Accordion widget - Support and opportunities for ICHT/ICL Non-medical Nurses, Midwives and Clinical Support Professions (NMCSP)

Support and resources for Clinical PhD Fellows

The Clinical Academic Training Office acts as a central information hub for guiding fellows as they undertake PhD programmes, advance through their clinical academic careers and move into further research fellowships.  Support includes a number of bespoke activities and resources, together with reference to other useful external resources and guidance.  See the ‘Support for clinical PhD fellows’ section for further details.

Researcher Development Course

This four-day course, offered in two batches of two-day modules, aims to provide an overview of the research process. The course is designed to introduce some of the core skills required to carry out research successfully.

It is aimed at pre-MRes level applicants, and all the workshops are designed to give basic skills and assume little prior knowledge. The course is organised in collaboration with the Imperial College London School of Professional Development. Further details can be found at the Imperial College London Centre for Continuing Professional Development web pages.  

Non-medical healthcare professionals working at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London may be eligible to apply for free a place on the course. 

Please visit the Researcher Development Course page for more details.

2020 Course dates TBC.


Research Symposium for Health Professions

The North West London Research Symposium for Healthcare professionals* is a free event for any clinical colleague (band 5 and above) who is interested in research and pursuing a research career. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded colleagues, share and benefit from our collective research experience and opportunities available in our area. You can use this occasion to develop your networks and gain information about various sources of support in North West London.

We usually open for bookings between July and September, please visit the News and Events page to check availability. 

Programme: The afternoon’s schedule usually includes a keynote speech, research presentations, research career journey stories, interactive workshops and poster viewing/networking opportunities.

The 2020 NWL Research Symposium will be taking place online. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from our keynote speaker, research presentations and participate in a panel session.

Call for abstracts:  The application window for abstracts for the NWL Research Symposium is usually in the early summer. There will be prizes for the best posters and the winners announced at the end of the closing session. You are particularly encouraged to submit abstracts recently presented at national or international meetings. Abstracts shortlisted for giving oral presentation will be notified well in advance of the symposium.

The application window for abstracts will be announced on the  CATO News and events page.

Information and enquiries: This event is coordinated by the Imperial AHSC Clinical Academic Training Office. For information and enquiries please email or call +44 (0)20 3313 1373.

 *e.g. Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists, Radiologists, Clinical Psychologists and Healthcare Scientists

Imperial Health Charity/ Imperial BRC Research Fellowships

Imperial Health Charity/ Imperial BRC Research Fellowships for Healthcare Professionals (Doctors and Healthcare Professionals)

The Imperial Health Charity and Imperial BRC Research Fellowship Programme provides ‘first-step funding’ for Healthcare Professionals looking to begin their academic career. The key aim of the programme is to allow Healthcare Professionals to undertake 12 months of research to develop their research skills and identify an important research question that will make an impact on patient care within the Trust, surrounding communities and the wider NHS. This will then allow successful candidates to springboard onto successful funding bids for further study.

The Pre-doctoral scheme is open to all Health Professionals (Doctors and Healthcare Professionals). The Post-doctoral scheme is open to Non-Medical Healthcare Professionals only.

For the avoidance of doubt Healthcare Professionals include Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Pharmacists, Radiologists, Research Practitioners, Clinical Psychologists, and Healthcare Scientists. If you have queries regarding your eligibility please do not hesitate to enquire.

The Fellowship provides funding for an individual’s salary for 12 months and related research expenses. Funding has historically been capped at a maximum award of £50,000, however, this cap has now been raised to a maximum of £65,000 where necessary upon prior discussion with the Charity. Please note back-fill for your role or out of programme requests need to be arranged in order for you to undertake the fellowship.

Applications for the pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research fellowships usually open in early October.  Further information can be found on the Imperial Health Charity website.

CATO Masterclasses

The CATO Masterclasses are a programme of bite-sized sessions featuring research topics of use to all clinical academics in any clinical discipline and stage.  The sessions also allow networking of clinical academic trainees/researchers at various stages and stimulate innovation derived from exposure to research outside of attendees’ primary areas of interest and across health disciplines.  All those engaged in early research are invited to attend and participate in these events to get to know others involved in academic research across Imperial AHSC and promote understanding and cooperation across all healthcare professions.

Doctoral Research Training Camp

This highly regarded 3-day annual event is delivered by the NIHR Infrastructure Team.  The Training Camp provides participants with a unique opportunity to develop key research skills and the chance to mix with people from different research backgrounds and levels of expertise.   The CATO team coordinates nominations and selection of NIHR funded ICL/ICHT research staff to receive free places to attend. The Training Camp usually takes place in July and the call for nominations is made in March/April of each year. 

To read a review about the 2017 Training Camp which focussed on ‘The Art of Communication’ please read this blog: The Art of Communication   

NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme (ICA)

The ICA Programme

The Health Education England (HEE) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme provides personal research training awards for healthcare professionals (excluding doctors and dentists) who wish to develop careers that combine clinical research and research leadership with continued clinical practice and clinical development. Applicants must belong to one of the eligible professions. 

Personal awards (Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowships, Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowships, Clinical Lectureships and Senior Clinical Lectureships) are made following annual competitions. Please see the NIHR scheme pages for further information.

To learn more about the ICA programme watch the video of Lina Johansson, an NIHR funded Clinical Lecturer/ Clinical Academic Dietitian-Renal working at ICHT.  


Support for Imperial Applicants to ICA awards

Imperial Healthcare NHS Trust staff intending to apply for an NIHR fellowship are strongly advised to allow plenty of time to prepare applications as they can take a year to prepare. 

Please make contact with the CATO team ( for advice, well in advance of submitting the application.  If given sufficient notice it is usually possible for CATO to arrange for peer review of draft applications and also to arrange mock interviews for applicants shortlisted for interview by NIHR. 

Funding Opportunities

Other resources

NIHR CRN Good Clinical Practice (GCP) courses

GCP is an international, ethical and scientific quality standard for the design, conduct and recording of research involving humans.

Comprised of 13 core principles, GCP applies to all clinical investigations that could affect the safety and well-being of human participants (in particular, clinical trials of medicinal products). For further information about GCP, please visit the GCP Courses page on the Joint Research Compliance Office (JRCO) site.

The NIHR offers 2 types of GCP training courses - eLearning and face to face, both courses are bookable online. To book, please see the NIHR Learn website.

To enrol on the eLearning course; select the required course (typically GCP for secondary care): click on the CRNCC email link in the box on the right to request an enrolment key. This will be sent by email with further instructions.

Queries should be directed to the NW London CRN

Research Engagement Toolkit

This toolkit, produced by the Royal College of Physicians with support from the NIHR aims to provide information for physicians to help them get engaged in research in lots of different ways.  Although produced for physicians, much of the information and guidance is useful for all healthcare professions. It includes an overview of research options, research career pathways and case studies/resources.

Find out more here

Chain Network

The CHAIN Network for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professional in Clinical Academic Research

CHAIN - Contact, Help, Advice and Information Network - is an online mutual support network for people working in health and social care. It gives people a simple and informal way of contacting each other to exchange ideas and share knowledge. The aim is to encourage greater linkage across the nursing, midwifery and AHP communities to promote clinical academic research and to help and support those wanting to apply for awards and sources of research funding. Find out further information at the CHAIN website.

The NIHR Research Design Service

The Research Design service

The NIHR funded Research Design Service provides design and methodological support to health and social care researchers to develop grant applications to the NIHR and other peer-reviewed funding programmes. RDS London is part of a network of regional support services funded by the NIHR. They form a key part of the research infrastructure and provide advice and guidance free of charge through consultation with experts and use of online resources. Further information is available on the RDS London website.

The Researcher Magazine

The first issue of ‘The Researcher’ was published in July 2016. The digital publication, created for health researchers by health researchers aims to raise awareness of research careers among nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. HEE, NHS Research and Development North West (NHS R&D NW) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have worked together with a team of early career researchers and award-winning writer Rob Young to produce the magazine which illustrates the real-life stories of what it is like to undertake a research career.

The Researcher: Spring 2018

ProjectPal design service

This is an Imperial College London online tool for sharing information about research projects and making ‘call outs’ for help in doing the research. It is an interface between supervisors offering research, audit or teaching projects and trainees/researchers looking to take up such opportunities. It is free to access and use by ICL staff, staff who are honorary ICHT staff can request access by registering first.

Find out further information at the Projectpal website.


Clinfield – this is an organisation with a focus on career development for research practitioners, offering resources and details about training courses.

Vitae: Careers Research and Advisory Centre

Vitae is the global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers, experienced in working with institutions as they strive for research excellence, innovation and impact.

Please visit the Vitae website for more information. 

PERC: Imperial Patient Experience and Research Centre

The Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC) is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians, public health specialists and social scientists combining strengths in quantitative and qualitative research methods. We aim to promote active communication between patients, researchers and clinical staff to address real problems, and through this improve the quality of healthcare and the impact of translational research.

Please visit the PERC website for more information. 

Building a Research Career handbook

This guide has been designed to assist both aspiring clinical academics and their managers to make the most of the opportunities that exist through Health Education England (HEE) and the NIHR to support health care professionals to combine clinical activity with patient-focused research. In particular, it will be of interest to non-medical health care clinicians applying for NIHR personal awards. It also aims to help clinicians who are interested in becoming involved in research, but do not know where to begin. Building a Research Career handbook‌ (pdf)‌.