Can you do research full-time after a DClinPsy?

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
Post Reply
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 9:13 pm

Can you do research full-time after a DClinPsy?

Post by jessmorton » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:55 pm

I’m in my first year of a DClinPsy course. I’m thinking ahead to the future and wondering. I’m not sure that after graduating I’m going to want to be doing direct clinical work. I know that some people go down the clinical academic path and so split their time between clinical work and research. But I was wondering whether it’s possible to go into research full-time after qualifying? I don’t have a PhD.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2193
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:00 pm

Re: Can you do research full-time after a DClinPsy?

Post by maven » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:47 am

It isn't a path I've seen directly, without either a PhD or teaching on a clinical course first, and academic posts are highly competitive and insecure until you get tenure. But there are research centres of expertise that might be interested in a CP, and roles that don't involve direct therapeutic work (but do contain consultancy or specialist assessments) as well as a growing number of social enterprises and small businesses that deal with some combination of psychology and data, so if you do your research well and pick out relevant specialist placements it might be possible. I guess it depends whether you feel like you might change your mind, and whether you are enjoying training. If not, and you are sure that clinical work is not for you, you might want to change track to a PhD.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:10 am

Re: Can you do research full-time after a DClinPsy?

Post by hawke » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:29 am

In my university, it is quite competitive to even get the split academic-clinician posts. The people who go into them quickly tended to have PhDs or significant research experience before doing the ClinPsyD, and subjectively they have reputations as being the brightest and best of their cohorts academically. Many others have transitioned after a few years of working clinically though.

I'd be cautious of making decisions after one placement. Working with full therapy caseloads in a busy CMHT or CAMHS service is VERY different to working behaviourally, systemically or neuropsychologically in LD or older adults, for example. The higher up you go in psychology, the less direct clinical work you have, and the more indirect and strategic work (i.e. meetings!) you'll have. Again, it's very different being supervised by a band 7/8a CP to a band 8b/c CP. And very different working in non-NHS services.

I would advise having some really open conversations with the course placement team about what is on offer, particularly for 3rd year. I'm doing one of my placements in a university research team, and will get the chance to do some university level teaching, training and reflective practice. I get to do this because my research supervisor is a clinical psychologist who runs the research group - so think carefully when picking your thesis/supervisor about what other doors they might be able to open for you. The 3rd years on your course should be able to give you a lot of information on their experiences to guide you.

User avatar
Posts: 669
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:07 pm
Location: Midlands

Re: Can you do research full-time after a DClinPsy?

Post by mungle » Mon Feb 24, 2020 4:37 pm

You could go for a lecturing post - these are easier to get with a clinical psychology background and can be done at some Unis without publications or a PhD but you will probably spend the vast majority of the time teaching and being overworked.
If you're early on in the dclinpsy and sure it's not for you, then yes consider jumping ship and dong a PhD.
You could try for a research fellow job. To go into research jobs, the usual key is to publish, publish, publish.....

User avatar
Posts: 1407
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: The other side of paradise

Re: Can you do research full-time after a DClinPsy?

Post by Spatch » Mon Feb 24, 2020 6:42 pm

Some good advice above. There are folk coming off a DClinPsy who go into full time research either as research therapists, post docs or academics.

I would also add there is the option for DClinPsys to apply for the MRC fellowship to develop a research career which is an amazing opportunity and really prestigious (and decently paid): ... ship-crtf/

Other, if you wanted to focus on research rather than clinical practice (which is quite cool in my opinion), than that I would reinforce the advice to:

1) Publish your thesis (and potentially co-author papers based on other people's theses who never want to see theirs ever again). Publish as much as possible.
2) Find a really good supervisor, who is happy to mentor and act as guide in the academic jungle. This can be through your academic department, conferences and other research opportunities.
3) Win grants, co-author grants and find other ways of securing money.

The lack of a PhD won't necessarily hold you back initially, and in some of the above routes, you may end up getting one through the work you do. However, at higher levels (e.g. professorship, being a principle investigator for some major grants) your DClinPsy may not viewed the same as a research PhD may be at some institutions. However, if you are facing that particular issue you will have the resources and network to do it at that stage.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon ... 00EQFE5JW/

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests