UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway

We are highly dependent on clinicians within our affiliated teaching hospitals, acute, general and specialist hospitals, and within primary care centres to deliver the clinical training component of our education programmes and to help drive our biomedical and clinical research programmes. 

Clinician engagement in University business is greatly facilitated by having a formal adjunct appointment which allows them access a variety of academic supports and resources.  Hence in 2008/2009, the School introduced the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway scheme to provide formal university acknowledgement of these contributions to academic activities, recognising that many clinicians contribute strongly despite having no protected academic time.

We welcome applications from those who contribute to UCD teaching and/or research or who perform a significant clinical leadership role in Irish healthcare.

The UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway is designed to recognise those within our clinical training network who make a significant contribution to the School through teaching, research, or clinical leadership.  Appointees are adjunct academic staff not normally employed by University College Dublin.  They will ordinarily be employed within the healthcare system as a hospital consultant, general medical practitioner, radiographer, or paramedic or will have recently retired from such employment. Most applicants do not have any protected academic time and carry significant clinical responsibilities.  

The UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway operates as a formal University adjunct appointment (clinical pathway appointments).  Appointments made under the Dublin Academic Medical Centre agreement (DAMC appointments) integrate within this scheme.  The UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway offers an opportunity for progression to higher academic ranks based on contributions to the University.  Separate adjunct appointment routes exist for non-clinical staff (adjunct appointment) and for staff who hold substantive academic appointments at other Universities (visiting academic appointment).

Application Status

The School welcomes first-time or re-appointment applications under the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway scheme at any time throughout the year.

The School welcomes Promotion applications within the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway.  Please note that the closing date for receipt of applications for the 2023/2024 scheme is 31st December 2023.

How to Apply 

Completed applications forms should be submitted to the School by email via clinicalpathway@ucd.ie by the closing date.

The School of Medicine will acknowledge receipt of all applications. You should not consider your application has been completed until you receive this confirmation.

As this is a popular scheme and these are formal university appointments with a rigorous review process, it is important to recognise that the processing of applications will take some time to complete. The School will endeavour to keep all applicants appraised of the review status but notes that not all steps in this process are within the School’s control.

Indicative Timeframe


Indicative Timeline

Open for Applications

1st October 2023 – 31st December 2023

Closing Date for Receipt of Applications

31st December 2023

Stage 1 Review

31st January 2024

Stage 2 Internal Review

April 2024

Stage 3 External Review

May 2024

College Approval

June 2024

Communication to Applicants

August 2024

Terms & Conditions of Appointment

Terms and conditions of appointment to the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway


  1. Applicant completes the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway Application Form
  2. Applicant submits the Application Form to clinicalpathway@ucd.ie
  3. School Office distributes applications to relevant Section Leader
  4. Internal Review Meeting to verify eligibility
  5. Review Process by External Review Panel
  6. Recommendations to the College of Health & Agricultural Sciences
  7. School notification to Applicants
  8. Recommendations to the Academic Council
  9. Report to the Governing Authority for Noting
  10. UCD Human Resources contacts the applicants

As is evident from the above process, considerable scrutiny is applied to proposed academic appointments within UCD.  Please note that although the School initiates the process, the majority of the review steps are not within our control. Owing to differences in timings of respective committees, it may take a number of months for this process to be completed. 

The objectives of the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway are to

  • Recognise those clinicians engaged in a career in medicine within our main teaching hospitals, affiliated hospitals and other teaching environments, and who make significant contributions to the School through teaching, mentoring, research programmes, professional appointments and development activities.
  • Encourage increased participation in all academic activities including translational research, undergraduate and graduate education.
  • Build a sense of connection with the School and by extension with the University.
  • Clearly demonstrate that academic advancement is determined as a result of rigorous peer review and is based on sustained performance not time served.
  • Respond to the strategic needs of the School.
  • Support the creation of an integrated academic health centre where world class patient care is achieved by purposefully linking clinical care with teaching and research.

What is the Purpose of the UCD Clinical Pathway?

The UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway is designed to recognise those clinicians engaged in a career in medicine within our main teaching hospitals, affiliated hospitals and other teaching environments, and who make a significant contribution to the UCD School of Medicine through teaching, mentoring, research programmes, professional appointments and School development activities.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Adjunct appointees to the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway will be ordinarily employed within the healthcare system or will have retired from such employment. As part of its commitment to the Dublin Academic Medical Centre initiative, all consultants of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital will receive an clinical pathway appointment on application to the university.

Important Changes

The University Committee on Academic Appointment, Tenure & Promotion has confirmed eligibility criteria for consultant staff employed on less than a full academic contract. The type of consultant’s appointment determines eligibility under this scheme. 

  • Individuals with a standard consultant contract appointment with a sessional, occasional or no contractual commitment to UCD will be eligible for consideration under the UCD Clinical Pathway. 
  • Consultants with academic contracts can only apply for promotion through the standard academic pathways and are not eligible for advancement through the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway. 
  • Individuals with locum appointments will not be considered under this scheme; however their appointment as honorary special lecturer for a short period will be considered by the School on an individual basis. Requests for such appointments should be submitted to the relevant Head of Subject for authorisation by the School Executive Management Committee.

When can I apply?

New appointments under the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway can be made at any time during the academic year.  Applications for promotion within the scheme can only be made during formal calls which take place typically once per annum.  The School will advertise when the Pathway is open for promotion applications on this page and typically alerts existing members by email. 

How do I apply?

Application forms are available from this web page and should be submitted by email to clinicalpathway@ucd.ie .  Detailed curricula vitae, testimonies or personal references will not be considered.

Why can I not just submit my CV?

The application form has been designed to capture all information relevant to the review process. Applicants should appreciate that the Review Panel cannot be expected to extract key information from multiple differently presented documents.

Why do I have to apply? Why can’t you just give me an appointment?

The application process is a formal request to the University to be considered for an adjunct academic appointment.

Can I apply for a specific academic grade?

Applicants do not apply for a specific grade of academic appointment. The decision to appoint and the appropriate academic level of any such appointment will be determined by the University Committee for Academic Appointments, Tenure and Promotion.

Who will evaluation my application?

Applications to the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway scheme are considered by an academic review panel chaired by a nominee of the Head of School.  The Review Panel comprises senior academics from within the School, from within the existing adjunct clinical faculty, from other UCD Schools and from other Irish Medical Schools.

To ensure consistency with appointment and promotion pathways available to full-time UCD academic staff, the Review Panel also contains representatives from, and makes its recommendations to, the University Committee for Academic Appointments, Tenure and Promotion. The majority of members on the review panel are external to the School.

How will my application be judged?

All applications are individually considered by each member of the Review Panel against the following assessment parameters

  • Research & Scholarship
  • Teaching
  • Contribution to UCD
  • Contribution to Teaching Hospital / Clinical Training Network
  • Contribution to Irish Healthcare
  • National Leadership & International Reputation
  • Other Relevant Information

Are there explicit benchmarks similar to those for UCD Staff appointments and promotions?

The University has not established benchmarks specifically for the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathwayscheme. It is unlikely to do so given the range of different clinical specialties and the fact that academic activity takes place in the context of significant clinical workload. The University uses the benchmarks for full time academic staff as the indicative standard for review of all adjunct appointments. In the case of the UCD Clinical Pathway, the review process gives due consideration to the contributions made to hospital and national healthcare, as well as contributions to the University. Allowance is also made for the fact that most applicants do not have time dedicated to their academic endeavors.

Further information on the promotional benchmarks for full time academic staff can be found on the UCD Human Resource website, click here.

How will I be notified about my application?

Once submitted by the Academic Section Leader we will acknowledge all applications by return email and the decision of the University Committee for Academic Appointments, Tenure & Promotion will be communicated by letter and email.

Do I need to accept or decline the appointment?

Applicants are not required to notify the University that they accept the appointment. Similarly, they are not required to inform the University if they choose not to use the appointment.

Can I appeal the appointment level?

There is no right of appeal; however individuals are welcome to re-apply for appointment or to apply for promotion within the UCD Clinical Pathway as appropriate.  The University has made every best effort to develop a rigorous, robust and fair system of academic appointment under this adjunct pathway. The Review Panel is constructed to include academic representation from the University Committee for Academic Appointments, Tenure & Promotion and is externally validated by senior medical faculty from other Irish Universities.

Can I be promoted within the UCD Clinical Pathway?

Yes, the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway was designed to allow academic progression consistent with normal University advancement procedures. 

When can I apply for promotion?

Application for promotion of existing appointees can be made during any of the formal calls for appointments or promotion.  Applicants seeking promotion will need to be able to demonstrate incremental performance.  The Review Panel would normally expect a minimum of three years between appointment and application for promotion within the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway.

How can I apply for promotion?

Complete the relevant UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway application form highlighting areas where progression under each of the assessment criteria can be evidenced. 

Are there any time limits for promotion?

Once eligibility criteria are satisfied, progression through the UCD Medicine Clinical Pathway will be determined solely by academic performance and not by length of service.

All adjunct appointments will normally be for a period of five years. After this time, each appointment will be considered by the Review Panel with the option of reappointment or not, with reappointment being either at the same or a different level.