HEE / NIHR Bridging Scheme

Health Education England / NIHR BRIDGING SCHEME

Are you a Nurse, Midwife, Allied Health Professional, Pharmacist or Healthcare Scientist?

Have you completed or are about to complete a masters level degree or a PhD?

Could you be looking to undertake a PhD or a post-doctoral level fellowship?

Do you want to make a difference through undertaking high quality clinical research?

If so the HEE/NIHR ICA bridging scheme will be of interest to you. 

This scheme is designed to bridge the gaps between Masters and PhD, (Pre Doctoral) and between PhD and Post-Doctoral (Post Doctoral) and to help the awardees successfully apply for either a Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship for the pre docs or a Clinical Lectureship for the post docs.

It offers a 12 month post-doctoral programme with an individual award of up to  £34,000 and for the 6/12 month (dependent on the date of submission for a fellowship) pre-doctoral programme up to £10,000. It is envisaged that the award will contribute towards salary backfill costs, training modules, travel expenses and access to high-quality academic mentorship.  Awardees will be released for up to 50% of their contracted hours to focus on the development of their research career and work towards a successful NIHR fellowship application. Advice regarding the scheme, funding award and the time release is available to help you negotiate your application with your manager.  Please contact Jo Simpson – joanne.simpson@researchnothwest.nhs.uk / 07885 832199.

The scheme will provide;- 

  • A dedicated period within which to develop your research proposal to form the basis of an application for an HEE/NIHR ICA doctoral or post-doctoral fellowship or alternative. 
  • An opportunity for you to assess your current levels of  ‘researcher’ skills and competence allowing you to identify, plan and commence your developmental activity. 
  • Access to academic and clinical environments that will encourage you to develop creativity and originality in research design and delivery.
  • Engagement with advanced research techniques and knowledge specific to your proposed research. 
  • Enhancement of your personal development of written, oral presentation and other communicative abilities required by clinical academic researchers.
  • The opportunity to widen your research network links at regional, national and potentially international level.
  • Development of the skills and knowledge required for you to become investigators and research leaders of the future.
  • Access to ongoing mentoring support.

In order to be eligible for the pre-doctoral level bridging scheme, individuals who work within the ICA professions must hold a Master’s level qualification (or evidence of postgraduate study at Level 7).

In order to be eligible for the post-doctoral scheme, individuals who work within the ICA professions must have completed or are about to complete a PhD immediately prior to commencement of the scheme and are looking to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship.  Those awardees submitting an application for a Post Doctoral Level Fellowship can only commence the scheme if they have been awarded a PhD or equivalent. 

Applicants must be employed by a provider of health and/or care services that is providing at least 50% of its services free at the point of delivery.  The applicant must also be spending at least 50% of their current role delivering health and/or care services which are free at the point of delivery.

Closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 5th July 2019 and interviews will be held week beginning 22nd July 2019 in Leeds.

The programme for pre-doctoral will commence with a one and a half day workshop in Leeds early September 2019  (residential optional) and the post-doctoral programme will commence in November 2019.  Attendance at the workshops is mandatory for awardees.

HEE Pre-doctoral Bridging Scheme Application Form

HEE Post-doctoral Bridging Scheme Application Form


For details regarding the eligibility criteria please click here.  

For additional information regarding the scheme please contact joanne.simpson@researchnorthwest.nhs.uk.