This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Greenshoots Scheme


Are you looking to develop your research skills to act as a Principal Investigator? 

A Greenshoot makes a significant contribution to the conduct and delivery of a study by taking on the role of Principal Investigator (PI) with support from regional research infrastructure.

This scheme is currently open to applications from colleagues working in all clinical specialty areas and for colleagues working in social care and public health research.

Who can apply?

This scheme is open to consultant medical staff and specialty doctors (permanent non-training grades) in primary and secondary care, SAS Doctors (Specialty, Associate Specialist and Specialist Doctors) and LE (Locally Employed doctors) on permanent contracts, Nurses, Midwives and Allied and Health Professionals, Clinical Research Practitioners, registered professionals (e.g. Pharmacists and Clinical Psychologists) and professionals working in Public Health and Social Care.

Who runs the scheme?

NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria runs this scheme which is open to all colleagues who work within the region.

How long is the scheme?

Typically, the scheme runs for two years, starting every April. Due to the transition from the Clinical Research Network into the Research Delivery Network (RDN) we are only able to guarantee funding for the financial year 2023/24. Our expectation is that the RDN will continue to support the Greenshoots scheme from 2024/25 but we cannot promise this. Therefore, at this stage, funding a second year of awards for Greenshoots is subject both to a successful evaluation at the end of the first year and RDN funding being available in 2024/25.

Is there funding attached?

Awards are made at the same level for all eligible staff groups. Currently £4500 per award in year one, and up to £4500 per award in year two. The majority of medical staff will have the awards included within job plans as ‘additional responsibility payments’ (dependent on local policy).

What learning is required?

There is a requirement to attend the NIHR CRN NENC run PI Essentials course (0.5 day), have an agreed mentor, attend regular meetings with the Specialty Lead and Research Delivery Manager and to complete a short reflective piece of work.

What happens on completion?

On completion of the two year programme, successful applicants will:

  • Have been PI or co-investigator for at least one NIHR portfolio study.
  • Have gained an understanding of the responsibilities of a PI and the skills required to lead the delivery of a hosted research study within their organisation.
  • Receive a certificate confirming their Greenshoots training completion.

How do I apply?

The Greenshoots scheme opens for applications in September and closes in October. It is promoted through NIHR CRN NENC communications, R&D offices and Local Authority research engagement leads.

Interested applicants should liaise with their Specialty Lead and Research Delivery Manager (RDM), see below.

Speciality Leads and associated Research Delivery Managers

Research Delivery Manager
: Gillian Johnson 


Research Delivery Manager: Hilary Allan 


Research Delivery Manager: Justine Smith - 


Research Delivery Manager: Nicky Cunningham -  

Research Delivery Manager: Penny Williams -  


Research Delivery Manager: Sharon Dorgan - 

  • Public Health and Prevention: Awaiting confirmation of start date, please contact Sharon Dorgan
  • Social Care: Ruth McGovern -

Research Delivery Manager: Steve Pratt - 

Research Delivery Manager: Susan Ridge -