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Chief Dental Officer's Clinical Fellow Scheme

Chief Dental Officer's Clinical Fellow Scheme


What it is

Sponsored by the Chief Dental Officer for England and managed by FMLM, the scheme is designed to acelerate and support those dentists who present with the clearest potential to develop as leaders of the future.

Established in 2017, it provides a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in a national healthcare-affiliated organisation outside of dentistry practice to develop skills in leadership, management, strategy, project management and healthcare policy.

Who it's for

This scheme is for dentists who meet the eligibility criteria specified in the scheme information pack [published at the time of open recruitment]. For information on clinical fellow schemes for other professions, please visit this page of our website. 

What it offers

Successful candidates gain:

  • a range of skills including leadership and management, policy development, project management, research and analysis
  • supported leadership and personal development
  • the opportunity to lead on key national projects which contribute to national healthcare priorities
  • access to professional networks across dentistry and healthcare at all levels
  • a highly developed understanding of healthcare policy and application
  • the skills to lead positive change
  • enhanced capabilities at developing and working with teams and to support others in developing their own personal insight and effectiveness

How it works

Candidates may submit an application for a place on the scheme during the recruitment period each year. Shortlisted candidates are interviewed and successful applicants are seconded from their current employer to take up a fellowship role for 12 months, starting 1 September.

This scheme is an experiential leadership development opportunity for 12 months, which immerses dental fellows at the centre of national healthcare organisations. From there, clinical fellows develop a broad range of enhanced leadership, policy, project and communication skills, by leading on programmes of work that will directly contribute to national healthcare priorities. The scheme is a fully immersive, intensive and rewarding experience, designed to provide unique insights, skills and experiences outside of the clinical setting. 

What do clinical fellows say?

"The scheme offers invaluable insight into the breadth of national organisations in health and social care, highlighting relationships with stakeholders and their role in the wider system. It presents the chance to observe, engage and work with senior leaders across the system with unique opportunities to be seen, heard and to share your clinical perspective, shaping organisational priorities and influencing health and social care policy in the UK.

The leadership educational programme challenges thinking and commands self-reflection, a journey you embark on with other like-minded, supportive, multi-professional fellows, collectively developing over the course of the fellowship."

Mr Tej Gadhia, Chief Dental Officer’s Clinical Fellow 2021/22, NHS Business Services Authority

"The Chief Dental Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme has allowed me to gain an improved understanding of the NHS landscape and the role that each organisation must play, at national, regional, and local levels. It has given me the opportunity to work closely with inspiring senior leaders and expand my multi-professional peer network, exposing me to new ideas and ways of working.

It has reinforced my passion for my profession and clinical practice. This will serve me well in my future clinical and academic career progression and any formal clinical leadership roles I wish to pursue." 

Miss Jessie Tebbutt, Chief Dental Officer’s Clinical Fellow 2021/22, Health Education England


To be notified when the 2024/25 scheme launches recruitment, please register your interest here.

For enquiries, please contact clinicalfellowscheme [at]

Meet the 2023/24 cohort

Find out who they are and what drives them to help create a better health service.

View from a clinical fellow

Hear from Richard Jacob, about his experience as a Chief Dental Officer's Clinical Fellow.

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