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

Starting out in research 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 Starting Out in Research course page for more details.

2018 Course dates TBC.


Research Symposium for Health Professions

This highly successful half day event is organised annually for Nurses, Allied Health Professions, Midwives, Pharmacists and Healthcare scientists across North West London. The symposium is aimed at both those considering a research career and those already involved in research. The programme includes research presentations and posters and information about undertaking MScs, PhDs, funding opportunities and Clinical Lectureship schemes.

The next Symposium will take place on 27 September 2018.


Pre-doctoral Research Fellowships

This is a unique scheme designed to attract staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to undertake research for one year. The aim of the fellowships is to give recipients the opportunity to develop research skills and experience so that they can then apply for a Masters or PhD and progress in a clinical academic career. The Fellowship awards are jointly funded by Imperial Health Charity (IHC) and Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and are worth a maximum of £50,000 each, and are coordinated through the IHC.

Further information on the Research Fellowship Programme can be found on the charity website here.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships

An innovative scheme unique to Imperial, launched in late 2015. It complements the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship to provide an opportunity for academic clinicians who have already undertaken and completed research towards a PhD but could benefit from some bridging time before applying for the next step, an NIHR Clinical Lectureship post or other post-doctoral research funding. The 1-year award is designed for applicants working at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who currently deliver services and plan to undertake their proposed research project for the benefit of patients at ICHT and/or surrounding communities.  It provides awardees with an opportunity to spend time in developing a grant application to support further research and progress their research career. The Fellowships are jointly funded by Imperial Health Charity and Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Further information on the Research Fellowship Programme can be found on the charity website here.

CATO Masterclasses

A bimonthly 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 their primary area of interest and across medical 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

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)‌.

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

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

Read the second issue of The Researcher (October 2016)

Read the first issue of The Researcher (July 2016)


The 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.