We’re seeking PhD programmes that will deliver outstanding research training opportunities for health professionals. Programmes can be themed by discipline – including science, technology, engineering, clinical research and experimental medicine, innovation, and humanities and social science – as long as the research is related to health. Programmes can also be built around geography (e.g. single geographic location, or group of organisations within a region) or around a clinical specialty (e.g. primary care), or a mix of the above.
We know that lack of diversity in clinical academia is a problem. To be considered for funding in this competition, all programmes will be required to have a strategy for recruitment that encourages diversity and inclusivity. We’ll ask applicants to describe clear targets for recruitment of diverse fellows and supervisors – and how they’ll meet those targets. They’ll also need to create a monitoring plan for equality, diversity and inclusion, showing how they’ll share their progress and best practice.
We’re also expanding our eligibility requirements: programmes will be able to recruit fellows from across all registered health professions, rather than restricting entry to doctors, dentists and vets.
It’s crucial that research environments are healthy workplaces. Our PhD programmes will offer large awards to single organisations or consortia, to allow them to train cohorts of PhD fellows, rather than funding individual fellowships. This programmatic approach ensures the fellows will be embedded within a community, and will have access to dedicated support teams.
We will also ask programmes to think creatively about how research culture can be improved, and to define and develop their own research culture road map. This might include leadership training, support for career transitions, opportunities for interdisciplinary training, and support for collaborative activities.
So, successful programmes will demonstrate excellence not only in research training, but also in the ability to build a positive, diverse and inclusive research ecosystem.
We're open to applications until 4 March 2021. Further information can be found on the scheme page.