Specialist Foundation Programmes (SFP)

KSS and Wessex, have been developed as a joint specialised unit of application (SUoA) for 2024 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: 2024 Person Specification

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. 

20 September 2023: National application period opens.  

04 October 2023(12 midday BST): National application deadline.  

10 October 2023 to 31 October 2023: KSS and Wessex longlisting and shortlisting takes place.  

06 November 2023 to 10 November 2023: Shortlisted applicants invited to interview. Note we will be interviewing with a ratio of 2.5:1 applicants to post. 

21 November 2023 to 23 November 2023: Interviews for SFP posts. 

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

10 January 2024: 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.  

17 January 2024 to 2 February 2024: 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.  

5 February 2024 to 9 February 2024: SFP Clearing.  

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 60)  

Applicants must answer all of the white space questions. 

Publications: Up to 9 points are available (maximum of 3 pieces of evidence) 

Presentations: Up to 12 points are available (maximum of 3 pieces of evidence). Update 20th September 2023: Posters will only be accepted for conferences which dates are before the closing date of the SFP application window ( 4th October 2023).

Additional Degrees /Qualifications: Up to 5 points are available 

Please click here for further information scoring criteria for Publications, Presentations and Additional degrees / Qualifications 

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.  

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

21 November 2023  

22 November 2023  

23 November 2023  

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 22 January 2024 to Friday 26 January 2024.  

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

Individual Trust Job Descriptors

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

East Kent University Foundation Trust

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Royal Surrey County Hospital Trust

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust

Further Information

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

Kent Surrey & Sussex: england.kssfoundationrecruitment.se@nhs.net

Wessex: england.foundation.wx@nhs.net

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)

Here are UKFPO’s Frequently asked questions