Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft. To browse the NIHR site please use a modern, secure browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Course funding and employer information

Find out about bursaries, course funding and information for employers for the Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework: 

Course funding


If you’re a health and care professional who meets the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a bursary to cover your fees for courses starting in the 2024/25 academic year.

What you can apply for

You can apply for one to three years of funding to complete the:

  • Postgraduate Certificate
  • Postgraduate Diploma
  • Master’s Degree

starting in the academic year 2024/25.

You cannot defer funding to a future academic year.

You need to pass each stage to get the funding for the next stage. For example, you will need to pass the Postgraduate Certificate to receive funding to complete the Postgraduate Diploma.

You will not get funding for retaking any component of the course.

Eligibility criteria for bursary applications

To be eligible to apply for a bursary, you must:

1. be a regulated health and care professional

The adopted definition of health and care professionals are those regulated healthcare professionals, excluding doctors and dentists, who are currently registered with one of the national regulatory bodies:

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Health and Care Professions Council
  • General Dental Council
  • General Medical Council
  • General Optical Council
  • General Osteopathic Council
  • General Chiropractic Council
  • General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland

2. have a course offer from one of the universities who provide courses aligned with the Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework

You should therefore apply for the course/s you wish to study before you apply for a bursary. If you are applying to more than one university, you will be asked to rank the universities to which you have applied in order of preference.

3. have worked in the NHS or a publicly funded healthcare setting in England for at least 2 years

4. agree to share the information provided on the bursary application form with the universities delivering courses aligned with the Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework and anonymised details with the bursary selection panel

5. permit the NIHR to contact you about your experiences of the course and your ongoing career development for up to 5 years after you finish the course

6. have your employer’s support to undertake the course you are requesting a bursary for

How to apply

You can only submit one bursary application for the academic year 2024/25.

The deadline for applications is 11:59 BST on Thursday 1 August 2024.

The form includes the following questions, each with a 250 maximum word limit. We recommend you draft answers to these questions before you complete the form.

  1. Please explain briefly how completing this course will enhance your career/role in clinical research delivery.
  2. To what extent is your clinical specialty identified as an area of clinical research skills shortages?
  3. To what extent is your local area currently underservedby clinical research in your clinical specialty, and how will your access to bursary funding impact this?

Apply online

Health and Care Professional Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework Bursary Application

Deadline for applications is 11:59 BST on Thursday 1 August 2024.

Award process

A panel will assess your application and score it against the prioritisation criteria.

Bursary prioritisation criteria

If there are more eligible applicants than there are funds available to award bursaries, we will use the following information from the bursary application form to prioritise who should receive bursaries. Where it is possible to do so, we will:

  • Prioritise applicants who are currently studying or who have already achieved a qualification aligned with the Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework
  • Include a range of professions
  • Maximise bursary recipients from areas of clinical research skills shortages
  • Prioritise applicants from geographical areas currently underserved by clinical research in their clinical speciality
  • Prioritise applicants with more than 2 years' clinical experience
  • The highest ranking applicants will be awarded bursaries and remaining high ranking applicants will be put on a reserve list

Key dates

  • Closing date for applications - 11:59 BST on Thursday 1 August 2024
  • Decision for the Postgraduate Certificate applications - sent out by your first choice university that you’re eligible for in the week commencing 19 August 2024
  • Decision for the Postgraduate Diploma/Master’s applications - sent out by your first choice university that you’re eligible for in the week commencing 9 September 2024

If you are unable to obtain a bursary, there is more information below about alternative funding options you can explore.

Other funding options or discounts

Government funding

Charities, trusts and other organisations

Other organisations provide funding for university courses.  Find details of charitable trusts and other organisations who provide funding:

Commercial companies

Some commercial organisations provide funding for university courses. These include pharmaceutical companies, or other companies related to specialist areas of medicine.

Information for employers

These qualifications will give learners the confidence and opportunity to become involved in the delivery of clinical research. They will be able to undertake leadership roles such as a Co-Investigator or Principal Investigator in your organisation.

"It's not just been an academic process.... the Research Practice Experience module... has really motivated me to develop our own Respiratory Advisory Group, which I'm currently in the process of setting up with a colleague. And I probably would never have been taught about doing that before the course and I certainly wouldn't have had the knowledge, or the confidence, to do it."

Rachel Thompson, former student

How to support learners

Before they apply

  • Agree how much time they can spend on the course within working hours
  • Help them find a suitable supervisor to support them with the workplace-based Research Practice Experience module

During the course

Allow them to flex their working commitments around the needs of the course. This may include:

  • allowing them time to dedicate to research delivery
  • supporting study leave
  • backfilling clinical posts
  • helping them connect with colleagues in local and national research networks

More information

Back to the Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework page