This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

EME 21/513 Building clinical trials experience: Applications to lead an EME-funded clinical efficacy study as part of an NIHR Advanced Fellowship


MRC-NIHR funding collaboration

Closing date: 1:00pm, 10 August 2021 (two stage – Stage 1 to Stage 2)

The EME programme invites applications for clinical studies within the programme remit, to be led by a Chief Investigator (CI) who is applying for an NIHR Advanced Fellowship award.

Applications are welcomed across all areas of health. The proposed study should aim to evaluate an intervention or medical test with the potential to maintain health, treat disease or improve recovery. It may use any robust study design that is considered most appropriate to achieve the study objectives.

This call is advertised in parallel with round 6 of the NIHR Advanced Fellowship scheme; the deadline for applications to the EME programme is 10th August 2021.
Round 6 of the Advanced Fellowship scheme launched 8th April 2021 and a linked application must be submitted by 1st July 2021.

Applicants are strongly advised to attend webinars and the associated sessions run by the EME and Advanced Fellowship Programme secretariat.


The NIHR and MRC are keen to explore new ways to support the development of capacity and expertise in conducting clinical trials. It is recognised that NIHR Advanced Fellowships award funding for salary, but that the scale of the awards cannot always support the research costs of a large clinical study. This is the second pilot of a call in collaboration with the NIHR Academy, offering NIHR Advanced Fellowship applicants the opportunity to apply for separate project funding to deliver and gain experience of leading a clinical study. This pilot has evolved from that run previously and if successful, it is anticipated that the EME programme may undertake similar calls with other post-doctoral schemes in the future.

The review process for the EME application and the Advanced Fellowship application will involve review by a joint EME-Advanced Fellowship panel. However, the EME funding committee will make shortlisting and funding recommendations based on the merit of the proposed study, independent of the Advanced Fellowship application. As the fellowship may be contingent on EME funding being secured for the study, these decisions will be shared with the Advanced Fellowship selection committee ahead of their shortlisting and funding decisions.

  • The application to EME must detail a deliverable study, irrespective of the outcome of the Advanced Fellowship application. EME applications that are shortlisted (Stage 2) will therefore need to:
    Detail arrangements within the study team to provide support and formal mentorship for the Chief Investigator, by colleagues with experience conducting clinical studies of a similar scale.
  • Describe arrangements for leadership of the study in the event that the Advanced Fellowship application is not successful. It is expected that an applicant with the required experience and/or support in the form of senior mentorship would retain a leading role.
  • Ensure the study can be completed [or delivered] within the duration of the Advanced Fellowship Award. Consideration should be given to set-up time and the potential impact of any delays to the study.
  • Note clearly where, if both applications are successful, costs would be covered by the Advanced Fellowship award (to include salary of the Chief Investigator). If the Advanced Fellowship is not successful, the EME programme will not support the full salary of the fellow. The EME programme will only support the proportion of the salary required to enable delivery of the study.
  • Represent good value for money. While there is no upper limit, all funding requested should be clearly justified.


Applicants to this call must meet the eligibility criteria for both the EME programme and the Advanced Fellowship scheme. View the guidance notes for previous Advanced Fellowship rounds.

Applicants from institutions based in the Devolved Administrations should contact the EME secretariat before completing an application, to clarify eligibility and the application process.