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Application Guidance for Emerging Research Leaders




The Future-Focused Leadership Programme is open to our early to mid-career researcher on an academic track, taking up your first significant leadership and management roles. The programme will enable participants to collaboratively explore management and leadership in health research and what it means at an individual, team, institution and system level in order to improve their leadership and management capability.

Overview of the Application Process (Including key dates):

Application Form:

The form is divided into 3 different sections asking for information on your personal information, your role and existing leadership journey.

Here are the questions you will be asked and the information you will need:

Part 1

Your Personal Information



-Email Address 

-Contact Number

-Location Postcode 

-Host Organisation 

-Which cohort you would like to be considered for*

*By selecting a cohort, you are committing to all the residential workshops on specified dates


Part 2

About Your Role

-To apply for this programme, you will be asked to confirm you are a NIHR Academy Member with at least two years post-doctoral research experience

-You will be asked to confirm the training award or the post you hold

-For Post-doctoral researchers in a school, BRC, CLAHRC or PSTRC you will be asked to provide the name of your Training Lead and their email address


Part 3

Your Leadership Journey

-Describe your current leadership role in your host organisation, including any experience of leading a team or supervision of other researchers. [Max 250 words]

-Provide a short summary of your academic career and wider leadership experience, including your collaboration experience and how you have developed partnerships with patients and users of research. [Max 250 words]

-Tell us why you believe this is the right time in your career to participate in the Future-Focused Leadership Programme and how it will benefit you [Max 250 words]

-Describe how your participation in this programme would benefit NIHR [Max 250 words]

Completing the application

All questions are mandatory and you will need to supply answers for each question before moving on to the next section. You will be instructed when to use N/A in order to move forward.

Training Leads may be contacted for confirmation purposes. Please ensure you have spoken to the person, and they are aware that you have applied for this programme.

We recommend you consider the following within your application

  • Adhere to word count
  • Be clear and succinct 
  • Use open and honest reflection and consider your achievements and areas which could be improved
  • Include your main aspirations for your leadership role

Equal Opportunities and Diversity

NIHR and DHSC have a duty as a public body to promote equality of opportunity. All applicants will be contacted shortly after the closure date by NIHR Equality Monitoring. Monitoring ensures that all applications to NIHR Programmes are treated equally in terms of gender, ethnicity and/or disability. 

The information you share with the monitoring system:

  • will be stored separately from your application
  • only be used for the purpose of monitoring equal opportunities
  • be kept securely and in confidence

NIHR Privacy Policy

Our purpose for collecting information is to communicate with you about your application and have the necessary information to evaluate you for a fellowship. The data we collect here is collected in the public interest. Information provided here may be subject to Freedom of Information requests. 

Please read the information on the application form at the start of the process and if you require further details, you can contact the DHSC Data Protection Officer by email at:

Eligibility checking and panel assessment:

  • The NIHR Academy will complete an initial screen for eligibility
  • Following this, each application will be reviewed and scored by 2 members of the selection panel which comprises of senior leaders within NIHR and partner organisations 
  • All candidates will be notified of the outcome via email.

Cohort 1 and 2 Timings

Cohort 1

  • Candidates Notified W/C 09.09.19
  • Virtual Launch Webinar 02.10.19

Cohort 2

  • Candidates Notified W/C 14.10.19
  • Virtual Launch Webinar 15.01.20

If you require any further information, advice or guidance please contact: NIHR Academy
Phone - 0113 532 8444: Email –