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Training within NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools

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

  • Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs)
  • Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs)
  • 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.

For information on how to find your local training lead, please view our find your training lead document.

Further Information

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

The SPARC scheme allows early stage researchers supported by an NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR School to spend time in other parts of the NIHR. The scheme is specifically designed to foster collaboration and enhance the researcher's early career and CV. The placement is funded by awards of up to £5,000 per individual.

One of the aims of the NIHR is to increase the number of researchers equipped with the skills to work at the interfaces between academia, the NHS and wider health, public health and social care, and industry. In line with this aim we propose to pilot for this round encouraging applicants to use their placement to visit parts of the NIHR that have existing links with industry partners.

To discover how SPARC has helped past applicants, please visit our case studies page - here.

Am I eligible for SPARC?

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

  • are early career researchers (PhD or early career post-doc) undertaking a formal training/career development award, which is competitive, includes a training plan and has a defined endpoint (this may be an application for further funding);
  • are directly funded by an NIHR award that is a part of the NIHR Infrastructure with a remit to build capacity, or are at one of the NIHR Schools;
  • 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;
  • can complete the award between April 2020 and February 2021;
  • will submit a written report within 2 months of the completion of the placement and;
  • will have continued support from their home institution for the duration of their studies (this will be the home institution that administers their current award).

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 and network with other parts of the NIHR.

The purpose of the award is to encourage networking and collaboration within the NIHR and help researchers gain valuable experience from presenting their research.

We are inviting NIHR Academy Members based in the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR Schools who are fully or partly funded to apply for up to £300 to support the costs of presenting their work in another NIHR Infrastructure centre or NIHR School.

Applicants can come from or go to:

  • Biomedical Research Centres (BRC)
  • Applied Research Collaborations (ARC)
  • Patient Safety Translational Research Centres (PSTRC)
  • NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR)
  • NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR)
  • NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR)

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/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 or PSTRC), 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

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2019 is drawing to a close following another eventful year for the NIHR. As we approach 2020 we reflect on some of our most read blogs published over the course of the last 12 months.

Top NIHR blog picks from 2019 - Part One

It’s been another very busy year for the NIHR. As we draw to the end of 2019, we take a look back at some of our most popular blogs over the last 12 months.

How a conversation about research has given me purpose again

Theo Tomlinson writes about how a conversation with his mental health support worker inspired him to participate in research studies. He encourages other healthcare professionals to take the next step in their research career, in his blog published as part of the NIHR's Your Path in Research campaign.

The wonder of research

Professor Cheng-Hock Toh, highlights how the Royal College of Physicians has launched a project calling for every clinician working in the NHS to be supported to become research active. His blog is part of our Your Path in Research campaign.

How I've kept patients at the heart of my research career

Caroline Nicholson explains how her career in research has unfolded and offers top tips to healthcare professionals wishing to take a similar route. Her blog is part of our Your Path in Research campaign.

Latest documents for the Academy

Guidance for NIHR Trainee Committee Membership applicants

Guidance for NIHR trainee committee membership applicants

Selection Committee for the 2021/22 IAT Competition

Details of the selection committee for the 2021/22 IAT Competition

Information Pack – Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Representative of an NIHR Academy Advisory Group

Details of the role of PPI Representatives for the NIHR Academy Advisory Groups

NIHR Academy Infrastructure Visiting Speaker Award (IVSA): Pilot Evaluation Summary Background

Read the evaluation summary of the NIHR Academy Infrastructure Visiting Speaker Award

NIHR Development and Skills Enhancement Guidance Notes January 2020

Development and Skills Enhancement Awards (2020) Applicant Guidance Notes.