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NIHR appoints new Senior Investigators distributed across England

senior investigators 2022

Published: 01 March 2023

Following an open competition, the NIHR has appointed 56 Senior Investigators in 2023. In this 16th round, 27 researchers have been newly appointed as NIHR Senior Investigators. A total of 29 current or previous award holders have been reappointed. 

NIHR Senior Investigators are among the most prominent and prestigious researchers funded by the NIHR. They are outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the NIHR research community. Senior Investigators receive an award of £20,000 per year of appointment to fund activities that support their research.

This round of appointments brings the College of NIHR Senior Investigators to 197 active members. NIHR’s Senior Investigators have diverse professional backgrounds in social care, nursing and midwifery, public health, and include allied health professionals, pharmacists, clinical scientists and methodologists.

14 new NIHR Emeritus Senior Investigators have been created in 2023. This gives a total of 205 Emeritus Senior Investigators.

The majority of the 2023 Senior Investigators are located across the North East and West, East and West Midlands, South Central and Yorkshire and The Humber, making up 40 of the 56 awardees.

NIHR Senior Investigators are critical to the ongoing success of NIHR. They help to develop the health research capability for the challenges we must meet. 

Collectively, Senior Investigators constitute the NIHR College of Senior Investigators, and are members of the NIHR Academy. They help guide research capacity development and enhance the career paths of NIHR researchers. This includes participating as mentors in the NIHR mentoring programme.

NIHR Senior Investigators occupy their positions for no more than two terms, in order to ensure turnover. This creates opportunities for new researchers to participate in NIHR at this level. It also incentivises the research community, while maintaining the college of Senior Investigators at a manageable size.  

Emeritus status applies while the holders remain in substantive employment in England. It is a considerable achievement to attain Emeritus status. Holders must succeed twice in open competition and complete two terms as a Senior Investigator.

An independent expert committee of professional and public members chaired by Professors Marion Walker, Sue Ziebland (overall Chair and co-Chair, respectively), Karina Lovell (Chair for the Nursing and Midwifery, AHP, Methodology Subcommittee), Jill Manthorpe (Chair for the Social Care Subcommittee), and Jadwiga Wedzicha and Ibrahim Abubakar (Chair and co-Chair, respectively, for the Medical Subcommittee) made recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care on the 2023 appointments. 

NIHR Senior Investigator status is awarded according to: 

  • criteria of contribution to NIHR
  • quality and volume of internationally excellent research 
  • its relevance to patients and the public
  • impact on improvements in healthcare and public health
  • research leadership
  • engagement of patients and the public
  • engagement of healthcare policy makers and planners with their research

Full details of the 2023 NIHR Senior Investigator and Senior Investigator Emeritus appointments.

The 17th annual round of the NIHR Senior Investigators Competition will be announced in summer 2023. Leading researchers funded by the NIHR (and who are employed by a NHS Trust, university or charity based in England) are encouraged to apply.

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