Wessex Clinical Academic Career Programme: Transitional / bridging award

HEE/NIHR Transitional/Bridging Awards (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: Friday 27 July 2018. 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 non-medical healthcare professionals, other than medics and dentists.


The ICA 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 secured funding to support up to five Transitional/Bridging awards for non-medical clinical academics who:

  • Already have a Master’s degree and are looking for an opportunity to prepare for doctoral level study; or
  • Already have a doctoral degree and are looking for an opportunity to prepare for post-doctoral research and study

These awards offer the unique opportunity to develop an individualised, structured, six-twelve months development plan. With their clinical academic supervisor, successful individuals will have the opportunity to design a bespoke educational programme tailored to suit their specific needs and aspirations.

The awards can be completed on a full or part-time basis, as long as all costs remain within the maximum funding envelope of £15,000. Proposals should align their organisation’s and or the local system priorities, which are:

1. Mental Health Services

2. Maternity Services

3. Cancer Services

4. Urgent and Emergency Care

5. Primary Care

6. Public Health


The awards are open to Allied Health Professionals, Nurses, Midwives, Pharmacists, Psychologists, Healthcare Scientists and wider Dental Team Professions. 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, as appropriate

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

3. Two years post-graduate experience

4. Support from your line manager to undertake the award

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

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

7. Access to a bespoke educational programme related to specific aspects of the research methodology or data analysis. This could include an academic module, a short course or further accredited academic training

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

9. Ability for your employer to manage the award funding across financial years

10. Ability to complete the award by August 2019.

CAC Awards 2018/19

Please note: Individuals already in receipt of a research grant from elsewhere are not eligible for this award.

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

Each successful applicant will be awarded up to £15,000 to cover costs including salary backfill, incidental costs, research and clinical supervision, and formal education costs. Suggestions on how the budget can be spent are presented below;

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

2. Research project expenses – this could include expenses related to the applied research objectives e.g. patient and public involvement, digital voice records, reference management systems, dictation services etc. Please note: we are not able to fund laptops.

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 it is recognised 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 further formal teaching.

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 finance teams (R&D not your divisional Finance team) prior to submission and that there is agreement that the funding can be managed by your employer across the financial year end if required. The amount awarded will be paid directly to your NHS employer this financial year.


A brief progress report will be required at a half way point and a full evaluation report and summary poster will be required at the completion of the award period.

Application process:

Please submit a completed checklist (see Appendix 1) and all corresponding documentation to: qualityimprovement.wx@hee.nhs.uk by 9.00 am 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.