These posts are aimed at all health and care staff (including public health and social care) to support an increase in future research capacity.

The scheme is designed to allow time for post holders to develop knowledge and insight into the research process, supporting recruitment into NIHR Portfolio studies, whilst also acquiring skills to become future principal investigators and/or Chief Investigators, thereby becoming Ambassadors for the NIHR CRN. Applications are encouraged from staff currently undertaking or planning to develop their clinical research/academic career, e.g. those planning pre-doctoral or doctoral fellowships. Applications from those at transition points in their research careers are also encouraged. Applicants must however be able to support studies within the acute/mental health/primary care/community settings.


  • To provide researchers with the opportunity to be involved in NIHR portfolio studies to help develop skills to support a longer term research career pathway
  • Increase recruitment into NIHR portfolio studies
  • To acquire skills in research methodologies to support the development of a fellowship application or an externally funded grant

Who can apply?

The call is open to medical/nursing/allied health professional/social care and public health staff from a range of health and social care settings

Financial support

Successful applicants will receive funding up to a maximum of £15k from the CRN per annum dependent upon salary, profession and training at the time of application. Applicants will have to confirm that their organisation support their application. Co-funded applications will be particularly welcomed where an organisation has also supported protected time to support a grant application.


Each applicant must have a sponsor to support their application. A sponsor is a person who will support the Research Associate progressing to funding and fellowship applications appropriate to their career stage as well as supporting access to mentorship if not able to provide this themselves. The sponsor must have either a substantive or honorary contract with the employing organisation of the applicant, be either a PI or CI, and be an independent researcher. The sponsor will facilitate the applicant obtaining an honorary contract within the University as this will allow for access to research training opportunities and academic support. The CRN will also provide training opportunities in research essentials, consent and Good Clinical Practice and the organisation will support the applicant to have access to a portfolio of studies that they can support. For those applicants from a social care/public health background, the CRN will facilitate access to supporting studies in a community or primary care setting.

Scheme Leadership

The scheme will have oversight from the Clinical Leadership Group and will also have representatives from the University and 70@70 Senior Nurse Leaders to review applications and overall evaluation of the scheme. The scheme will have regular quarterly reviews and applicants will be expected to attend 2 regional meetings and support an evaluation of the scheme.


Awards will normally be made for one year, although applications for two years will be considered with clear 1-year milestones that will have to be met in order for the second year of funding to be awarded.

Application process

Closing date for applications will be 5pm Wednesday 10th March.

View and download the Research Associate Funding Scheme Application Pack 2021-22.

Applications should be sent to  Applicants will be informed as soon possible following the review meeting on the 7th April 2021.

For Further details please contact:

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