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.  

NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists) 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.

2021 Course dates TBC

The North West London Research Symposium

Aimed specifically at NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists), the North West London Research Symposium is a free event for clinical colleagues (band 5 and above) who are 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 event to develop your networks and gain information about various sources of support in North West London.

We usually open for bookings between May 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 2021 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.

Imperial Health Charity/ Imperial BRC Research Fellowships

Imperial Health Charity/ Imperial BRC Research Fellowships for Doctors and NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists)

The Imperial Health Charity and Imperial BRC Research Fellowship Programme provides ‘first-step funding’ for Doctors and NMAHPPs looking to begin their academic career. The key aim of the programme is to allow Doctors and NMAHPPs 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 NMAHPPs). The Post-doctoral scheme is open to NMAHPPs only.

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.

Find out more about our masterclasses on our 'News and events' page.

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 NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists), who wish to develop careers that combine clinical research and research leadership with continued clinical practice and clinical development. Applicants must hold registration with one of the approved Regulatory Bodies.

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


The following organisations may offer funding to support research activities/posts/projects for NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists).

NIHR - Integrated Clinical Academic Programme

Imperial Health Charity

Florence Nightingale Foundation

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

Association of UK Dietitians

Pharmacy Research UK 

UK Clinical Pharmacy Association

Association of Medical Research Charities

Find A PhD

Other resources

Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Sponsorship and Confirmation of Capacity and Capability Guide

There are 3 main stages of approvals before you can start recruitment to a research project running in the NHS. These are Sponsorship approval, Research Ethics Committee (REC) and Health Research Authority (HRA) Approval and Confirmation of Capacity and Capability (CCC).

Written in conjunction with the Research Governance and Integrity Team (RGIT), this document provides details on how best to gain Sponsorship approval and CCC for those who are undertaking a research study which is Imperial College Healthcare Trust (ICHT) or College sponsored, and where ICHT is a study site.

Download the document.

Get Research Ready learning platform

This interactive learning platform - developed by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) partners in Kent, Surrey and Sussex - but relevant to all regions, has been designed to enable early career researchers to explore research within health and social care. 

The platform cover three levels:

  • Understanding research - For those at the very beginning of their research journey, who want to find out more about research, this section covers the structures in which clinical research is undertaken in the UK, and the basics of how clinical trials are administered.
  • Getting involved in research - For those looking for ways to get involved with research, this section covers how to increase confidence in understanding and implementing evidence, training and resources to develop as researchers and introduces some of the clinical research pathways that exist.
  • Developing your own research - For those who have their own research ideas that they'd like to develop, this section covers topics like how to go from an idea to a written protocol, apply for funding, ethics and gaining relevant permissions and develop a research career.

Find out more and view the platform.

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. 

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.

View the research engagement toolkit (pdf).

Chain Network

The CHAIN Network for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals 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.

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 Imperial College London staff, staff who are honorary Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust 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 NMAHPPs (Nurses, Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, Healthcare Scientists, Pharmacy Staff and Psychologists) 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)‌‌.

Guidance on student research approvals

For up to date information on HRA guidance for student research please visit the dedicated section of the HRA website.

(Student research means studies which are primarily for the purpose of obtaining an educational qualification.)

Health Research Authority – HRA

The HRA website provides useful information about planning research, ethics applications and runs research approvals. 

HRA Approval brings together the HRA's assessment of governance and legal compliance with the independent ethical opinion by a Research Ethics Committee (REC). HRA Approval is for all project based research involving the NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) that is being led from England; visit the HRA website for more information.

Bioresources for researchers

The AHSC Research Informatics Committee has put together a schematic which provides high-level information/signposting for researchers on the bioresource assets available across the AHSC’s NHS partners and the enquiry point for each organisation.

Download the schematic: Bioresources for researchers (pdf)