NIHR Development and Skills Enhancement Award

NIHR Development and Skills Enhancement Awards are currently open for application.

The DSE award is a post-doctoral level award aimed at supporting NIHR Academy Members to gain specific skills and experience to support the next phase of their research career. Applicants will be required to demonstrate the new skills and experience they hope to gain through the award and how it will benefit their future career in research and make applicants more competitive in securing future funding.

The award will run three times annually opening in May, September and January; and will support a mixture of researcher led applications and applications from areas of strategic importance. The highlighted themes for the current round are:

  • Health Data Science
  • Clinical Trials
  • Entrepreneurship and working with industry 

Applicants should have been awarded their PhD by the time of starting the award and should be applying within 12 months of their previous NIHR award finishing. 

Awards will be up to a maximum of 1 year (in terms of NIHR funding) and may be taken up on a part time basis of between 50% and 100% whole time equivalent (WTE), however the maximum duration that NIHR will fund will still be 1 year regardless of WTE. There is an expectation that host organisations will match the level of support provided by NIHR at a level of 50%. 


Eligibility Criteria

  • Current member of the NIHR Academy
  • For clinical academic applications: completion of relevant pre-registration training
  • Proposed host an English HEI, NHS body or other provider of health and/or care services
  • Applicants must hold a relevant PhD or MD, or have submitted their thesis for examination at the time of application - applicants must have been awarded their PhD or MD by the time they start
  • Previous NIHR award finished no longer than 12 months ago - this does not include any time taken off for statutory leave
  • Not submitted a DSE application in the previous round

For more information regarding the eligibility criteria for the scheme can be found in the Applicant Guidance Notes, which are published to accompany each competition.


Key Dates

Fellowship start dates are detailed below for the May, September and January rounds. For exact dates of each round please see the website closer to the time of opening.

Round Opens

Round Closes

Funding Recommendation Meeting

Start Date


(w/c 06.05.2019)



December to March


(w/c 02.09.2019)



April to July


(w/c 06.01.2020)



August to November


The Development and Skills Enhancement Award competition has launched.  

Closing date: 1pm on Wednesday 31st July 2019

The Development and Skills Enhancement Awards Round 1 (2019) Applicant Guidance Notes provide full details of the scheme and its Round 1 competition and should be read in full before starting an application.


Useful Resources for Prospective Applicants

  • Development and Skills Enhancement Award Applicant Guidance Notes - these should be read in full before starting an application.
  • Watch our pre-recorded Development and Skills Enhancement Award webinar
  • Applications to the Development and Skills Enhancement award must be submitted via our Award Management System, AramisPlease note: The application form is only available during the application window. Registration on the system, however, can be completed at any time.
  • 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.
  • Applications to the Development and Skills Enhancement award are reviewed by the Selection Committee.


For Further Information

Call: 0113 532 8401

Email: with the subject Fellowship