Funding for research

Are you interested in developing your research skills? Or maybe you're thinking about pursuing a career in academic research?

Through our Research Fellowships programme, we provide funding to help you move forward in your academic research career. Our grants give you the time and resources to develop your research skills and undertake your own research project.

Applications for this year's programme are now open. You can access our online grants portal, Flexigrant, to work on and submit your application.

You'll find lots more information to help you with your application below. If you have any other questions or would like to speak to us about your application, you can also book a meeting with a member of our grants team.

What is a fellowship?

A fellowship means you can take time out of your substantive job role or training programme to complete a research project and develop your research skills.

Our fellowships are for you to collect sufficient pilot data to make you a strong PhD candidate, or for you to undertake further research and develop a proposal for an NIHR-supported clinical lecturer/senior lecturer post or similar award.

Our fellowships provide the funding for your salary and related research expenses. Your substantive position will need to be back-filled, or if you’re a doctor, you’ll need to arrange to be out-of-programme.

Who can apply?

We offer two types of fellowship:

  • Pre-Doctoral Research Fellowships

    These fellowships are for people who haven’t completed a PhD. You can apply if you’re a medic or healthcare professional outside of medicine (for example, a nurse, midwife, allied health professional, pharmacist, research practitioner, psychologist or health scientist).
  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships

    These fellowships are for people who have completed a PhD in the past five years.

For both fellowships, you need to be a UK resident and have the legal right to work in the UK.

Please read the detailed criteria and eligibility section in our Guidance Notes that you can download before you apply.

We know that working arrangements can be complicated, so we can assess your eligibility on a case-by-case basis. If you have any queries, please contact us at


How much can I apply for?

You can apply for up to £85,000 to cover your salary and relevant research expenses.

Our Guidance Notes provide further detail about costs that you can/cannot include.

If your current salary exceeds the maximum threshold, please contact us at

How long is a fellowship?

This depends if you’re doing a pre-doctoral or a post-doctoral fellowship. You can read our Guidance Notes for further information.

What are you looking for?

We’re committed to supporting pioneering research as well as the training and development of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff. You’ll be asked to identify an important research question that will have an impact on patient care at ICHT, its surrounding communities and the wider NHS.

We’re looking for applicants who will be able to use the academic research skills they will develop, as well as data produced in their research project, to springboard into further study or academic research career.

You can read our Guidance Notes for more information about our assessment criteria.

What have you funded previously?

To find out more about the fellows and projects we've previously supported, click here.

What support do I need?

Your application needs the support of a supervisor(s) with relevant academic research and professional background, as well as your line manager and your Divisional Research Manager. This ensures that you have the support to make your proposal competitive, and to ensure your current role is back-filled (or if you're a medic, that your out-of-programme request can be arranged).

How do I apply?

Please complete the application form on our online grants portal Flexigrant. You'll need to register for a Flexigrant account if you don’t have one already.

Please make sure you use your ICHT contact details and email when you register. Then, when you log in, you can submit a new application under the ‘My applications’ tab on the left-hand side.

When can I apply?

Applications open once a year.

  • Applications are now open on Flexigrant 

  • Applications will close at 12noon on Thursday 1 February 2024

  • We will inform you of the outcome of your application by mid-June 2024.

Are resources available to help me with my application?

We've created lots of resources to help you with your application. 

  • Click here to see the Pre-Doc Fellowship Guidance Notes
  • Click here to see the Pre-Doc Fellowship Sample Application Form
  • Click here to see the Post-Doc Fellowship Guidance Notes
  • Click here to see the Post-Doc Fellowship Sample Application Form​​​​​

For further support, we recommend you reach out to the following key contacts:

  • If you work in Nursing and Midwifery: Professor Mary Wells, Lead Nurse for Research
  • If you're a medic: Professor Jeremy Levy,  Director of Clinical Academic Training 
  • If you’re an allied health professional: Dr Caroline Alexander, Lead Clinical Academic for Therapies

You must discuss your application with your relevant Divisional Research Managers who are here to help:

The Clinical Academic Training Office (CATO) runs an annual series of events to support applicants for research funding, including ‘Preparing for a pre-doctoral application’ and ‘Academic opportunities for doctors’. Find out more here.

How does the funding work?

When planning to cost your fellowship, please make sure you read the Guidance Notes carefully. You cannot start your fellowship until after the Welcome event, usually held in July, and after you have back-filled your substantive post at ICHT or if you’re a doctor, you have secured your out-of-programme arrangements.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust or Imperial College London will pay your salary - and any other approved costs - upfront. They will then invoice us quarterly and we will repay them.

You can find out more about how some of our previous research fellows benefited from the programme by clicking on the links below.

Online Grants Session

We hold regular 20-minute drop-in sessions for you to tell us what you'd like to know about our Research Fellowships programme.

If you have any funding queries or would like help with an application, click here to book onto one of the slots.

Top tip

Your application needs to be signed by your line manager and your Divisional Research Manager. You also need a letter of support from your supervisor(s). It can take time to secure these - make sure you factor this in when you’re planning your application so you’re not caught out.

Quick link

Click here to access the online application form

Still have questions?