1. What is the HEE Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme (Formerly Silver Awards)?
The programme is a structured opportunity designed to enable a practitioner considering a clinical research career to gain mentored learning experience of working within a research environment and develop their ability to compete for formal research training.
2. What does the Programme cover?
A single payment of up to £7,500 can be offered per Fellow (formerly Clinical Scholar) to their NHS organisation, which could cover; contribution to salary and incidental costs; education, training and support costs, travel expenses and other costs reasonably incurred by the Clinical Scholar. We are aware that in some circumstances this funding will not be enough to cover expenses and additional costs incurred as well as salary support. In these circumstances it is the responsibility of the employer to manage the amount that can be spent to mitigate any financial risk incurred.
3. Who is eligible to apply for the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme?
Graduates of the Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health, Chiropractic, Clinical Psychology, Healthcare Scientists, Health Visiting, Operating Department Practice, Optometry and Dispensing Opticians, Osteopaths, Pharmacy Professions, Non-Medical Public Health Specialty Trainees, Specialists and Consultants and Wider Dental Team Professionals’ who are currently registered and have a strong interest in, and suitability for, a research focused clinical career and have a research focused Master’s.
4. Do applicants need to be employed by the NHS or can they come from organisations that provide NHS services such as social enterprises, or the independent sector?
Funding for the Pre-Doctoral programme will only cover those engaged in the delivery of NHS funded services.
5. Can HEI employees apply if they can demonstrate engagement in clinical practice?
An employee of a Higher Education Institution (HEI) would be eligible to apply if they:
- Are a frontline clinician from the Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health, Chiropractic, Clinical Psychology, Healthcare Scientists, Health Visiting, Operating Department Practice, Optometry and Dispensing Opticians, Osteopaths, Pharmacy Professions, Non-Medical Public Health Specialty Trainees, Specialists and Consultants and Wider Dental Team Professionals’
- Also have a contract with an NHS employer, or a provider engaged in the delivery of NHS funded services
- Are a graduate, and are currently registered as a Nurse, Midwife, Allied Health Professional, Health Visitor, Pharmacist, Wider Dental Team Member, Operating Department Practitioner or Clinical Psychologist with a strong interest in, and suitability for a research focused clinical career
- Have a strong interest in, and suitability for a research focused clinical career
- Have the support of their service provider organisation
6. What is the timetable for applications to the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme?
The Programme will commence Mid November and needs to be completed by October the following year.
7.How long is the Pre-Doctoral Bridging programme?
The programme will take place over a period of 48 days, starting Mid November 2020 – October 2021. The 48 days will include 10 mandatory educational days but otherwise is flexible to the needs of the Fellow and their organisation. These days are to be negotiated with the employer organisation and academic mentor.
8. Would an AHP with a Master’s in Physiotherapy who wants to apply for an NIHR Doctoral in Clinical Research award be eligible to apply for the Programme?
The programme will be open to graduates who have a higher level formal training in research (see also 3). Practitioners who have achieved a professional Master’s, such as MSc in Physiotherapy or MA Art Therapy, which did not include higher level formal training in research, are also likely to be eligible for the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme.
9. Can projects that require ethical approval be undertaken as part of the Programme?
The timeframe for the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme (11 months) often does not allow enough time for application and acquisition of ethical approval. Therefore is it recommended that the fellows do not undertake projects that require ethical approval. If a fellow wishes to undertake such a project they should discuss this with their mentor as soon as possible upon commencing the programme. It is also recommended that they contact their Trust Research and Development Lead. Please note that the output expectations will remain the same for those undertaking a project requiring ethical approval (see 10.)
10. What are the expectations for the Bridging Programmes?
Clinical Scholars undertaking the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme are expected to:
- Attend and participate in a bespoke educational programme
- The dates of which are as follows:
-Week 1 Day 1: Mid November
-Week 3 Day 2: Early December Optional Refresher
-Week 4 Day 3/4:Mid December
-Week 5 to 19 Bespoke Training and Protocol Presentations
-Week 20 Day 5: Mid progress meeting May following year
-Week 24 Day 6:Mid June Presentation Day
-Week 26 Day 7: Early July
-Week 40 Day 8: Mid October Dissemination Event
- Commit 48 days to the programme over the course of 11 months
- Produce the following outputs:
-A literature review of 5000 – 8000 words
-A PhD proposal including ethics
1.How many Fellows will I supervise as a Mentor?
Each Mentor will support one Fellow however, if required they could support more.
2.What funding is available to Mentors as part of this Programme?
Each Fellow will have a £1,000 pot available for their mentors to go towards the mentors research fund or towards their organisation.
3.Are there any requirements for Mentorship as part of the Programme?
Yes, the Mentor must:
- Be a formally qualified researcher with a minimum Master’s qualification for the Bronze Award and minimum PhD qualification for the Silver Award
- Commit to mentoring and line management for the duration of the project
- Facilitate high quality learning opportunities for the Clinical Scholar
- Facilitate access to research professionals as determined by the development needs of the Clinical Scholar
- Sign off the final academic report/ PhD proposal by the Clinical Scholar
- Advise on ethics
4.What benefits does this programme provide Mentors?
The benefits to Mentors include:
- Providing additional research capacity
- Utilises NICE resources and develops plans for further improvement (where relevant)
- Experience of managing research staff
- Experience of mentoring
- May help with CPD/revalidation process
- £1000 funding pot per fellow towards research
5.What is the deadline for Mentor applications?
OPEN ALL YEAR