Specialist Foundation Programmes (SFP)

KSS and Wessex, have been developed as a joint specialised unit of application (SUoA) for 2023 Specialised Foundation Programme Recruitment. Applicants can apply for both KSS and Wessex Specialised Foundation Programmes (the Oriel Recruitment system).

Clinical academic medicine is an exciting, fundamental and indispensable career. Clinical Academics play a significant role in producing and evaluating evidence to design and “translate” novel treatments and best practice into optimal patient care.

The Specialised Foundation Programme is the first component of post-graduate training in clinical academia following medical school training, where doctors with an interest in an academic career can gain exposure to the clinical academic environment and obtain experience in research skills relevant to enhancing patient care.

Specialised Foundation Programmes combine clinical training with training in research methods, and includes a four-month academic placement during F2.

The role of clinical academics is to combine research and/or teaching with clinical practice, hence great emphasis is placed upon acquiring strong clinical skills as well as high quality research training during the course of the programme.

Applicants must meet the person specification:2023 SFP Person Specification

Specialised Programmes

  1. Stroke & Elderly care
  2. Haematology
  3. Infectious disease 
  4. Hepatology/Gastroenterology 
  5. Intensive Care Medicine 
  6. Genito-Urinary Medicine/HIV
  7. Paediatrics 
  8. General Practice 
  9. Medical Education 
  10. Management & Leadership 
  11. Academic Research 
  12. Oncology

Clinical Placements

The clinical rotations for the 2-year academic foundation programmes can be downloaded here in an Excel spreadsheet. The same programmes can be found on the Oriel recruitment system. These rotations are fixed and cannot be changed. 

**Please note that there is a change to an F1 specialty for programme 2324/KMMS/04, 2324/KMMS/05 and 2324/KMMS/06, the specialty has changed from Geriatrics to General Internal Medicine. The sub specialty remains the same- Pre-operative Stabilisation Programme (POPS) – Optimising patients in the elective pathway** as of 07.10.22

Applications and Recruitment

Application and Recruitment Process Timeline 

7 September 2022: National application period opens. 

21 September 2022 (12 midday BST): National application deadline. 

26 September 2022 to 7 October 2022: KSS and Wessex longlisting and shortlisting takes place. 

17 October 2022 to 21 October 2022: Shortlisted applicants invited to interview. 

23 November 2022 to 25 November 2022: Interviews for SFP posts.

The interview will consist of one station, to include 4 SFP based questions and 1 clinical scenario. 

11 January 2023: National offers day. Successful applicants will receive offers. All offers must be accepted or declined on Oriel by the stated deadline. Applicants will have 48 hours to respond to offers. 

18 January 2023 to 3 February 2023: Cascade SFP national offers. Successful SFP applicants will receive offers. All offers must be accepted or declined on Oriel by the stated deadline. Applicants will have 48 hours to respond to offers. 

6 February 2023 to 10 February 2023: SFP Clearing. 

Shortlisting process 

Applicants will have their application scored by a panel of two, with points awarded for the following and combined to give a total shortlist score. 

White Space Questions: 0-10 points are available for each question (maximum score 40) 

Applicants must answer the following white space questions:

career goals, achievements/experience (both parts), team working, general (both parts).

We do not require you to answer the programme interests or leadership questions but note that if you are applying for another SUoA this may be required, otherwise you can enter N/A. 


Max Points available : 9 points (Maximum 3 pieces scoring top marks of 3 points each)

Scores per publication (max 3)

3 points

Published with PuMed ID

2 points

Evidence online that it is published in some form, but not listed on PuBMed

1 point

Submitted but unpublished


Max points available: 12 points, with a maximum of 3 pieces of evidence(updated 9/9/22)

National/International level (poster)

3 points

National/International level (podium/oral presentation)

4 points

Additional Degrees / Qualifications

 Primary medical qualification only

 2.2 class honours degree

 3rd class honours degree

 Doctoral degree (PhD, DPhil, etc.)

 Unclassified honours degree

Maximum score achievable for degree type – 0


2.1 class honours degree

Merit class (NOT distinction or pass) for Postgraduate Master’s   degree (level 7 only), e.g., MPhil, MSc, MPharm

Maximum score achievable for degree type – 2


1st class honours degree

Distinction class (NOT merit or pass) for Postgraduate Master’s  degree (level 7 only), e.g., MPhil, MSc, MPharm

Maximum score achievable for degree type – 5


 Maximum score achievable for domain – 5

Additional degrees give medical students an added opportunity to gain publications, presentations and prizes which attract the majority of marks in our shortlisting criteria. However, we recognise that some students may not have had the opportunity to undertake an additional degree for personal or financial reasons, which does not lessen their academic potential. For this reason, additional degrees will now only score marks if a first, distinction, 2:1 or merit has been achieved.


Honours MA degrees, including those from some Scottish Universities, are undergraduate degrees and therefore classed as honours degrees, not master’s degrees. Honours degrees from Oxford and Cambridge can be converted to master’s degrees after a period of time, but these do not require a further year of study and are therefore classed as honours degrees and not master’s degrees.

Points for postgraduate master’s degrees can only be awarded where the degree represents a further year of study taken in addition to an undergraduate degree (whether as an intercalation or other), and there is a competitive entry requirement of a previous degree or equivalent. If you choose a lesser score as part of the main application, your score will not be upgraded at a later stage following the verification process.

Typically, masters’ degrees are awarded a pass/merit/distinction classification.

Some international medical schools (e.g., the USA) award an ‘MD’ or similar as part of their basic medical qualifications. This qualification does not attract any additional points in this section.

Converting degrees with a Grade Point Average (GPA) score

For applicants who have undertaken an exchange programme of study as part of a degree course or are a graduate from an overseas university where they provide Grade Point Average (GPA) points, the following procedure must be used. Please note that the GPA is different to weighted average marks.

Applicants must take the cumulative, i.e., all years, grade point average (GPA) and calculate the equivalent degree level and select the most appropriate. The evidence provided MUST show the cumulative (GPA) and specify on what scale the degree was scored, otherwise zero points will be awarded.

All applicants converting degrees with a GPA score use the online calculator through GPA Calculator and provide evidence to this effect. Applicants must provide evidence of the calculation from Foreign Credits and not just the final outcome. The Graduate Recruitment Bureau (GRB) also offers some useful resources for applicants who are looking to submit evidence of overseas / GPA degrees with the calculation and evidence to demonstrate equivalence. Further information can be found on their website

It is the responsibility of each applicant to obtain the necessary evidence of GPA calculations and to demonstrate equivalence with UK standards.

Shortlisting Feedback 

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications, we are not able to give individual feedback on shortlisting scores and we are not able to share details of the scoring matrix as this would jeopardise future recruitment processes.

We are unable to give you feedback on the content of your application. 

Interview dates 

Interviews for all Specialised Foundation Programmes for KSS and Wessex will be held on the following dates: 

23 November 2022 

24 November 2022 

25 November 2022 

Interview Feedback 


All KSS Preferences will be made online.

Preference options will include the clinical rotations and the Specialised Programme area.

Following interviews all candidates who request feedback will be provided with the following standard information: 

Breakdown of scores (question scores) 

Overall score 


Minimum score to be appointed 

Copy of interview scoresheets 

Requests for feedback will only be accepted in writing between the following dates: Monday 6 February 2023 to Monday 20 February 2023

SFP Appeals Process 

Applicants who wish to register an appeal should refer to the National SFP Appeals Guidance available on the UKFPO website. 

If you have any queries about the application process please email the relevant Foundation School on: 

Kent Surrey Sussex and Wessex 

For information relating the Wessex Specialised Foundation Programme please visit the Wessex Foundation School Website 

For further national recruitment, and application guidance Foundation Programme (UKFP)