The NIHR-MEC clinical doctoral research fellowship scheme funds registered healthcare professionals to undertake a PhD by research and, concurrently, to undertake further professional development and clinical practice.

The Health Education England (HEE) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme provides research training awards for healthcare professionals. These grants support individuals who wish to develop careers that combine clinical research and research leadership with continued clinical practice and professional development.

The NIHR-MEC clinical doctoral research fellowship scheme covers funding for salary costs, PhD tuition fees, the costs of an appropriate research project, and the costs of tailored clinical and academic training programmes.

The award is a three year award, approximately 80% of which can be spent working academically over the course of the fellowship. The remaining 20% of the fellowship hours will be spent devoted to clinical practice and professional development. It is also possible to take up the award on a part time basis for up to six years. 

Is this grant right for you?

Learn more

Our remit

  • Applications for a joint partnership fellowship must fall within both the charity’s and NIHR’s funding remits.
  • Moorfields Eye Charity is interested in funding research in eye health, vision research, ophthalmic related service improvement, education or clinical practice.

About you

  • Applicants will normally be hosted by either the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust or its main academic partner University College London.
  • If you are hosted by another eligible institution you must demonstrate a direct collaboration with and benefit to Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which will normally include spending a portion of your time at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust or the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.
  • Applicants must hold registration with one of ICA programme approved regulatory bodies (see a list in the useful resources below)

Applying for our joint fellowships

Learn more

The application process for NIHR-MEC partnership fellowships is the same as for standard NIHR Fellowships and successful applicants will become members of the NIHR Academy in the same way as successful applicants to our standard fellowships. This is in addition to any additional benefits that come from being funded by the partner charity.

We would encourage all applicants interested in applying for an NIHR Charity Partnership Fellowship to contact the NIHR Academy in the first instance to discuss their application and answer any questions. Applicants should take note of the specific eligibility criteria for Moorfields Eye Charity; as well as the standard NIHR Fellowship eligibility requirements.

Application deadlines and decision timelines

Potential applicants are strongly advised to regularly check the relevant sections of the NIHR website to ensure they are working to the correct deadlines and application process.

Current funding round: Round 7

  • Opens: 8 April 2021
  • Closes: 13.00 on 15 June 2021
  • Shortlisting: September 2022
  • Interviews: November 2022

Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowships are available to start between 1 April 2022 and 1 September 2022.

Eligibility

Learn more

Your research

  • For personal doctoral-level awards, your proposal must be for clinical and applied health research, or social care research, and have clear potential for directly benefiting patients/​service users, carers and the public.
  • Your proposal can involve: patients/​service users and/​or carers; samples or data from these groups; other people who are not patients/​service users and/​or carers; populations; health technology assessment; or health or care services research.
  • NIHR does not support basic research or work involving animals or their tissue.
  • If your work involves biomarkers, it must test whether application of new knowledge can improve treatment or patient outcomes (with obvious direct potential benefit to patients). This might include application of known biomarkers, or other prognostic factors, to refine and test novel therapeutic strategies. Research that aims only to elucidate mechanisms underpinning disease, or identify risk factors for disease or prognosis (including search for biomarkers) is out of remit.
  • The NIHR also supports high quality research into​‘medical education’ (defined broadly as education for healthcare providers) and methodological research. It is expected that the research will have the potential to have practical application and the potential impact on patients/​service users, carers and the public must be made clear.

About you

  • Applicants will normally be hosted by either the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust or its main academic partner University College London.
  • If you are hosted by another eligible institution (please refer to NIHR Academy guidance) a direct collaboration with and benefit to Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust must be demonstrated to be eligible for this funding programme. This will normally include the candidate spending a portion of their time at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust or UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

You must also:

  • Be a graduate professional
  • Hold registration with one of ICA programme approved regulatory bodies (see a list in the useful resources below) or have plans to hold the registration by the proposed start date
  • Not hold a General Medical Council registration as a doctor or a General Dental Council registration as a dentist
  • Have at least one year’s experience of professional, post-graduation practice at the point of application
  • Have a First Class or Upper Second Class bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Applicants without this must normally have a Masters degree
  • Have research experience or training that prepares you to undertake the PhD
  • Register for a PhD at a recognised Higher Education Institution. Applicants who are already registered are eligible to apply if, by the proposed point of award take up, they have not been registered for longer than 12 months Whole Time Equivalent
  • Not undertaking a professional doctorate

How much can I apply for?

Learn more

NIHR-MEC partnership Fellowships are individual training awards which will offer funding to cover the salary costs, PhD tuition fees, the costs of an appropriate research project, and the costs of tailored clinical and academic training programmes.

The scope of funding on these fellowships follows NIHR rules and therefore applicants are advised to contact the NIHR Academy if they have any questions regarding what they can apply for.

Apply now

Applications are submitted and processed through the NIHR Academy grant application portal.

Before you begin

Learn more

Please ensure you have read the following:

All queries about the application process should be directed to the NIHR Academy.

Email: academy-awards@nihr.ac.uk
Phone: 0113 532 8410

Got a research idea and not sure how to turn it into a funding application? Talk to the Research Design Service (RDS).

Useful resources for applicants