Wessex Clinical Academic Career Programme: HEE/NIHR ICA Internships 2018/19

  • Are you a non-medical healthcare professional?
  • Are you interested in developing a career in research alongside your clinical role?
  • Do you want the opportunity to work alongside one of our experienced clinical academics?
  • Do you have a minimum of one year's practice experience post registration?

University Hospital Southampton is committed to enhancing the opportunities available and supporting staff to develop their research-related skills and knowledge and embed research in all our clinical services.

Deadline: Monday 2 July 2018 at 9.00 am

Interview: Thursday 26 July. Southern House, Otterbourne, SO21 2RU.



Health Education England (HEE) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have established an overarching Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme for healthcare professionals, other than medics and dentists. This programme is intended to increase research capacity in the NHS in order to improve health and healthcare, by developing people with the potential and aspiration to become leading clinical academics and independent researchers in the future.

This year (2018/2019) we have received national funding to support up to six internships in Wessex. These awards support individuals who are early in their clinical academic career and are thinking about doing postgraduate academic study at Master’s level and beyond. The internship offers an introduction to aspects of clinical research through gaining research experience by observing/visiting/working in a clinical research environment and undertaking study in research in preparation for applying for a Master’s degree.

It is important for successful interns to have support from their line manager. NIHR have produced a guide for aspiring clinical academics and their managers to help early conversations. The objectives of the internship and future clinical academic aspirations should align with team/service clinical priorities and needs.



The internships are open to Allied Health Professionals, Nurses, Midwives, Pharmacists, Clinical Psychologists, Healthcare Scientists and wider Dental Team Professions. The internships are available to those who have received no formal long term training in research. If, as part of your registration requirements, you had to complete a Post-graduate diploma or Post-graduate Master’s, degree you are still eligible to apply.

To be eligible for one of these awards you will need to provide evidence that you have the following:

1. Current registration to practice in the UK with the appropriate regulatory and professional bodies

2. Work in practice for at least one (1) day per week for an organisation who provides NHS healthcare within Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset or Salisbury

3. One (1) year’s post-registration practice experience

4. Support from your employer to undertake the internship

5. A keen interest and clear suitability for a research focused clinical academic career

6. Mentorship from a named clinical academic supervisor (identified by you)

7. Access to learning about research - this could include attending an academic module(s) or a short course(s) at a Master’s degree level or equivalent in a particular aspect of research methods or data analysis

8. The opportunity to develop links with an existing clinical research team (identified by you).

9. Ability to complete the internship by 31 March 2019.

These elements are designed to help you to develop a research support network. You will have the opportunity to develop a bespoke programme tailored to suit your specific needs and aspirations with your identified clinical academic supervisor.

In addition, you will be able to participate in other activities which may include working with current researchers; visiting clinical research facilities, and/or attending research presentations and seminars.

How much is the internship award and how can the funding be used?

Each successful applicant will be awarded £10,000 to cover costs including: partial backfill salary, incidental costs, research and clinical supervision, and formal education costs.

Suggestions on how the budget can be spent are presented below;

CAC Awards 2018/9

1. Salary backfill - it is recognised that this may form the main budget expenditure. The most efficient backfill arrangements should be decided by you and your team/service manager

2. Research project expenses – this could include anything related to the applied research objectives e.g. patient and public involvement expenses, digital voice records, reference management systems, dictation services etc. Please note that we are unable to fund laptops or computers.

3. Academic supervision and formal teaching – it is essential to have academic supervision throughout the award. Ideally this support should be from a University within the Wessex region, however we recognise that some professional groups may have to find this support from outside of the region. We recommend that academic supervision costs do not exceed 20% of the overall spending plan. In addition to academic supervision, it may also be appropriate to access formal teaching on research methods depending on the objectives of your internship.

4. Dissemination costs – an element of the award should be used to disseminate any research findings through publications and/or conference presentations. So please include some funding for that purpose.

NB: Please get your spending plan checked by your finance teams (R & D not your divisional Finance team) prior to submission. The amount awarded will be paid directly to your NHS employer in August 2018.


A brief progress report will be required at a half way point and a final evaluation is required at the end of the award. In addition you will also be required to produce a poster for presentation at a local internship close event in March 2019.

Application process:

Prior to submitting an application, please contact the research leads within your NHS Trust to discuss your application for this award and investigate what support and help is available within the organisation.

Please submit a completed checklist (see Appendix 1) and all corresponding documentation to: qualityimprovement.WX@hee.nhs.uk by 9.00am on Monday 2 July 2018.

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about this particular opportunity we would love to hear from you. Even if you are not sure, and just have questions, please do get in touch.

Please email Audrey Dooks and you will be directed to one of our training leads in the Southampton Academy of Research, for a preliminary chat to see if this might be for you.