Academic Post Program

Build skills in research and critical thinking

The everyday practice of GPs is based on evidence. GPs and registrars need to be able to filter, critically appraise, interpret and apply the information available to them. The Australian General Practice Training program (AGPT) seeks to ensure registrars have the opportunity to build their skills in the areas of research, teaching and critical thinking through 12-month academic post training terms.

An academic post is an AGPT training term in which registrars learn academic skills through individualised learning plans with mentoring and support from training providers, universities and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The post aims to provide exposure to research and teaching in the academic environment and encourages registrars to incorporate academic work into their careers.


Academic Post program 2021

Applications for the 2021 program will open on 2 March 2020 and close on 1 June 2020.


The application guide for the Academic Post program 2021 will be available from December 2019.

Australian Journal of General Practice (AJGP) post

The Australian Journal of General Practice (AJGP) is the official journal of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). It is a highly regarded, peer-reviewed journal publishing original articles and reviews dedicated to meeting the ongoing educational requirements of general practitioners. The AJGP post incorporates a standard Academic Post with additional editing work. This post is a unique opportunity for a registrar to obtain medical editing experience during their academic training.

The Editorial Fellow role description can be found here.


The Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA) academic post

As part of the Federal Governments’ Closing the Gap strategy, the Department of Health has earmarked a specialised academic post referred to as the ‘Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) academic post’. AIDA and its members are uniquely positioned to provide perspectives aimed at improving the health and life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The AIDA post is offered to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander general practice registrar and aims to enhance the registrar’s training via exposure to, and experience in research and teaching.

The AIDA post comprises 0.5 FTE clinical work in a general practice clinic (minimum of 14.5 hours per week) and 0.5 FTE in academia, including research (11.4 hours) and teaching (7.6 hours). The successful applicant will be supported to visit AIDA’s office in Canberra several times over the course of the post. Applicants may develop their own topic in consultation with their University supervisor or select from the list of suggested topics provided below.

Suggested research topics

All of the topics listed below would lend themselves to a number of different approaches, ranging from a literature review, a review of metadata and trials, developing research methodology on how to collect/collate the data and measure/impact on results informed by and integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being and knowing and/or best practice models. Additional annotations are only provided where they differ from the above.

  • Applying cultural safety in clinical practice at the GP practice level (could also be a collation/review of patient surveys on the cultural safety of their treatment/GP)
  • Racism (as experienced and/or perpetrated) by GPs
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient and doctor (under)identification
  • GPs and ear health
  • GPs and BBV and STIs
  • GP role in identifying and addressing current and future effects of climate change on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • Euthanasia/Doctor assisted dying –
    • the impact of proposed and current laws on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
    • the opinions on those issues among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients (should include palliative care)
  • Integrating traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing practices in modern clinical practice.

How to prepare a quality application

There are a total of 20 academic posts available every year and the application process is very competitive. Prospective applicants are encouraged to check their eligibility for a post with their medical educator and liaise with their proposed university supervisor before commencing an application. Registrars are also encouraged to request support from RACGP staff before and during the application process via email or telephone 03 8699 0374.

2018 Academic Post registrar Dr Emily Kirkpatrick sat with Dr Chris Barton, senior lecturer in primary health care from Monash Department of General Practice, to talk through the steps involved in preparing and submitting a quality application.

The RACGP is pleased to announce the awarding of 20 academic posts for the 2020 program, including the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association and Australian Journal of General Practice specialised posts. A list of the successful applicants and their research projects can be accessed here: 2020 Academic Post Registrars and research questions.

RACGP awarded 20 academic posts to general practice registrars to undertake research and teaching during 2019. A list of successful applicants and their research projects can be accessed here: 2019 Academic Post Registrars and research questions (PDF 469 KB)

The RACGP Academic Post 2019 Cohort Guide provides comprehensive information for current and prospective academic registrars and their training providers.

RACGP Academic Post Cohort Guide 2019 (PDF 204 KB)

RACGP awarded 18 academic posts to general practice registrars to undertake research and teaching during 2018. A list of successful applicants and their research projects can be accessed here: 2018 Academic Post Registrars and research questions (PDF 84 KB)

Significant achievements:

  • Dr Melinda Choy was awarded the RACGP Foundation/IPN Medical Centres Research Grant which supports GPs and general practice registrars to conduct medical research into primary healthcare and develop research career pathways. Titled, “eHealth and disadvantage: A mixed methods study exploring how patients with chronic disease experience eHealth”, Dr Choy’s project is an extension of the work she has been doing during her academic post at the Australian National University.
  • Dr Daniel Epstein was awarded the 2018 RACGP Victorian Registrar of the Year.
  • Dr Rachel Turner was awarded the Dr Charlotte Hespe research award from GP Synergy for an outstanding academic project.
  • Dr Pallavi Prathivadi received the RACGP Foundation Charles Bridges Webb Memorial award and the Shepherd Foundation grant and is undertaking a PhD.

A list of projects undertaken by the 2017 Academic Registrars can be accessed here: 2017 Academic Post Registrars and research questions (PDF 351 KB)

Scholarly articles published by the 2017 Academic Registrars:

  • Junior doctors, burnout and wellbeing: Understanding the experience of burnout in general practice registrars and hospital equivalents
    A paper written by 2017 Academic Post registrar Dr Rebekah Hoffman, that was published in the Australian Journal of General Practice
  • “An online resource supporting refugee healthcare in Australian general practice: An exploratory study” Dr Timothy Wittick et al Australian Journal of General Practice. Volume 47, No. 11, November 2018.
  • “Definition of whole person care in general practice in the English language literature: a systematic review” Dr Hayley Thomas et al. published in BMJ Open, Volume 8, Issue 12, 2018.
  • “Mobile App Use by Primary Care Patients to Manage Their Depressive Symptoms: Qualitative Study” – Dr Alison Pung et al. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2018;20(9) :e10035.
  • “Socioeconomic status and time in glucose target range in people with type 2 diabetes: a baseline analysis of the GP-OSMOTIC study” - Dr Mei Lyn Tan et al. BMC Endocrine Disorders (2018) 18:47.
  • “General practice registrars' experiences of antenatal care: A cross-sectional analysis”. Dr Emma Pappalardo et al. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2019 Aug 19. doi: 10.1111/ajo.13042.

Significant achievements:

  • Dr Daniel Aranov presented at GP18 and won both the Allan Chancellor award and the Peter Mudge medal. His presentation was titled: “Social media video improves informed choice for breast cancer screening”

Read about the experience of past academic registrars who have featured in newsGP.

“A GP for every doctor”

Dr Rebekah Hoffman talks to newsGP about the importance of doctor self-care

“Balancing academic, clinical and personal life”

With burnout among general practice registrars an all-too-common issue, Dr Bosco Wu focused his academic research on the risks in medical training.

“From general practice registrar to Clinical Dean: A career reflection”

Associate Professor Justin Tse reflects on how his academic post helped pave the way for a fulfilling career in medicine and academia.

“The birth of a career in general practice research”

Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis reflects on how her AGPT academic post led to a PhD and successful career in general practice research.

“E-chatting about digital health to vulnerable populations”

Dr Melinda Choy is hoping her research will make a difference.

“Finding your tribe as a GP and academic”

GP and researcher Dr Liz Sturgiss believes ‘there is still a lot we don’t understand about why general practice works so well'.


GP Education Research program team at RACGP