Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship

The Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship (CDRF) enables registered healthcare professionals to obtain a PhD by research whilst developing their clinical skills at the same time.

Anticipated Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship launch: 1st March 2019


Are you eligible?

The HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship Scheme is aimed at registered non-medical healthcare professionals based in England who:

  • Have at least one year's experience of clinical practice.
  • Have sufficient research experience or training to prepare them to undertake a PhD.
  • Wish to obtain a PhD by research whilst continuing to develop their clinical skills.
  • Belong to an eligible profession.
  • Propose research that is compatible with the published NIHR remit and the HEE priorities.

The CDRF is an individual training award and offers funding to cover the salary costs of the award holder, their PhD tuition fees, and the costs of an appropriate research project and training and development programme. A CDRF award will require that the individual has a contract of employment with the Host Employer for the duration of the Fellowship.


Useful Resources for Prospective Applicants:

  • Applications to must be submitted via our Award Management System, Aramis.
  • The Chairs Report is a review of the Round 3 CDRF, CL and SCL competitions produced by the Chairs of the ICA Programme personal award review panels. This report summarises common weaknesses that were noted by the review panels, and provides advice for prospective applicants.
  • The ICA Webinar presents the ICA Programme to prospective applicants and provides tips for those developing proposals.
  • A Guide to the HEE/NIHR ICA Programme - comprehensive information regarding all elements of the ICA Programme, its management and additional resources available to support applicants
  • The Employing Host Organisation of successful applicants will be required to agree to the standard NIHR Personal awards contract. A Sample contract can be viewed for information only.


For Further Information

Call: 0113 532 8401

Email:, With the subject ICA.


Being a Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow

Consultant Midwife Yana Richens OBE is leading on a research project looking at why women are anxious and fearful of birth. She explains how the HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship has allowed her to stay clinically active whilst having the opportunity to lead on research which could have a huge impact on pregnant women and their families.



Cathy Geeson talks about being a HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellow at the 2015 Member Meeting.



Karen Heslop-Marshall talks about her HEE/NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship and the benefits of being a Nurse and a Researcher.