The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Academy has today launched a pilot pre-doctoral fellowship scheme for those working in local authorities and local authority supporting services.

Designed to support the development of credible ‘practitioner academic’ career pathways within local authority settings, these fellowships will allow awardees to retain their existing employment contracts and salaries, whilst protecting their time to prepare an application for a PhD fellowship and undertake a fully funded programme of relevant Masters level training.

This will increase the capacity of local authorities and local authority supporting services to generate and support research that will help tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future. 

These awards are available to individuals of any profession or background, except doctors and dentists, who can already access equivalent dedicated funding opportunities. Applicants must be employed by a local authority, a provider of local authority commissioned services or a non-profit organisation (such as a charity). The non-profit organisation should provide services on behalf of a local authority, or support a local authority in meeting its objectives.

Pete Thompson, Director of Programmes and Impact at NIHR Academy said, ‘We are delighted to be able to offer these new fellowships and hope to see individuals take advantage of them to build careers that combine professional practice in local authority settings with research and research leadership.’

This pilot scheme is being run alongside a companion doctoral fellowship scheme that will open in April 2021. For eligibility requirements and how to apply, see the NIHR Pre-doctoral Local Authority Fellowship Scheme funding opportunity.