NIHR Fellowship Programme

Applications for all levels of Round 11 of the Fellowships Programme have now closed.   

Five levels of NIHR Fellowship awards are available: Doctoral, Post Doctoral, Transitional Research, Career Development and Senior Research:

The NIHR Fellowships Panel are looking for individuals with expertise in clinical trials and statistics to join the panel. If you are interested, please follow the link to the Expressions of Interest form in the External Links section.

The Doctoral Research Fellowship (DRF) offers 3 years full-time funding (or 4 or 5 years part-time) to undertake a PhD and is aimed at individuals, of outstanding potential, early in their research careers. It aims to fast-track them through a customised research training programme in an environment reflecting their individual talents and training needs. It is anticipated that successful applicants would become independent research leaders within 6 to 10 years of completing the DRF award. You can hear from NIHR Doctoral Research Fellows Rhiannon Owen and Lisa Newington about their own experiences.

Round 11 Deadline: Now closed |  Shortlisting: March 2018  |  Interviews: 5-7 June 2018 


The Post Doctoral Fellowship (PDF) offers 3 years full time funding (or 4 or 5 years part-time) to individuals who are able to demonstrate their potential as researchers but do not, as yet, have sufficient experience to be fully independent.  Applicants must show evidence of a clear commitment to a research career and success in the form of outputs from doctoral and post-doctoral research, where applicable. Applicants will not have more than 3 years whole time equivalent (WTE) post-doctoral research experience at the time of applying.

Round 11 Deadline: Now closed  |  Shortlisting: February 2018  |  Interviews: 10-12 July 2018


The Transitional Research Fellowship (TRF) offers 18 months – 24 months funding (at 100%, 75% or 60%) to support researchers to make a transition from basic or experimental science research to an area of applied health or clinical research which is within NIHR remit. Applicants may also use a TRF to re-establish their career in applied health or clinical research after a significant career break and can be used to provide an intense period of clinical trials training for those new or relatively new to trials and who wish to transition to become a future health research leader competent in clinical trials. Any proposed research component of the TRF application must be within NIHR remit. The TRF should allow successful applicants to develop the skills needed to be successful in future applications for both NIHR Fellowship Programmes and wider NIHR funding opportunities. A TRF is a personal award designed to buy out an individual’s salary costs and to fund an appropriate training and development programme, which may or may not include a research project component. Applicants will not have more than 5 years WTE post-doctoral research experience at the time of applying. You can hear from NIHR Transitional Research Fellow Matthew Hyde on his own experience.

Round 11 Deadline: Now closed  |  Shortlisting: February 2018  |  Interviews: 10-12 July 2018



The Career Development Fellowship (CDF) offers 3 years full-time funding (or 4 or 5 years part-time) to individuals who have significant and successful post-doctoral experience. Applicants should be able to provide evidence of a clear commitment to a research career, success in the form of outputs from doctoral and post-doctoral research and the likelihood that during a Fellowship they would become fully independent researchers. Applicants will not have more than 7 years WTE post-doctoral research experience at the time of applying. Applicants who have had a career break may be able to apply with up to 8 years WTE post-doctoral research experience.

Round 11 Deadline: Now closed  |  Shortlisting: February 2018  |  Interviews: 10-12 July 2018



The Senior Research Fellowship (SRF) offers 5 years funding to undertake a programme of research and is aimed at outstanding individuals who are currently independent researchers and can demonstrate the potential to become academic and research leaders within the duration of an award. The SRF is expected to enhance existing career opportunities for both the award holder and others in health related research and support the development of collaborative partnerships within and between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the NHS in response to identified health needs.

Round 11 Deadline: Now closed  |  Shortlisting: February 2018  |  Interviews: 10-12 July 2018



Information for applicants 

The application system can be accessed via

Applicants may only submit one application to a round of the NIHR Fellowships competition.

The NIHR is an ORCID member and encourages researchers and trainees to obtain this persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from other researchers. Lead applicants must now include an ORCID iD in their application. Without it, your application will not be validated and you will not be able to submit. If you don’t already have one, we recommend that you register for your ORCID iD as soon as possible.

All applicants must ensure that their proposed research project is compatible with the published NIHR remit.

Applicants will hear if they have been invited for interview 4 to 6 weeks prior to the interview dates.  All interviews will take place in Leeds.

All applicants will receive an outcome by August via email.

Successful applicants can expect to start their award at the beginning of September, October, November, December or January.  


The Public Minutes from last year's award decisions and the Chair's feedback from previous Rounds is available:

NIHR DRF Fellowship 2017 Public Minutes

NIHR PDF, CDF, SRF and TRF Fellowships 2016 Public Minutes

NIHR Fellowships Round 10 Chair's Report

NIHR Fellowships Round 9 Chair's Report 

NIHR Fellowships Round 8 Chair's Report

NIHR Fellowships Round 7 Chair's Report


Information for new Trainees

A Trainee Information Pack is available for new and current trainees with awards managed by the NIHR Training Coordinating Centre (TCC). The available documents, leaflets, links and contact details for Programme Managers are designed to assist trainees throughout the duration of their award and career progression. 


NIHR Fellows tell their stories

Current Fellowship Programme Trainees tell their own stories on how the NIHR has helped them develop a clinical academic career (filmed at the 2015 Trainees Meeting)

1. Rhiannon Owen, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow and Medical Statistician



2. Matthew Hyde, NIHR Transitional Research Fellow and Associate in Paediatrics.



3. Lisa Newington, NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow and Physiotherapist. 




We hosted our second Fellowship Programme webinar on Thursday 16 June 2016.

This webinar was for aspiring NIHR Fellowship award holders ahead of the launch of Round 10 of the programme. The webinar is aimed at clinicians, allied health professionals and health researchers who wish to learn more about personal training awards.

The webinar is jointly hosted by the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre (TCC) and the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) and includes:

  • An overview of the NIHR Fellowship programmes and eligibility requirements
  • A guide to the scope of research projects that are suitable for Fellowship schemes
  • An overview of the support offered by the NIHR RDS
  • Things to consider before applying for an NIHR Fellowship and designing a research project

The webinar is presented by Peter Thompson, Assistant Director at NIHR TCC and Jill Carlton, Research Fellow in the Health Economics and Decision Science section of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and Fellowships advisor for NIHR Yorkshire and Humber RDS. 

The questions and answers not addressed during the webinar were compiled into this Q&A document.

View the recording here


Our First Fellowship Programme webinar took place on Tuesday 8 December 2015. 

This webinar was aimed specifically at those who were applying for Round 9 of the programme and those considering applying for Round 10. 

A Q&A document was put together from this webinar and contains the common questions asked and their answers.

View the recording here


Contact us:


Tel: 0113 346 6277