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ICA Professional Doctorates Eligibility Criteria



Professional Doctorates – Eligibility criteria for Clinical Lectureship and Senior Clinical Lectureship Awards applications

Candidates holding Professional Doctorates will be assessed for eligibility by HEE and the NIHR on an individual basis following receipt of evidence from the applicant’s host HEI that they meet the criteria below, and are eligible to be appointed as a Clinical Lecturer (or equivalent role) or above. 

In order to claim parity with recognised doctoral level programmes a Professional Doctorate programme should meet the following criteria:

  • Commit at least 50% of the programme to the development of a research-based thesis. The other 50% should include research training as appropriate (e.g. taught programmes on research methods, methodologies, statistics and ethics) and also practice and professional development which should all underpin a clinical academic profile. 
  • Include supervision arrangements similar to those required for PhDs but also including as appropriate a clinical/practice based supervisor. 
  • Normally have a minimum 65,000 word thesis depending on the research approach taken in the study. 
  • Include other written work which is formally assessed during the professional doctorate programme which underpins the individual’s development as a clinician and a researcher. 
  • Include the same thesis examination format as for PhDs with identical criteria for judging doctoral standards, with the expectation that the thesis demonstrates the individual’s development as a practice based researcher. 
  • Be expected to make an ‘original and new contribution to knowledge’ through original research of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline and merit (according to peer reviewers) publication in the established literature; and have at least one full paper for publication based on their doctoral work published or accepted for publication. 
  • Have no more than 40% of the 360 academic credits awarded at Masters level. 
  • Have a minimum of 60% credits awarded at doctoral level. 
  • Include a maximum of three years’ full-time study or five/six years maximum of part-time study which should include research activities, research training and personal and professional development.

If you feel that you meet these criteria, please contact before you proceed with an application.