Back to top

Announcement of Gold Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands is pleased to announce funding for the second cohort of Gold postdoctoral fellowship awards.

These awards are complementary to the Health Education England / NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) pathway for clinicians outside of medicine and dentistry who wish to pursue a clinical academic career.

Gold award applicants must demonstrate that they continue to develop both academically and clinically, whilst gaining relevant experience and independence as researchers.

What is it?

The Gold award develops the individual along the HEE/NIHR ICA career pathway to increase their capacity and capability to deliver innovative research projects to improve practice and patient outcomes.

The Gold award is designed to support post-doctoral individuals in applying for either the NIHR/HEE ICA Clinical Lectureship scheme and HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme or an equivalent award from elsewhere that is relevant for their clinical academic career development.

The aim of the Gold award is to enable applicants to spend time developing a funding application, which will see their time evenly split between a University and a NHS organisation (or an organisation providing NHS care), and working to become a clinical academic research leader in their field.

The Gold award offers up to £15,000 in funding for development activities to support future lectureship / research funding applications.

Applicants for the Gold award are not necessarily required to apply to the NIHR for a Clinical Lectureship at the end of their fellowship; however, it is expected that the Gold award will be used by the applicant to undertake work / preparation which will lead to an application for postdoctoral funding (research or lectureship) that enables them to continue to develop their clinical academic career.

Who is it for?

Eligibility for the Gold award follows that of the NIHR ICA pathway, which provides a range of opportunities for registered non-medical healthcare professions to develop careers that combine research and research leadership, with continued clinical practice and professional development.

Applicants for the Gold awards must:

  • Have been awarded their PhD within the last 4 years (NIHR CL 
applications are only open to candidates with less than 5 years postdoctoral experience). NB: individuals holding Professional Doctorates must provide evidence of the quality and proportionality of research education, training and experience gained over the course of their professional doctorate studies. Such prospective applicants must gain support from their prospective host HEI to confirm that they meet the NIHR’s professional doctorate eligibility criteria. 

  • Hold an employment contract with a NHS organisation or organisation providing NHS funded care. For a list of eligible occupations, click here. 

  • Hold an up to date professional body/council registration. 

  • Have at least one year’s experience of professional, post-graduation, 
clinical practice at the point of application. 

  • Be able to demonstrate that they are actively carrying out research 
and continuing clinical practice. 

  • Be able to demonstrate partnership working and agreement between 
NHS and HEI organisations to support the development of the applicant’s clinical academic career. 


What is a clinical academic? 


The definition of a clinical academic is varied, but at its most basic is someone who holds both a clinical and academic contract (one of which might be honorary opposed to substantive) and continues to practice clinically and as a researcher. 


Clinical Academics (CAs) undertake academic roles whilst also providing clinical expertise within health and social care settings. The research questions formulated by CAs are informed by clinical experience and the reality of patient care. As active researchers in fields of relevance to their own practice, and working alongside their clinical colleagues, CAs are also in a strong position to critically appraise and utilise research findings in the development of evidence based clinical practice and patient care. As such, CAs are uniquely placed to make invaluable contributions to the development of optimum care and services for patients and the public.

What can be funded?

Applicants can apply for up to £15,000 of funding. This should cover all pay and non-pay costs, but should not include institutional overheads or estate costs. Where travel costs are included, these should be standard class fares only.

Applicants are required to develop an individual, bespoke programme of activities to support their learning needs. This may include:

  • Visiting other research institutes. 

  • Building research collaborations. 

  • Funding for mentorship. 

  • Attending conferences and presenting work. 

  • Writing up research papers for publication (including open access 
publication fees). 

  • Developing research networks. 

  • PPI work (costed to INVOLVE standards). 

  • Training and leadership skills. 

  • Salary support. 


All required costs should be included within the £15,000. 


Deadlines and dates for the 2018 Gold awards 


  • Application deadline: 23.59pm on 8th April 2018. Applications should be emailed to: Alice.Phillips@nottingham.ac.uk
  • Interviews: 1st May in Nottingham (NG7 2TU) or Leicester (LE5 4PW) – location TBC. 

  • Gold award start date: 1st June 2018.
For further information, please see the guidance notes / application form, or 
email Emma.Rowley@nottingham.ac.uk.