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Application Guidance for Leaders



Future-Focused Leadership Programme - Application Guidance for Leaders


The Future-Focused Leadership Programme is open to our current leaders based within NIHR or delivering a national role for NIHR. You will be developing into or taking up leadership roles at the senior level, facing significant leadership challenges, where support will be most needed and impactful. 

The programme will enhance your skills in leading across organisational boundaries, leading strategy and change and influencing others to achieve the strategic aims of NIHR.

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

- Title

- Name

- 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

- Are you a Research Professor?

- Are you a Leader based in one of the NIHR Coordinating Centres? 

- If yes, you will be asked to indicate which centre

- For all other NIHR Leadership roles, please provide your role title

- Please provide the name of the Senior Leader at your host organisation who is proposing your application

- Please provide the name of the NIHR Senior Leader who is sponsoring your application

- Are you currently leading at a national level for NIHR?

If yes, you will be asked to provide a short summary of your leadership role, the initiatives you are leading on and how these relate to NIHR strategic aims [Max 250 words]


Part 3

Your Leadership Journey

- Please describe how your role involves collaboration with others outside of your host organisation, including the benefits and challenges of these different stakeholder interactions [250 words]

- Describe what type of leadership style you currently use. Providing real-life examples, what have been the benefits of this approach and what are the challenges [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, Proposers and Sponsors may be contacted for confirmation purposes. Please ensure you have spoken to the person, and they have agreed to undertake this role.

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 –