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NIHR Pre-doctoral Local Authority Fellowship Scheme



Supporting Information


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This pilot scheme has been designed to support the academic ambitions of individuals wishing to develop as health and/or social care researchers whilst remaining employed, or at least engaged, within local authorities or local authority supporting services. A companion doctoral fellowship scheme is also being developed and will launch in spring 2021.
These fully funded pre-doctoral fellowships will enable awardees to retain their existing employment contracts and salaries, whilst protecting their time to prepare an application for a PhD fellowship and undertake a fully funded programme of relevant Masters level training.
With the exception of doctors and dentists, who can already access equivalent dedicated funding opportunities, these awards are available to individuals of any profession or background. Applicants must, however, be employed by: 
  • a local authority
  • a provider of local authority commissioned services
  • a non-profit organisation (such as a charity) that provides services on behalf of a local authority, or supports a local authority in meeting its objectives.
This initiative represents an exciting new opportunity for a wide range of individuals, but especially for those without professional social worker or clinician status. Eligible clinicians and social workers are welcome to apply for support from this scheme or from the other existing NIHR Academy administered schemes that cater for their own professional groups, but cannot apply to both concurrently.
Prospective applicants are strongly advised to read the scheme specific applicant guidance notes in full before beginning an application.

Alternative opportunities

NHS employees are ineligible for support through this scheme. NHS employees eligible for registration with the UK Public Health Register or who otherwise hold statutory clinical registration should instead consider the HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship scheme or, if medically qualified, the NIHR Integrated Academic Training Programme.


Application forms available: 28 January 2021
Deadline for application submission: 31 March 2021
Awards made: May 2021
Award uptake by successful applicants: from 1 September 2021