The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Research and Innovation

Early Career Research Funding Opportunities 

If you are interested in beginning to develop a research career and you are looking for funding to enable this, there are different funding schemes that offer a range of early career development opportunities at pre-doctoral and doctoral level. 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council early career development fellowships and schemes available are highlighted below. For details of eligibility, duration of the award and the costs included, please click on the relevant scheme.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Research and innovation department has a dedicated team to support the research funding application process. Further information about where to begin with the funding application process, and study set up please contact 


HEE/NIHR ICA bridging scheme offers a 12 month post-doctoral programme with an individual award of up to £34,000 and up to £10,000 for the 6/12 month pre-doctoral programme (dependent on date of submission for a fellowship). It is envisaged that the award will contribute towards salary backfill costs, training modules, travel expenses and access to high quality academic mentorship. 

Open to; Nurse, Midwife, Allied Health Professional, Pharmacist or Healthcare Scientist who have or who are about to complete a PhD.

Open date; 01st August 2020

Closing date; 09th October 2020

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


NIHR Academy

NIHR Visiting Speaker award (VSA)

Key information

NIHR Academy Members based in the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR Schools who are fully or partly funded can apply for the NIHR VSA for up to £300 to support the costs of presenting their work in another NIHR Infrastructure centre or NIHR School.

Launch date: 04th February 2020

Closing date: 29th January 2021


Global Health Research Presentation and Training Travel Award Pilot

The NIHR GHR PTTA scheme funds up to £3,500 per individual and allows NIHR Academy members based in the NIHR GHR Programmes the opportunity to travel to another part of the NIHR GHR Programmes (within the UK or a LMIC) or wider NIHR for a period of up to two weeks to undertake a personalised presentation/ training/ networking experience. 

Key information

Open to: NIHR Academy members who are early career researchers (Masters, PhD/doctoral and postdoctoral) to enhance their personal and professional development.

Two stage process? - No

Launch date - 24th January 2020 (then 24th August 2020)

Closing date - 24th January 2021

Open/Closed - Open.

Outcome - Rolling assessment from the point of application to NIHR Academy

NIHR Fellowships for all

The NIHR Fellowship Programme supports individuals at different stages of their research career trajectory towards becoming future leaders in NIHR research.

Pre-Doctoral Fellowship 

Pre-doctoral Fellowships are designed to support people who are looking to start or advance a career in health research methodology, specifically in one of the following areas:

Medical statistics, Health economics, Clinical trial designs, Operational research, Modelling, Bioinformatics, Qualitative research, Mixed methods.

Closed, open again February 2021.

Doctoral Fellowship

The NIHR Doctoral Fellowship is a three year full-time award that supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of that falls within the NIHR remit. Each round, the Doctoral Fellowship scheme also offers partnership awards with charities and highlights strategic themes and themed calls. Please see the round details for more information.


Key information

Open to: All, medical and non-medical and other health professionals.

Two stage process? - NEW now single stage application!

Launch date - October and April annually

Round 5 closing date - 21st January 2021

Interviews: TBC

Open/Closed - Opened 22nd October 2020


HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme

The HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme provides research training awards for healthcare professionals (non-doctors and dentists), who wish to develop careers that combine research and leadership with continued clinical practice.

Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship

Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowships (PCAF) fund personalised programmes of academic training that equip awardees with the skills and experience to access doctoral-level funding, and give dedicated time to prepare an application for a competitive, peer-reviewed doctoral level research training fellowship. 

Open to: Other healthcare professionals (non-doctors/dentists).

Two stage process? - No

Currently closed. Next call - Round 4 anticipated to open February 2021


Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship

The Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship (CDRF) scheme funds registered healthcare professionals to undertake a PhD by research and, concurrently, to undertake further professional development and clinical practice.

Open to: Other healthcare professionals.

Two stage process? - Yes

Currently closed. Next call - Anticipated to open March 2021.


NIHR Integrated Academic Training Programme for doctors and dentists

The Integrated Academic Training (IAT) Programme specifically for doctors and dentists. The programme supports individuals to gain research experience as part of their clinical training. 

Academic Clinical Fellowship

The NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) is a clinical specialty training post that incorporates academic training.  

This post has a standard duration of 3 years (4 years for GPs). Alternatively, it  can be taken part-time and extended up to a maximum of 5 years (or 6 years for GPs), as long as the academic component remains at 25% whole time equivalent. 

You will have access to Masters-level research training to develop your academic skills and equip you to balance your clinical academic career.

Open to: Medical or dental qualified.

Two stage process? - Not applicable.

Launch date - 01st October 2020.

Closing date - 31 March 2022.

The competition process - Each year NIHR allocates ACF posts to partnerships of medical/dental schools (and their partner universities), postgraduate deanery functions within the Local Offices of Health Education England (HEE), and their partner NHS organisations. A list of available posts can be found here

Open/Closed - Open.

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships in Dentistry 2021

The NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) is a clinical specialty training post in dentistry that incorporates academic training. The NIHR has allocated funding for 23 ACFs for recruitment in 2021/22, through the Integrated Academic Training (IAT) Programme.  

As an NIHR ACF you will have access to Masters-level research training to develop academic skills and spend 25% of your time in research or educationalist training. The NIHR ACF is a 3 year fellowship with a flexible entry level tailored to the career stage of the applicant.

Full details, including the eligibility criteria for the NIHR ACF, are available in the 2021 Academic Clinical Fellowship (Dental) Guidance Document

The 2021 ACFs award starting dates are between 01 April 2021 and 31 March 2022.

Candidates for NIHR ACFs apply via the online application system Oriel, not the NIHR, because recruitment is managed by Health Education England (HEE) Local Offices.

Launch date; 05th October 2020

Closing date; 31st March 2022

In-Practice Fellowship

The NIHR In-Practice Fellowship (IPF) provides pre-doctoral academic training to fully-qualified general practitioners, general dental practitioners, and community dentists.

Open to: Medical and dental qualified.

Two stage process? - No.

Currently closed. Next call - Anticipated to open round 15, February/ March 2021.


Wellcome Trust

Doctoral Studentship

The Doctoral Studentship scheme enables researchers to undertake humanities or social science doctoral degrees in any area of health. Applications are considered once a year.*

Open to: Medical and other healthcare professionals.

Two stage process? - No.

Currently closed. Next call - Anticipated to open early 2021.


Research Fellowships for Health Professionals

This scheme offers practising health professionals the opportunity to carry out humanities or social science research, in any area of health. You can apply for a Research Fellowship if you're a practising health professional with some research experience. Applications are considered twice a year.

Open to: Practicing healthcare professionals

Two stage process? - Yes

Preliminary application closing date - 30th June 2020 

Full application closing date - 10th September 2020

Interviews - January 2021

Outcome: January / February 2021

Open/Closed - Open.


Medical Research Council

Clinical Research Training Fellowship (CRTF) Pre Doctoral

The CRTF supports clinicians, including (but not limited to) medics, surgeons, dentists, clinical psychologists, public health specialty trainees, allied health professionals, nurses, midwives and veterinarians, to undertake a PhD or other higher research degree. There are three rounds per year.

Open to: Clinicians, including (not limited to) medics, surgeons, dentists, clinical psychologists, public health specialty trainees, allied health professionals, nurses, midwives.

Two stage process? - No

Launch date - 23rd July 2020

Closing date -  02nd September 2020

Open/Closed - Open