a darkened optician's room, lit by an eye test on a light box

Our Research Training Fellowship scheme gives medical, nursing, optometry and allied health professionals support to complete vision-related research towards a PhD alongside their clinical duties.

We are committed to investing in people who can produce high quality research which will be of benefit to patients at Moorfields Eye Hospital. The Research Training Fellowship allows clinical staff to develop their research career alongside their clinical role. 

Application deadline and decision timelines

There is one round of applications a year and the next deadline will be in 2022. 


Learn more

Awarded Fellowships are at the clinical pre-doctoral or entry level. To consider applying for a Research Training Fellowship you will, at a minimum, be able to demonstrate some prior research experience and the potential and ability to pursue a PhD with an intention to develop long-term research interests.

If applicants have already registered (or soon will) and started their PhD, it is expected that they would not have completed more than 12 months (pro rata for part time).

Clinically qualified applicants should be at an appropriate point in their clinical training to undertake a PhD, and should have clear plans for the completion of their specialty training where applicable. Trainees are usually expected to undertake Out of Programme Research only from the end of ST3 to the end of ST5. Before submitting an application, applicants should also consult their Training Programme Director and Postgraduate Dean about undertaking a PhD and their plans to complete speciality training.

Nurses, optometrists and members of the allied health professions must have completed their professional training and will be expected to hold a research Masters degree, equivalent postgraduate research-oriented qualification or equivalent research related experience.

The expectation is that all awardees will register for their PhD programme at UCL. If there is a request to consider registration onto a PhD programme in a different University, potential applicants must contact Moorfields Eye Charity prior to starting an application to discuss this further.

Applicants may be either currently employed by Moorfields Eye Hospital/​the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology or intending to hold their Fellowship at either institution.

How much can I apply for?

Learn more
  • Full time (3 years) or part time (5 year) salary support, commensurate with current salary level.
  • Up to 2 clinical sessions per week (pro rata for part time)
  • Full time basic salaries above £82,000 will not be considered under this scheme. Applicants with a current salary above this could opt to apply with the funding capped at this level
  • UK PhD registration fees
  • Research expenses for directly related research costs up to a normal maximum of £20,000 per year (pro rata).

Grant duration

Learn more

Funding can be requested for a full time (3 year) or part time PhD (5 years).

Before you begin

See guidance

Please ensure that you have read the following

Preparing your application

Learn more

You will need to prepare an expression of interest at least two months before the full application deadline. This is to allow us to discuss your proposal with you and ensure you are suitable for this grant scheme. The expression of interest does not require sign off by the research offices.

If you are invited to submit a full application, you will need to prepare a detailed proposal (in Arial font size not smaller than 11 points) that complies with the instructions and eligibility criteria outlined in the specific grant guidelines. Make sure to check out what local approvals and signatures you will need prior to submitting an application. You should allow two weeks for sign off by the research offices, as they will be busy with other applications. Please ensure that files are saved in the original file format and not converted to PDF.

Letters of support

Learn more

Supervisors and mentor should provide a statement of support for the full application including how they will fulfil their responsibilities.

Principal and subsidiary supervisors

  • Both Principal and Subsidiary supervisors must, at time of award, hold appropriate UCL (and/​or PhD registering University if not UCL) supervisor approval.
  • If an awardee is allowed to register onto a PhD programme at a University other than UCL, a least one supervisor must be based at either Moorfields Eye Hospital or UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and hold the appropriate supervisor approval level.


  • A mentor is required for all applications.
  • This individual does not necessarily have to be based at your host institution nor have expertise in the area of research of the PhD but should be able to provide informed advice in terms of undertaking a PhD as a clinical, nursing or allied health professional.
  • The mentor should be known to the applicant and be able and willing to provide general support and mentorship throughout the PhD.

For any other enquiries or additional support, please contact the Moorfields Eye Charity Grants and Research Team.

Email: moorfields.eyecharity.researchgrants@nhs.net
Phone: 0207 566 2565