Of these, 375 FTE were professors, senior lecturers and Lecturers, and 172 FTE were senior Clinical Teachers and Clinical Teachers. This reflects a 1% increase in total clinical academic staffing since 2010, making a fourth consecutive year of increase in clinical academic staffing levels. Numbers are now at their highest since the first survey in 2000, representing a 15% increase in 10 years.
There has been an encouraging rise in the number of lecturers in post to 142 FTE, since a low of 121 FTE in 2006. This is indicative of the positive effect of sustained investment into clinical academic pathways by the NIHR, BIS, the Higher Education Funding Councils and research funders.
Other key findings of the Dental Schools Council survey as at 31 July 2011 are:
• Women make up 37% of the clinical academic team, compared with 32% in 2004; 16% of professors are women, compared with 11% in 2004
• Funding for clinical academic posts remains steady at 76% from the Higher Education Funding Councils, 18% from the NHS and 6% from other sources.
• The profile of clinical academic dentists at early career grades is more ethnically diverse than those of later grades
• The dental clinical academic team includes a higher proportion of dentists in the 36–55 age groups than younger newly qualified dentists, including 59% of professors, senior lecturers and lecturers, compared with 51% in 2004.
Professor Paul Speight, chair of the Dental Schools Council, said ‘Clinical academic dentistry offers a career which combines the innovations of research with the practical groundings of teaching, and so is one of the most rewarding careers in the dental profession.
'Encouraging individuals to have this dual experience in their work is essential to ensuring the high quality of research and teaching in UK dentistry, as each aspect very much compliments the other. We are especially pleased with the four-year increase in overall clinical academic staffing numbers, which shows that clinical academic dentistry is being recognised as an attractive and fulfilling career for those across all demographics and backgrounds.’