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CRN Thames Valley and South Midlands Research Fellow Scheme


Research Fellow Scheme

The scheme is designed to allow time to develop into a research leader with good knowledge and insight into the research process to be an ambassador for the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN). This will in turn build future research capacity in the region or local authority whilst supporting and developing recruitment into NIHR portfolio studies*. The nature of the fellowship means candidates need to be self-driven in their development. The posts are each funded jointly between the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands (CRN TV&SM) and a CRN TV&SM partner organisation and local authorities.

*The NIHR portfolio studies that are funded by NIHR and eligible for CRN support. For more information visit the NIHR website.

Who can apply?

Post-graduates training in medicine (ST5 and above) or equivalent non-training post are eligible to apply. Registered nurses, midwives, Allied Health Professionals (AHP) and CRPs*. Applications are also welcome from individuals in those that work in primary care, secondary care, local authority, public health and social care. The applicant will need to demonstrate that up to 50 percent of their time will be dedicated to supporting recruitment into NIHR portfolio studies.

*Registration for CRPs as approved by the Professional Standards Authority as part of the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) Accredited Register. Visit the NIHR website to find out more.

Financial Support

Successful applicants will receive funding of up to £40,000 per annum dependent on salary, profession, and training at time of application. If staff of higher grades (who have been in post less than three years) wish to apply, please specify in the application form how the finance shortfall will be managed as TV&SM are unable to fund above £40,000.

The award will be equally funded by CRN TV&SM and your ‘host’ organisation. The CRN funded portion of the candidate’s time must be spent on self-development activities such as exploring the research landscape to ultimately support and develop recruitment into NIHR portfolio studies. For the other portion of their time the candidates may undertake their normal contractual duties, NHS clinical duties or pursue other research activities. Applicants will have to submit a signed agreement from the partnering organisation that they have secured funding for the other portion of their time.

Role of the Sponsors

Each applicant should have a named sponsor to support their application. A sponsor is a senior, permanent member of staff in a CRN TV&SM Partner organisation or local authority. The sponsor will be a Principal or Chief Investigator for a NIHR portfolio study and who will commit to facilitate and support the Research Fellow on the scheme. They will also advise on the research training and supervision arrangements, which will be key to the success of the fellowship. Applicants must consult their sponsor in respect of their proposed application prior to submitting the application.

Role of host organisation

Awards within the scheme are made to individuals and ‘hosted’ by the CRN TV&SM Partner organisation where the sponsor is located. Applicants are expected to make their own arrangements for acceptance in the nominated host NHS organisation or local authority.

Scheme leadership

The scheme has oversight from the executive and clinical specialty leads of the CRN TV&SM. The leadership group will liaise with the sponsor to ensure that there is appropriate clinical support and provide an oversight of portfolio research activity of the research fellows.

Tenure of award

The duration of the award is for one year and successful applicants must be able to begin the post in September 2022.

Part-time working arrangements

Applicants may wish to undertake their award on a part-time basis. The cost of the award should be requested on a pro-rata basis. Applicants who wish to undertake the scheme on a part time basis should consider carefully how they will manage the award and agree a plan with their sponsor.

Review of progress

Award holders will be required to attend monthly one-to-one and quarterly progress meetings and submit a report to demonstrate development and progress in the fellowship. In addition, award holders will need to attend events organised by CRN TV&SM for the cadre of fellows with their sponsoring clinician, present on what they have achieved at a CRN meeting towards the end of their tenure and deliver a project with the other fellows on the scheme.

Research training

The sponsor and CRN TV&SM leadership team will ensure successful candidates have appropriate bespoke self-directed research opportunities as required that may include: NIHR Learn training, literature review, protocol design, ethics application, data management, documentation, PPI involvement, funding, safety, recruitment, consent, delivery, statistics, dissemination and knowledge transfer with assessment of research impact. All of these are consolidated within a dedicated CRN Fellowship website.

How do I apply?

To apply download and complete the application form (click File then Download to download as a Microsoft Word document) by midnight on 28 February. Send completed applications to Please email us if you cannot access the form and would like it sent to you.

Application Process

The applications will be assessed by an expert panel that will undertake interviews of shortlisted candidates and recommend funding.

Outcome of the Assessment

Applicants will be informed as soon as a final decision has been taken on their application.