Research Fellowships

Applications are now closed for the 2021/22 Research Fellowships round.

We are committed to supporting pioneering research and the training and development of NHS staff at our hospitals. Together with our funding partner, the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, we run an annual Research Fellowships programme. Since 2009, we have awarded more than 65 fellowships totalling nearly £4 million.

We have funded research into new and novel diagnostic techniques and treatments, self-management and aftercare, research into service delivery, team dynamics and decision-making through to projects on the implementation of clinical guidelines. You can find out more about the fellowships we awarded in 2020/21 below.

The purpose of the programme is to provide an opportunity for health professionals to create a strong foundation from which to build an academic research career. It is intended that successful applicants will be able to utilise the skills and data produced in their research project to springboard onto successful funding bids for further study.

Applicants are asked to identify an important research question that will make an impact on patient care within the Trust, its surrounding communities and the wider NHS.

We offer two types of fellowship - a Pre-Doctoral and a Post-Doctoral fellowship.

Pre-Doctoral fellowships are available to medics and healthcare professionals outside of medicine, including nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, pharmacists, research practitioners, psychologists and healthcare scientists, and can support study towards a MRes (but not PhD, MD and MSc). 

Post-Doctoral fellowships are only available to healthcare professionals outside of medicine. 

To find out more, check out the information and Guidance Notes below, or email – we’re always happy to help. You can also register here to receive updates, hints and tips, and extra support.

Am I eligible to apply?

Before beginning your application, please make sure you have read and understood the eligibility requirements.

You will need to discuss your application with your line manager, divisional research manager and training programme director (where appropriate) and gain the support of a supervisor for your project. This will ensure your application is competitive and that backfill for your role or out-of-programme requests (for doctors) can be arranged.

We assess eligibility on a case-by-case basis and understand you may have complicated contractual arrangements. 

(i) You must hold an NHS employment contract noting that you currently deliver services at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and plan to undertake your proposed research project for the benefit of ICHNT patients, and/or surrounding communities.

*Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and/ or the Western Eye hospitals.

(ii) You must have started in your Trust role at the point of applying.

(iii) Unfortunately you wil not be eligible to apply if you are employed by Imperial College London only.

(iv) Past and current academic clinical fellows are not eligible to apply.

(v) You must be resident in the UK.

For more extensive information on eligibility, please read the Guidance Notes carefully.


How much can I apply for?

The funding available is up to a maximum of £65,000*, and must cover an individual’s salary for up to 12 months (1 WTE) or up to 24 months (minimum 0.5 WTE), as well as related research expenses. You will find information on costs that can and cannot be supported in the Guidance Notes.

You must provide a full justification and a detailed breakdown of costs in your application.

*If your current salary exceeds this threshold, please email our grants team ( to discuss this further. 

How can I apply?

Applications must be submitted via our online grants portal, Flexigrant. Unfortunately, we can't accept hard copy applications or applications received after the deadline. 

Please click here to access the online application form. 

Please ensure you start the correct online pre-doctoral or post-doctoral fellowship application form. Once you begin an application, you won't be able to transfer between the two options.

You should allow for ample time to secure signatures of approval from your Trust line manager and divisional research manager, as well as a letter of support from each of your supervisors. The onus is on you as the applicant to secure these signatures and letter(s) in advance of the application deadline.

Application timetable
  • Applications opened on Monday 5 October 2020.
  • Applications closed at noon on Friday 15 January 2021
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome of your application in April/May 2021.
  • If you are successful, you should expect to start your fellowship in autumn 2021 - provided backfill for your current post, or your out-of-programme request (for doctors), has been arranged.

The 2022/23 Research Fellowships round will launch in summer 2021.

Guidance Notes and Sample Application Forms

Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowships are available to medics and healthcare professionals outside of medicine, including nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, pharmacists, research practitioners, psychologists and healthcare scientists.

  • Click here to download the Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship Guidance Notes
  • Click here to download the Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowship Sample Application Form.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships are available to healthcare professionals outside of medicine only.

  • Click here to download the Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Guidance Notes
  • Click here to download the Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship Sample Application Form.
What other research projects have been funded in the past?

In 2019/20 we awarded nine research fellowships. To find out more about the projects we supported, click here.

Reporting requirements

To help us monitor the impact of our funding, we will require you to submit an end-of-grant report at the end of your fellowship. For some projects, we may also require a progress report and an annual update report for at least three years after your grant has ended.

All reporting requirements will be clearly indicated in your grant award letter, and in our grants terms and conditions.

Financial information

If you are awarded a grant, you must not incur any costs on your project until you have received your grant award letter, completed the grant start certificate, and the backfill for your role or out-of-programme requests (for doctors) has been arranged.

Unfortunately we are unable to reimburse Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust or Imperial College London (if you choose to carry out your fellowship there) for any costs incurred retrospectively.

We will not reimburse individuals or suppliers directly. Payments will only be made to the Trust or College in quarterly arrears.

Further information and contact details

For any other enquiries or additional support, please contact our grants team:

T: 020 3857 9844