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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 statement on ODA funding for its Global Health Research Portfolio

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 300 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, to add value to, build on and strengthen existing investment in academic research capacity.

GHR Training Programme

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

Early career researchers supported by Global Health Research Units or Groups, and those funded by the Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) and Global Health Policy and Systems Research (Global HPSR) programmes, become members of the NIHR Academy. There are currently more than 150 such members working in global health, either based in LMICs or in the UK.

NIHR Academy members are supported by local Training Leads, who act as points of contact for members, provide them advice and guidance for career development, and share examples of best practice and development opportunities.


The Global Health Research Training Programme supports researchers at masters, PhD and post-doctoral level who are undertaking training or career development in a setting with NIHR global health research funding (a Global Health Research Unit or Group, or an institution with RIGHT or Global HPSR funding).

To be eligible, trainees must:

  1. have a place on formal training/a career development award that has a plan and a defined end point, such as application for further funding
  2. be receiving at least 25% of their salary or stipend over from NIHR Global Health Research funding, either directly from NIHR or indirectly via an official collaborating institution, over the lifetime of the award.

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

The GHR SPARC award gives applicants the opportunity to visit another part of NIHR, including overseas partner institutions, for a short placement of 2-6 months to network, collaborate, or learn a specific skill or technique that will enhance their CV and career opportunities.

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

The GHR PTTA award gives applicants the opportunity to travel to another part of NIHR, in the UK or a LMIC, for a period of up to two weeks. Awardees can undertake a personalised presentation, training or networking experience that will contribute to their personal and professional development, build sustainable links and help them succeed in their future career.

There are many ways in which applicants may wish to use this short-term flexible award. We strongly encourage NIHR Academy Members to develop and plan their experience which should be aimed at supporting their individual needs, professional development and career trajectory.

Global Health Research Workshop Fund

This award allows applicants to plan and lead their own workshop for other NIHR Academy members in the Global Health Research programmes. This should be a cross-disciplinary, member-led activity on a topic that is pertinent to other members and with tangible outputs.

The purpose of this award is to enhance the cross-disciplinary exposure of individuals, to build networks locally and to provide peer support.

Global Research Professorships

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 (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). 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.

Co-funded career development awards

We partner with the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Wellcome and other organisations to offer career development opportunities for global health researchers. These opportunities offer support for researchers at all stages of their career, from masters students to established investigators.

Awards for early career researchers

Our partnership with the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene offers small grants for early career researchers in tropical medicine or global health.

Funding awards of up to £5,000 are available to early career researchers in LMICs to undertake clinical or scientific research and/or fieldwork in tropical medicine or global health. Funding is generally available once a year in spring.

Research fellowships

The NIHR-Wellcome Global Health Research Partnership offers a range of career development awards for researchers in the UK and in LMICs.

We co-fund three schemes for early-career researchers in LMICs:

Funding awards of up to £800,000 are available twice a year.

These are supplemented by three schemes for more established researchers in either LMICs or the UK:

Funding awards of up to £4 million are available three times a year.

Some of the research areas of particular relevance to these schemes include mental health, multimorbidity, non-communicable diseases, nutrition and snakebites.

Other career opportunities

We also offer career development opportunities through some of our other partnership initiatives:

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 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 webinars

The NIHR Academy offers a suite of live and recorded global health research webinars on a variety of topics that are of interest to NIHR Academy Members and Training Leads.

Latest funding opportunities for global health research

All global health research funding opportunities

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