Are you a Nurse, Midwife or Allied Health Professional with a passion for research?
Do you have the drive and ambition to be a future research leader?
Apply now to join the NIHR CRN Early Career Researcher Development Pathway 

*North West Coast and Greater Manchester regions only*

Back by popular demand! We are pleased to announce the return of the ECR Pathway Programme!

NIHR CRN North West Coast and Greater Manchester invites nurses, midwives and allied health professions* with an interest in research to join this innovative and unique 12-month early career researcher development pathway programme.

We are looking for 30 enthusiastic and committed health care professionals, educated to degree level  who are employed by CRN partner organisations within the North West Coast and Greater Manchester footprint and who can demonstrate a significant interest and commitment to health and social care research and an ambition to become a research leader.

You will need full support from your employing organisation, agreement to two study days per month over 12 months and agreement for one two-hour coaching session each month. (Full details on how to apply can be found at the bottom of the page)

This course aims:

  • To understand the drivers, policy context and value of research in the NHS and across the NIHR CRNs NWC & GM regions.
  • To understand the role of the NIHR local CRNs and how to involve patients and organisations in research.
  • To ensure the development of the knowledge, intellectual abilities, and methodologies to do and lead research.
  • To understand how to engage and influence others to ensure the wider impact of research.
  • To understand the factors/dimensions that create and enable leadership in research.
  • Develop the personal qualities and approach to be an effective researcher.
  • Have knowledge of the standards, requirements, and professionalism to do research.
  • To identify and fulfil personal development needs/learning outcomes.
  • To create a personal network that will progress and promote the research leadership journey.
  • To engage with current Principal and Chief Investigators in the region and understand their role and its impact.
  • To develop reflective practice skills.
  • To develop aspirational goals and an initial 3-year career plan to achieve leadership potential.
The programme is a 12-month course delivered over 10 days plus a coaching session each month (please see dates below in pink). 

The programme is led by NHS Research and Development North West, which includes local CRN teams, leadership coaches, organisational development experts, facilitators and a range of visiting speakers who will cover specialist topics. The programme is part of a Level 7, (20 credit) M Level module within the University of Liverpool. You will be expected to complete two academic assignments as part of the module and there will be further work/ reading expected outside of the workshops, which also includes some time spent within local CRN core teams.

The closing date for applications is 5pm Sunday 31st July 2022


Interview dates – 31st August, 1st September or 2nd September 2022

Programme launch – 20th & 21st October 2022

Workshop dates for 2021/2022: 

10th November 2022
15th December 2022
19th January 2022
16th February 2022
16th March 2023
20th April 2023
18th May 2023
15th June 2023 *subject to change
13th July 2023 (Celebration Event) *subject to change

(please note that  you must attend 90% of the course dates)

Due to COVID-19 Restrictions, if workshops are unable to take place in person, they will be online via Zoom and we will adapt where necessary.

*Please note: This includes Pharmacists, Psychologists, Scientists, Social Workers, and those also working in and outside the hospital setting.

To download the programme outline which includes eligibility criteria, programme content and expected outcomes CLICK HERE and to download the application form, please CLICK HERE


If you have any questions regarding the programme please contact

Celebration Event 2022 Cohort 2!

The programme finished with a celebration event in Liverpool back in March, which was a great opportunity for the participants to celebrate how far they have come and all that was achieved.

A full evaluation of the programme from 2019 – 2021 has now been completed by Sue Roberts and can be viewed by clicking here and we hope to have another full evaluation for the 2021 – 2022 cohort completed by NHS R&D associate Kate Bulpin coming soon! 

To read some of the fantastic feedback we have had from 2021/2022 members, please click here 

For more information on the programme and previous cohorts please visit our ARCHIVE.

For any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Leanne Gregory –