Short Placement Awards for Research Collaboration (SPARC)

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

SPARC round 5 is now closed for applications. Sparc round 6 will open in Autumn 2019. You can view round 5 guidance notes, application form and other useful information below.


Am I eligible for SPARC?

The NIHR SPARC is open to all NIHR Academy Members who:

  • are early career researchers (PhD or early career post-doc) undertaking a formal training/career development award, which is competitive, includes a training plan and has a defined endpoint (this may be an application for further funding);
  • are directly funded by an NIHR award to a part of the NIHR Infrastructure with a remit to build capacity (Biomedical Research Centre, Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, Patient Safety Translational Research Centre) or at the NIHR School for Primary Care Research or Public Health Research;
  • receive at least 25% funding from the NIHR Infrastructure for their salary/stipend/fees over the lifetime of the award;
  • can be in a position to complete the award between April 2019 and February 2020;
  • will submit a written report within 2 months of the completion of the placement and;
  • will have continued support from their home institution for the duration of their studies (this will be the home institution that administers their current award).


Timetable SPARC Round 5

Applications Open: October 2018

  • Deadline For Applications: 29th November 2018, 1PM
  • Applications to be Reviewed: December 2018 – January 2019
  • Award Decisions to be Finalised: February 2019
  • Applicants to be Informed of Decisions: March 2019
  • Placements Start: 1st April 2019 - 1st March 2020


For Further Information