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NIHR Academy launches new research career support for students

Published: 31 May 2023

NIHR Academy has launched new schemes to give students insight into research careers in health care, social work and public health.

The schemes provide opportunities for institutions and researchers to showcase research to students. They aim to support those at an early stage as they embark on their professional careers.

These opportunities hope to encourage interest in professions currently underrepresented within research. This includes nursing, social care, and public health.

This is the first time that NIHR Academy has provided research training for students. It is part of the NIHR Academy’s expanded portfolio of career support.

INSIGHT: Inspiring Students into Research

The INSIGHT scheme will fund institutionally-led programmes across 12 regions in England. 

Institutions will be able to apply for three years of funding to deliver:

  • Innovative engagement programmes to showcase and attract people into the full range of research careers. This includes careers that combine research and practice
  • Research Masters Studentships to provide valuable training for individuals who may have had limited exposure to research during their training to date

These regional programmes will be available to students from registered healthcare, social work, and public health professions at an early stage in their career.

The INSIGHT scheme is not available to doctors and dentists. Instead, they can take advantage of the INSPIRE scheme coordinated by the Academy of Medical Sciences.

The new initiative aims to equip students with the skills to deliver research in health and care settings. It will also foster collaborative partnerships between organisations and develop student networks at a regional level.

Applications for the INSIGHT programme opened on Thursday 15 June 2023.

NIHR Undergraduate Internship Programme

The NIHR Undergraduate Internship Programme will provide funding for established researchers to host students for 6-8 week paid placements.

Students can complete their placement during their studies. But they will need to be undertaking a relevant course in an eligible subject. The first round of the programme will offer internships to those who have an interest in or are studying in:

  • nursing
  • midwifery
  • social care
  • research methodology
  • public health
  • data science
  • pharmacy
  • healthcare science

The NIHR Undergraduate Internship Programme is due to launch in Autumn 2023. 

Dr Lisa Cotterill, Executive Director of NIHR Academy said: “I am delighted that we are able to offer new funding to help students into research careers. It is vital that we encourage people from a wide range of professions to consider a future in research. These new schemes will provide an excellent opportunity for those in health and care professions other than doctors and dentists to develop their skills in leading and delivering research.”

Professor Annie Topping, Chair of the INSIGHT scheme, said: “The INSIGHT scheme will provide support for institutions to attract and develop people to pursue careers in research at a regional level. This is a fantastic chance to showcase the wide range of benefits that research roles and careers have within health and care, while fostering opportunities for collaboration and partnership within regions across England.”

Find out more information about funding opportunities.

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