The WCAT experience

Alexa Wonnacott

I am a PhD student at the Wales kidney Research Unit, based in the UHW labs. My research area of interest is podocyte insulin signaling and diabetic nephropathy. I am a trainee on the Welsh clinical academic training (WCAT) scheme, open to applicants who are interested in forging a career in academic medicine. My training is 7 years long, with 3 year period of 100% protected PhD time and the remaining time split 80:20 clinical: research (nephrology only, no GIM). After my CCT, I will be eligible to apply for research positions as a Senior Clinical Lecturer within a university, with an honorary contract with the affiliated hospital trust.

  • Supernumerary trainee, therefore able to arrange bespoke clinical training to meet the required competencies
  • Fully protected research time
  • University teaching opportunities including lecturing, small group tutorials, SSC supervision and undergraduate examining
  • WCAT is only salary funded (at unbanded basic rate), so funding for PhD consumables needs to be sourced externally, which is highly competitive and quite stressful!
  • Uncertainty regarding the career pathway and job plan post CCT

More information on the WCAT scheme, can be found here

Or if you would like to know more about the renal perspective on WCAT, contact Alexa on

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