Research and innovation
Renal medicine has an excellent track record in research. The academic pathway for trainees is strongly embedded in renal training and supported by both academic and consultant nephrologists; many trainees undertake a formal period of research training. Academic nephrologists, working alongside interdisciplinary research teams, are crucial for the development and implementation of new ideas about disease aetiology, pathogenesis and treatment.
Clinical academic nephrologists often provide specialist clinical services and tertiary advice related to their research activity and play a crucial role in training the future consultant body. The clinical contribution of academic nephrologists varies widely depending on their other responsibilities. They would be expected to provide proportional input into the renal service according to the nature of the contract and the job plan, which should be agreed by the university and NHS as part of the joint appraisal process. It should be stressed that this will be proportionate for all activities in a nephrologist’s job description, including support, training, governance, teaching (often undertaken during the academic part of the job plan) and administrative roles, as well as direct patient-related activities.