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NIHR Doctoral Fellowship Selection Committee Interview Minutes Round 9


Published: 18 August 2023

Version: Final

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Date and time: Tuesday 20th June 2023 to Wednesday 21 June 2023

Location: The Crowne Plaza Hotel Leeds, Wellington St, Leeds LS1 4DL


Selection Committee One:

  • Professor Judith Rankin (Chair)
  • Professor Andrea Manca (Deputy Chair) (Day 1)
  • Professor Anne Forster
  • Professor Andrew Hayward (Day 2)
  • Professor Nigel Hoggard
  • Professor Marilyn James (via Zoom)
  • Mr James Kinross (Day 2)
  • Professor Jayne Price
  • Professor Kazem Rahimi
  • Professor Jayne Woodside
  • Professor Steve Jones
  • Ms Gill Clare (Patient and Public Involvement Representative)


  • Prof Waljit Dhillo, Dean of the NIHR Academy
  • Nic Ellis-Hall, Patient and Public Involvement Manager, NIHR
  • Ushma Galal, Senior Medical Statistician, NIHR Research Design Service South Central
  • Pauline Thomas / Dawn O’Neil, Department of Health and Social Care
  • Natalia Permyakova, Medical Statistician, NIHR Research Design Service South Central

NIHR Academy Staff:

  • Demelza Vasco-Kisimisi, Senior Programme Officer (Interview Briefings)
  • Beth Harris, Assistant Director
  • Rachel Dwyer, Senior Programme Manager
  • Assma Masood, Programme Manager

Selection Committee Two:

  • Professor Sonia Saxena (Chair)
  • Professor Gordon Taylor (Deputy Chair)
  • Professor Paul Brocklehurst
  • Professor Ruth Harris
  • Professor Paul Leeson
  • Professor Jo Hart
  • Professor Sheena Ramsay
  • Professor Catherine Robinson
  • Dr Heidi Siddle
  • Professor Al Story
  • Yesmin Begum (Patient and Public Involvement Representative)
  • Philip Paulden (Patient and Public Involvement Representative)


  • Nic Ellis-Hall, Patient and Public Involvement Manager, NIHR
  • Gina Dutton, New Patient and Public Involvement Member

NIHR Academy Staff:

  • Lynne Penistone, Senior Programme Officer (Interview Briefings)
  • Helen Harris-Joseph, Assistant Director
  • Tom Pratt, Senior Programme Manager
  • Liz Taylor, Senior Programme Manager
  • Sara Qutub, Programme Manager

Selection Committee Three:

  • Professor Steven Cummins (Chair)
  • Professor Gretl McHugh (Deputy Chair)
  • Professor Victoria Cornelius
  • Professor Mike Crawford
  • Professor Andy Husband
  • Professor Cynthia Iglesias
  • Professor Jenny Myers
  • Professor Heather Iles-Smith
  • Professor Pearse Keane
  • Mr Dave Chuter (Patient and Public Involvement Representative)
  • Ms Georgina McMasters (Patient and Public Involvement Representative)


  • Dr Jeremy Barratt, Head of Research, Wellbeing of Women (online, Day 1 only)
  • Catherine Leyman, New Patient and Public Involvement Member
  • Prof Graham Moore, New Selection Committee Member (Joining Round 10, Day 2 only)

NIHR Academy Staff:

  • Gareth Harrop, Senior Programme Officer (Interview Briefings)
  • Karen Fernando, Assistant Director (Day 1)
  • James Fenton, Assistant Director (Day 2)
  • Gareth O’Brien, Senior Programme Manager
  • Ryan Wolstenholme, Programme Manager

Discussion of Applications

A total of 109 applications were received. 100 of these proved eligible for assessment by the NIHR Selection Committee. The shortlisting meeting took place on the 11th May 2023 where the Selection Committee shortlisted 45 DFs for interview. Six applicants withdrew, leaving 39 applicants to interview.

Applicants were interviewed over two days on the 20th and 21st June 2023.

Application window opened 18th October 2022 109
Application window closed 2nd February 2023 109
Selection Committee Assessments 2nd March 2023 100
Shortlisting Meeting 11th May 2023 100
Interviews 20th to 21st June 2023 39 (6 withdrew)
Recommended for Funding 6th July 2023 30

12 of the 30 applications were recommended for funding on a conditional basis.

Interview and discussion of applications

Doctoral Fellowship Round 9 Selection Committee 1 Recommendations

Reference NoResearch TitleOutcome
NIHR303289 Does a theory and evidence-based approach to implementation increase the uptake of photobiomodulation in U.K. children’s cancer centres? Recommended for funding
Tranexamic acid to prevent anastomotic leak after rectal cancer surgery: a feasibility study (TARGET)

Recommended for funding
NIHR303293 KCL-STAR Study (Sepsis and Targeted therapies for Autoimmune diseases Research) Recommended for funding
NIHR303292 Meaningful Dying in Alzheimer’s dementia (MEDAL): understanding priorities at the end of life for people with dementia Recommended for funding
NIHR303274 Development, validation and economic modelling of a risk model for predicting advanced neoplasia at surveillance colonoscopy Recommended for funding
NIHR303287 Mitigating health inequalities in Respiratory Syncytial Virus: an OpenSAFELY analysis of RSV burden and impact of potential maternal vaccine programmes Recommended for funding
NIHR303241 Understanding and addressing inequalities in access to palliative care for those with lung disease; does the inverse care law apply? (LungPal-Equity study) Recommended for funding
NIHR303304 Developing family-focused research in routine care, embedded within the newborn infant and physical examination (NIPE) screening pathway- the development of randomised controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of weaning in infant hip dysplasia. The WINDY study. Recommended for funding
NIHR303276 A study to co-develop a complex intervention to improve the process of shared decision making for patients prior to potential emergency laparotomy Recommended for funding
NIHR303288 Learning to develop randomised trials to improve health and care outcomes for patients with multiple long-term conditions (MLTC) undergoing major surgery Recommended for funding
NIHR303305 Health Inequalities and Impact of Faecal Immunochemical Testing (FIT) in Symptomatic Patients with suspected colorectal cancer (HIFITS) Recommended for funding
NIHR303234 General practice closures: a mixed method study of the causes followed by the development and validation of a predictive model Reject
NIHR303256 Developing A non-invasive Clinical tool for monitoring of bowel function after Surgery: optimisation and Clinical evaluation studies (ACOUSTIC) Reject
NIHR303266 Improving cardiovascular risk prediction by using artificial intelligence to interpret routine coronary CT angiography Reject

Doctoral Fellowship Round 9 Selection Committee 2 Recommendations

Reference NoResearch TitleOutcome
NIHR303243 PSYCHPANC: exploring the diagnosis, understanding and management of psychological distress associated with operable and potentially operable pancreatic cancers Recommended for funding
NIHR303253 Can we lessen the symptoms of delirium in patients having major surgery using non-invasive brain monitoring? Recommended for funding

Developing a person-based intervention to improve treatment adherence in patients with peripheral arterial disease using the perceptions and practicalities approach Recommended for funding
NIHR303318 To develop an implementation package for general practice to promote evidence-based support for physical activity targeting people with cardio-metabolic risk factors (INSTEP: implement physical activity for General Practice) Recommended for funding
NIHR303240 Development of a Physical Activity Maintenance intervention for people with persistent musculoskeletal pain (PAMPER) Recommended for funding
NIHR303283 The development of a conceptual model of moral injury for social work professionals and informed organisation-level support strategies Recommended for funding
NIHR303268 The FICCAH Study: Addressing the Fossil fuel Industry’s role in driving Climate Change And Health inequalities: A multi-method youth participatory project using a structural racism lens Recommended for funding
NIHR303317 Obesity and Arthritis of the Knee Study (OAKS) Recommended for funding
NIHR303255 Understanding where and how prognostic conversations occur between healthcare professionals and patients with heart failure in the final year of life: A conversation analytic study Recommended for funding
NIHR303246 The development of a novel model of undergraduate General Practice clinical placement to increase placement capacity: a study using implementation science and co-production Recommended for funding
NIHR303306 The role of Sodium Glucose Cotransporter 2 inhibitors in the management of patients with aortic stenosis Recommended for funding
NIHR303249 Standardising reactogenicity data collection and understanding the relationship to vaccine uptake, genetics and immunogenicity Reject
NIHR303273 Evaluation of foot screening in primary care in people with diabetes in England Reject
NIHR303296 Assessment and impact of ethnic disparities that exist with measurement of kidney function and the utility of point-of-care creatinine testing in primary care to help address the gap Reject

Doctoral Fellowship Round 9 Selection Committee 3 Recommendations

Reference NoResearch TitleOutcome
NIHR303322 Inclusivity in uptake: impact on the cost-effectiveness of a targeted lung screening programme Recommended for funding
NIHR303237 CONNECT: co-production of an intervention using realist Evaluation to provide community-based care for women and partners who have experienced a stillbirth or second trimester miscarriage Recommended for funding

Does in-bed cycling delivered within 48-hours of mechanical ventilation, reduce the occurrence of delirium in critically ill patients and what is the optimal approach to implementing the intervention? Recommended for funding
NIHR303286 Minimising harm from medicines at home (MINIMEDS): Developing support for families who will administer prescribed medicines to infants at home Recommended for funding
NIHR303264 Janus kinase inhibitors in palmoplantar pustulosis: a mixed-methods feasibility trial Recommended for funding
NIHR303235 Latent class analysis as a viable alternative to a panel of clinicians for diagnosis in diagnostic accuracy studies and clinical practice Recommended for funding
NIHR303331 Prognostic models in rare diseases: methodology development with application to Ewing sarcoma Recommended for funding
NIHR303302 Investigating the use of the Prostate Urine Risk biomarker in predicting clinical outcomes for men with prostate cancer Recommended for funding
NIHR303278 Application of artificial intelligence to guide biologic systemic therapy selection in psoriasis through prediction of clinical response, effectiveness and adverse events Reject
NIHR303280 Inequalities in maternal health outcomes: In a developed country, which elements of socio-economic deprivation are associated with an increased risk of severe maternal morbidity and what evidence do we have for interventions which reduce this risk? Reject
NIHR303323 Data-driven approaches to understanding liver diseases and multimorbidity Reject