NIHR Doctoral Fellowship

The NIHR Doctoral Fellowship is a three year full-time award that supports individuals to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research. This Fellowship may also be taken up on a part-time basis of between 50% and 100% whole time equivalent (WTE).

Clinical applicants are able to include up to 20% clinical time as part of the Fellowship, to ensure the maintenance of their clinical competence whilst undertaking the Fellowship.


Are you eligible?

To be eligible for an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship you must:

  • Complete relevant pre-registration training. (For clinical academic applicants)
  • Complete first degree. (For non-clinical applicants)
  • Proposed an English based only HEI, NHS body or other provider of health and/or care services host.
  • Be intending to register for and complete a PhD.
  • Where already registered for a PhD (or MPhil with transfer to PhD), the applicant should not have been registered for more than 12 months at 100% WTE by the time the award starts.


Key dates

Key dates for round 2

  • Stage 1 Opens: Early April 2019

  • Stage 1 Closes: Mid June 2019

  • Stage 2 Opens: Early October 2019

  • Stage 2 Closes: Late October 2019

  • Interviews: Late November/Early December 2019.

Key dates for round 1

  • Stage 1 Opens: 2nd October 2018

  • Stage 1 Closes: 18th December 2018 at 1pm

  • Stage 2 Opens: Early April 2019

  • Stage 2 Closes: Late April 2019

  • Interviews: 4-6 June 2019


Stage 1 of the NIHR Doctoral Fellowships is now closed.

For further details, please see the Guidance Notes.

The NIHR is also partnering with a number of charitable organisations to offer jointly funded Partnership Fellowships at both Doctoral and Advanced (post-doctoral) levels. To find out more click here.


Partnership Fellowships

As part of the new structure of NIHR Fellowships, the NIHR Academy is partnering with seven of the UK's leading medical charities for the first time, to offer jointly funded Partnership Fellowships, at both Doctoral and Advanced (post-doctoral) level.

  • Diabetes UK
  • Kidney Research UK
  • Moorfields Eye Charity
  • MS Society
  • Muscular Dystrophy UK
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK
  • Parkinson's UK

Jointly funded Partnership Fellowships:

  • allow researchers the opportunity to maintain and build a relationship with both the NIHR and Charity Partner.
  • enable researchers to engage with and receive valuable input from patient groups, making the most of the public and patient engagement/involvement opportunities available.
  • provide greater research exposure through a variety of media and communication channels.

The Guidance Notes contain further details regarding the specific eligibility criteria for each charity partner (in addition to the standard eligibility criteria), the level of award available and the contact details for the relevant charity.

We encourage all applicants interested in applying for a jointly funded Partnership Fellowship to contact the relevant charity partner to discuss their application. Please note; all other queries about the application process should be directed to the NIHR Academy.


For Further Information 

Call: 0113 532 8410

Email:, With the subject Fellowships  

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