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More flexibility for the HEE/NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF)

Published: 30 January 2020

Two distinct funding offers are available for Round 3 of the PCAF competition, launching today (30 January 2020), which allows applicants to indicate the level of support most appropriate for their individual requirements.

The HEE/NIHR PCAF supports early career researchers to become competitive applicants for a doctoral level research training fellowship. It is part of the Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme, which provides personal research training for healthcare professionals (excluding doctors and dentists). A list of eligible professions details who can apply for the PCAF.

The PCAF supports the submission of a doctoral fellowship application. To aid this, applicants with limited formal academic training can undertake a full Masters, Masters modules or other Masters level training. However, the changes mean applicants can simply request funding to support their submission of a doctoral fellowship application without also proposing a significant programme of academic training. This may be an attractive option for those who need minimal further formal training but who still require some support and time to develop a doctoral fellowship.

All applicants need to demonstrate commitment to a clinical academic career and have outstanding potential as a future clinical academic leader. PCAF awardees should become competitive doctoral applicants, enabling them to launch their clinical research career. 

Professor Jon Marsden, Chair of the PCAF Selection Committee said, ‘We are pleased to be able to provide more flexible funding to suit a broader range of individuals. Applicants should carefully consider which stream is the most suitable for them and we always recommend seeking advice from prospective supervisors to ensure a realistic but ambitious timeline for submission of a doctoral fellowship application.’

As clinical academics, all applicants are expected to also develop their career in their stated profession as well as undertaking the PCAF. Further information about this latest round and how to apply is available in our funding opportunities.

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