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Academic Career Development in NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools

The NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools include centres with a remit to grow future research capacity, which are:

  • Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs)
  • Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs)
  • Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs)
  • Patient Safety Translational Research Centres (PSTRCs)
  • School for Primary Care Research (SPCR)
  • School for Public Health Research (SPHR)
  • School for Social Care Research (SSCR)

More than 1000 individuals are training as health and care researchers in the NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools.  These individuals include those enrolled in Masters, Doctoral and other formal training/career development awards.

Please note the term ‘training’ has been replaced with the term ‘Academic Career Development’ to help clarify the focus of the support being provided by the NIHR Academy and through the local leads at each centre/unit/school.

For information on how to find your local Academic Career Development Lead, please view our Academic Career Development Lead document.

Further Information

Email: icbs@nihr.ac.uk, and detail which Infrastructure and Capacity Building Structures programme you are enquiring about in the subject area.

The NIHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) scheme allows NIHR Academy Members (PhD or early career post-doctoral researchers) supported by NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools an opportunity to spend time in other parts of the NIHR; to network, train in a specific skill or collaborate with other researchers/specialists. The placement is funded by awards of up to £5,000 per individual and is designed to optimise and enhance the individuals’ experience as well as their CVs and careers.  

Applicants are encouraged to fully explore and maximise the wide range of facilities, expertise and opportunities available to them across the NIHR for their personal and professional development, and develop a placement that is bespoke to their individual training needs, background, skills/experiences, as well as their proposed career trajectory.
 

Expansion of the NIHR SPARC Scheme for Round 7

 
We are encouraging potential applicants to consider planning and undertaking placements in other parts of the NIHR that have developed partnerships and collaborations with industry partners. In embedding themselves within already established NIHR-Industry partnerships the aim would be to develop skills and gain experience of what is needed to have a successful working relationship with industry (including the life-sciences, med-tech, SMEs and food industry).
 

Am I eligible to apply for a SPARC award? 

The NIHR SPARC is open to all NIHR Academy Members who meet all of the criteria detailed below:
 
  • are early career researchers (PhD or early career post-doctoral researcher) undertaking a formal training/career development award, which should meet all of the following criteria
    • be competitive
    • include a formal training plan
    • have a defined end point (this may be an application for further funding)
  • are directly funded by an NIHR award to a part of the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR School with a remit to build capacity. That is, the Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs), Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs), Patient Safety Translational Research Centres (PSTRCs), Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs), NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR), NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR), or NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR)
  • receive at least 25% funding from the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR School for their salary/stipend/fees over the lifetime of the award
  • do not already hold an NIHR Academy Fellowship or NIHR Clinical Lectureship.

 

Useful documents for prospective applicants

The NIHR Visiting Speaker Award (VSA) offers NIHR Academy Members based in the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR Schools the opportunity to present their research in another part of the NIHR. The award provides early career researchers with the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience in presenting and debating their research findings, and encourages networking and collaboration within the NIHR.

We are inviting NIHR Academy Members based in the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR Schools (who meet the eligibility criteria detailed below) to apply for up to £300 to support the costs of presenting their work within another part of the NIHR.

Are you eligible?

The NIHR VSA is open to all NIHR Academy Members who:

  • are early career researchers (PhD or early career post-doc) undertaking a formal training/academic career development award, which is competitive, includes a training plan and has a defined endpoint (such as an application for further funding)
  • are hosted in a setting with a remit for research capacity development (BRC, ARC, PSTRC or HPRU), or one of the NIHR Schools (SPCR, SPHR or SSCR)
  • receive at least 25% funding from the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR School for their salary/stipend/fees over the lifetime of the award
  • do not already hold an NIHR personal award, an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship or NIHR Clinical Lectureship 

 Useful documents for prospective applicants

Latest news from the Academy

Latest documents for Infrastructure and Schools

Strengthening our commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion and patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE)

Information for NIHR public contributors on new Standard Application Form (SAF) changes

VSA case studies

Information about Round 1 VSA case studies

All Infrastructure and Schools documents

Latest funding opportunities for Infrastructure and Schools

NIHR Short Placement Awards for Research Collaboration (SPARC) Round 7

The NIHR SPARC scheme is for NIHR Academy Members (PhD or early career post-doctoral researchers) supported by NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools.

NIHR Global Health Research Presentation and Training Travel Award Pilot (GHR PTTA)

This award gives applicants the opportunity to plan a personalised presentation, training (skills/techniques/career development) and networking experience in another part of the NIHR (within the UK or a LMIC).

All Infrastructure and Schools funding opportunities

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