Do you work in health and social care? Are you a Nurse, Midwife, Allied Health Professional, Social Worker, Mental Health Professional or care worker 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*

Now open for cohort 4!

NIHR CRN North West Coast and Greater Manchester invites health and social care professionals, including but not limited to nurses, midwives and allied health professions, social workers, psychologists, counsellors and care workers* , 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 and care professionals, educated to degree level  who are employed by health and care 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.

This course aims:
  • To understand the drivers, policy context and value of research in health and social care across the North West region and nationally.
  • To understand the role of the NIHR local CRNs and how to involve patients and organisations in research.
  • To introduce 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 and be able to critically review personal researcher development.
  • To develop aspirational goals and an initial 3-5 year career plan to achieve research 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 will embrace a blended learning approach with homework, assignments, and mentoring that will ensure that all relevant content is covered during the 12-month period. 

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 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 will also include some time spent with local CRN core teams. 
The closing date for applications is 5pm Monday 31st July 2023

Interview dates – 30th August, 31st August and 1st September 2023

Programme launch – 28th & 29th September 2023 (Residential)

Workshop dates for 2023/2024: 

19th October 2023
16th November 2023
14th December 2023
18th January 2024
15th February 2024
14th March 2024
25th April 2024
23rd May 2024
13th June 2024

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

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


For a full programme outline and eligibility criteria, please click here

For a application pack, please click here

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 2021 – 2022 has now been completed by Kate Bulpin and can be viewed by clicking here

A full evaluation of the programme from 2019 – 2021 has now been completed by Sue Roberts and can be viewed by clicking here 

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 –