HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowships

The HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF) scheme funds personalised programmes of academic training that will equip awardees with the skills and experience to access doctoral level funding and dedicated time to prepare an application for a competitive, peer-reviewed doctoral level research training fellowship.

PCAF candidates may have received little formal academic training at the point of application, but should be able to demonstrate their commitment to a career as a clinical academic and have outstanding potential for development as a future clinical academic leader.

All applicants must belong to one of the ICA Programme eligible professions 

The PCAF Structure

The PCAF is a two year award (or can be taken up part-time over 30 or 40 months).  Fellows split their time equally between their clinical position and the academic training funded through the award


PCAF Round 2 competition anticipated launch: February 2019


Useful Resource for Prospective Applicants:

  • The ICA PCAF Applicant Guidance Notes provide full details of the PCAF scheme, including the eligibility requirements, the scope of funding, required employment arrangements and the assessment criteria. The Applicant Guidance Notes should be read in full before starting an application

    Please ensure that you are referring to the most recent Applicant Guidance Notes, which are published to accompany each competition.

  • ICA PCAF Frequently Asked Questions answers common questions from prospective applicants.
  • The webinar "Starting a Clinical Academic Career with the HEE/NIHR ICA Programme" presents Information on the new Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship scheme.  Due to a technical glitch during the live broadcast some of the slides may not display when watching the recording.  The full slide set is available in the "useful documents" section of this page.
  • Applications to the PCAF scheme must be submitted via our Award Management System, (https://tcci.nihr.ac.uk). Please note: The PCAF application form is only available during the application window. Registration on the system, however, can be completed at any time.

  • The Employing Host Organisation of successful applicants will be required to agree to the standard NIHR Personal awards contract. A Sample contract can be viewed for information only.

Applications to the Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship scheme are reviewed by the HEE/NIHR ICA PCAF Review Panel


ICA PCAF Round 1 Competition - Key Dates:

Competition Stage Key Dates
Competition Opens 1st February 2018
Competition Closes 11th April 2018
Funding Recommendation Meeting  5th July 2018


Start dates for awards

1st September 2018

1st October 2018

1st November 2018

1st December 2018

Please note, it can take up to 6 weeks following the Funding Recommendation Meeting for application outcomes to be issued.  Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application via e mail (tccawards@nihr.ac.uk) as soon as the funding decision is finalised.


Contact Us

The PCAF Scheme is managed by Dr Beth Harris of the NIHR TCC Personal Awards Team.

Please consult the ICA PCAF Applicant Guidance Notes and the ICA PCAF Frequently Asked Questions documents in the first instance for information concerning the PCAF scheme. 

If, after consulting these documents, you have any queries pertaining to the PCAF scheme, please contact the NIHR TCC Personal Awards Team:

Tel:  0113 346 6268  Email: tccawards@nihr.ac.uk