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Global health research career development


NIHR provides opportunities and funding to develop and advance global health research careers, both in low and middle income countries (LMICs) and in the UK.

NIHR supports researcher career pathways to develop leaders in global health in low and middle income countries (LMICs) and in the UK.

We have supported more than 350 researchers to develop their careers, across our NIHR career development awards and our awards in partnership with other organisations, such as Wellcome and the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

We also offer training and development opportunities to researchers supported by our other global health funding programmes, through our NIHR Global Health Research Academy membership. Through the Academy, we add value to, build on and strengthen existing investment in academic research capacity.

NIHR Global Health Research Academy

An NIHR Global Health Research Academy member is someone who is receiving funding from, or being supported by, an NIHR Global Health Research Programme (including Global Research Professorship Award) to develop their academic career.

Members are supported by local Global Health Research Training Leads, who act as points of contact for members, and are responsible for developing a local training strategy. They take an active role in providing advice and support for academic development to ensure members can thrive as successful academics and future leaders, as well as sharing examples of best practice and development opportunities.

There are currently more than 350 members working in global health, based in countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the UK. 

‘NIHR Global Health Research Programme’ includes official collaborating institutions. An official collaborating institution (‘Partner’ or ‘Collaborator’) is an organisation which holds a current collaboration agreement with the holder of the NIHR Global Health Research Programme research contract to participate in global health research work, and which may or may not be in receipt of NIHR funds. Those in receipt of co-funded awards administered by a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) partner organisation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

GHR Training Programme

The Global Health Research Training Programme offers a number of schemes to support the training and academic career development of researchers in our Global Health Research programmes.

Global Health Research Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (GHR SPARC)

The SPARC scheme offers NIHR GHR Academy members actively pursuing an academic research career an opportunity to apply for up to £10,000 to design and undertake a short bespoke placement.

The scheme is designed to optimise and enhance the individuals’ research training experience as well as their networks, CVs and academic career opportunities. Further information regarding the scheme, including the eligibility criteria, funding available and application and assessment process can be found in the guidance notes.

Useful resources for applicants

Global Health Research Cohort Academic Development Award (GHR CADA)

The GHR CADA scheme offers NIHR GHR Programme Training Leads/Programme Directors an opportunity to apply via an open competition for up to £30,000 to deliver a tailored programme of activities to meet the academic career development needs of the cohort of individuals their GHR Programme is supporting to pursue an academic research career.

Further information regarding the scheme, funding available and associated eligibility criteria can be found in the guidance notes.

Useful resources for applicants

Global Advanced Fellowship

The NIHR Global Advanced Fellowship aims to create a sustainable career pathway for postdoctoral global health researchers to become research leaders.

Applications are open to applied global health researchers in LMICs and the UK. The research project must directly and primarily benefit people in LMICs eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA).

We welcome applications from a range of professional backgrounds, including public health, social care and methodologists.

NIHR Global Advanced Fellowship includes funding of up to £750,000 to fund a research project in applied global health, salary costs, and a personal training and development plan.

A portion of the award funding will build on long-term, sustainable research capacity in the LMIC institution named in the application (either the host or partner institution).

Applications open on 16 April and closes on 11 July 2024. Apply to the Global Advanced Fellowship

Global Research Professorship

The Global Research Professorship award is NIHR’s flagship career development award. It aims to fund research leaders to promote effective translation of research and to strengthen research leadership at the highest academic levels.

The Global Research Professorship programme supports outstanding academics to work at professorial level. The programme funds researchers undertaking research that aims to specifically and primarily benefit people in LMICs eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA).

NIHR Global Research Professorships are fixed term five-year appointments (a maximum of 60 months) offering funding of up to £2 million, including a leadership and development programme and several support posts.

This scheme is open to all professions and all higher education institutions (HEI) based in the UK and HEIs or research institutes in LMICs which are already partners in NIHR Global Health Research. Institutions can nominate health, public health and social care researchers and methodologists with an outstanding research record of clinical and applied health, public health or care research and its effective translation for improved health and welfare of people in LMICs.

 This funding opportunity will open in September 2024.

Events and Activities

The NIHR Academy manages a programme of events and activities to support existing investment in research capacity strengthening in the NIHR Global Health Research programmes.

NIHR Global Health Academy Member Event

This annual virtual event is designed to create and sustain an active, supportive and vibrant community of early career global health researchers. The agenda includes inspiring speakers, break-out sessions and networking opportunities to help foster connections across our members.

NIHR Global Health Research Training Forum

Once a year we bring together Training Leads from across our global health funding programmes for the NIHR Global Health Research Training Forum. This enables Training Leads to network, share best practice and help shape and develop our global health research training activities.

Global Health Research resources

We have a playlist of live and recorded global health research webinars on a variety of topics that are of interest to NIHR Academy Members and Training Leads.

We also have a closed LinkedIn group for Global Health Research Academy Members, which can be used as a space to interact, network and create a community for Global Health researchers on NIHR career development and training awards.  

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