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Future Focused Leadership Programme Cohort 3



  • For help with your application contact
  • For more information about the funding Programme, visit the Programme Page

Supporting Information

Future Focused Leadership Programme: Application Guidance

Future Focused Leadership Programme - FAQ

The Future Focused Leadership Programme (FFLP) is a 12-month programme designed to enhance skills in leading across organisational boundaries, leading strategy and change and influencing others to achieve the strategic aims of NIHR. 

The programme has been developed specifically for the NIHR and is based around research on what makes a successful leader, offering participants the opportunity to explore new thinking on how to lead in the 21st century. The programme is designed around exploring Leading Yourself, Leading Others and Leading Beyond Authority.

The programme will enable participants to develop their capabilities and effectiveness as a leader by identifying and reflecting on their strengths and areas for development.

The programme incorporates a range of development opportunities including: residential workshops, 360 feedback activity, action learning sets, individual coaching and virtual reality coaching. For cohort 3 there have been some adaptations made in light of COVID-19, including the first two residentials of the programme being converted to virtual experiences delivered across two days of online sessions. The current programme design is for the third residential to be delivered on location over two days to provide an immersive learning experience, however, we will continue to monitor and review guidance in relation to COVID-19 and will adapt the delivery mechanism as appropriate.  

There are two streams to the FFLP: Leaders and Emerging Research Leaders. The differentiated streams have been designed to offer appropriate leadership development dependent on career stage.

To be eligible for the Leaders stream you must:

  • currently lead at a national level for NIHR or have demonstrable leadership influence as part of NIHR. For example, you might be a Chair or Co-Chair of a governance board, or leading an NIHR strategic work stream which involves different parts of NIHR/its partners 
  • be able to show how your leadership contribution relates to the  strategic aims of NIHR
  • able to identify leadership challenges from your NIHR role that you can work on as part of the programme

To be eligible for the Emerging Research Leaders stream you must be:

  • an early to mid-career researcher
  • two years post doctorate
  • an NIHR Academy Member (in receipt of an award ending no earlier than 31 October 2021)

The programme stream should be selected on the application form. Full details of the programme are available in the guidance notes.

ActivityEmerging Research LeadersLeaders
Launch Call 12 January 2021 12 January 2021
Residential 1 (virtual) 17-18 March 2021 24-25 March 2021
Residential 2 (virtual) 9-10 June 2021 16-17 June 2021
Action Learning Set 1 6 or 7 July 2021 13, 14 or 15 July 2021
Residential 3 (on location) 8-9 September 2021 15-16 September 2021
Action Learning Set 2 12 or 13 October 2021 19, 20 or 21 September 2021
Programme Close 8 February 2022 8 February 2022

For assistance with your application please contact the NIHR Academy  0113 5328 446 or email