory factory)
   at Our.Umbraco.DocTypeGridEditor.Helpers.DocTypeGridEditorHelper.<>c__DisplayClass15_0.<GetContentTypesByAlias>b__0()
   at Umbraco.Extensions.AppCacheExtensions.<>c__DisplayClass5_0`1.<GetCacheItem>b__0()
   at Umbraco.Cms.Core.Cache.SafeLazy.<>c__DisplayClass1_0.<GetSafeLazy>b__0()
--- End of stack trace from previous location ---
   at Umbraco.Cms.Core.Cache.ObjectCacheAppCache.Get(String key, Func`1 factory, Nullable`1 timeout, Boolean isSliding, String[] dependentFiles)
   at Umbraco.Cms.Core.Cache.ObjectCacheAppCache.Get(String key, Func`1 factory)
   at Umbraco.Cms.Core.Cache.DeepCloneAppCache.Get(String key, Func`1 factory)
   at Umbraco.Extensions.AppCacheExtensions.GetCacheItem[T](IAppCache provider, String cacheKey, Func`1 getCacheItem)
   at Our.Umbraco.DocTypeGridEditor.Helpers.DocTypeGridEditorHelper.GetContentTypesByAlias(String contentTypeAlias)
   at Our.Umbraco.DocTypeGridEditor.Helpers.DocTypeGridEditorHelper.ConvertValue(String id, String contentTypeAlias, String dataJson)
   at Our.Umbraco.DocTypeGridEditor.Helpers.DocTypeGridEditorHelper.RenderDocTypeGridEditorItem(IViewComponentHelper helper, IHtmlHelper htmlHelper, Object model)
   at AspNetCoreGeneratedDocument.App_Plugins_DocTypeGridEditor_Render_DocTypeGridEditor.ExecuteAsync()
   at Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.Razor.RazorView.RenderPageCoreAsync(IRazorPage page, ViewContext context)
   at Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.Razor.RazorView.RenderPageAsync(IRazorPage page, ViewContext context, Boolean invokeViewStarts)
   at Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.Razor.RazorView.RenderAsync(ViewContext context)
   at Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.ViewFeatures.HtmlHelper.RenderPartialCoreAsync(String partialViewName, Object model, ViewDataDictionary viewData, TextWriter writer)
   at Microsoft.AspNetCore.Mvc.ViewFeatures.HtmlHelper.PartialAsync(String partialViewName, Object model, ViewDataDictionary viewData)
   at AspNetCore.Views_Partials_grid_editors_base.ExecuteAsync() in C:\home\site\wwwroot\Views\Partials\grid\editors\base.cshtml:line 11

Senior clinical lecturer / reader scale

UCEA will retain and update (in line with recommendations made by the DDRB) the existing senior clinical lecturer/reader scale. This is to give employers the flexibility to retain progression for junior doctors and dentists beyond the clinical lecturer scale.

It is for when employers feel it is necessary to compensate an individual for the elongated training pathway, beyond simply paying them the academic premium. They have suggested that this is likely to be based on some element beyond length of service.

It is an opportunity that you should be aware of and to seek with your employer if appropriate.


Voluntary pay reductions and other pay changes

receipts illustration
Make the most of your membership

Find the most popular BMA benefits that other members are using right now. From calculators to the BMJ online, we have a range of tools to help you professionally and personally. 

Member benefits