Short Placement Awards for Research Collaboration

The NIHR Infrastructure Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) allows early stage researchers supported by an NIHR Infrastructure Award (see below) to spend time in other parts of the NIHR. The scheme is specifically designed to foster collaboration and enhance the researcher's early career, as well as their CV. 

This award was previously known as the NIHR Infrastructure Doctoral Training Exchange Scheme (IDTE). Discover what you can do with an NIHR Infrastructure SPARC by looking through these case studies of previous awardees.

The placement is funded by awards of up to £5,000 per individual.


The scheme is open to early stage research trainees (Masters, PhD or early post-doc) who must:

  • Be based at a part of the NIHR Infrastructure with a remit to build capacity (Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC) or the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) or Public Health Research (SPHR).
  • Be undertaking a formal training/career development award, which is competitive, includes a training plan and has a defined end point (this may be an application for further funding)
  • Receive at least 25% funding from the NIHR for their salary/stipend over the lifetime of the award.
  • Be in a position to complete the award during April 2018-March 2019
  • Have continued support from their home organisation for the duration of their award (this will be the home institution that administers their current award).

Round 5 of the SPARC will launch in October 2018, please keep checking this webpage for further details! 

For more information on the scheme, eligibility and on how to apply, please see the NIHR SPARC Guidance notes and application form.

Please send any enquiries to with the subject line SPARC.