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Fellowship Awards

HSC R&D Division offers a range of research training fellowship awards at different levels

HSC Doctoral Fellowship Award Fellowship Awards (NIHR) ICAT Fellowship Award
Doctoral level
Doctoral Level
Advanced level
Doctoral level
for medical graduates integrated with postgraduate medical training


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HSC R&D Division Doctoral Fellowship Award

HSC R&D Division is committed to supporting research training to increase research and development capacity and build an evaluative evidence-based culture in Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland (HSC).

In response, HSC R&D Division offers funding for Doctoral Fellowship Awards. These awards are intended to enable individuals to develop a research career within the HSC by undertaking research training leading to a PhD.

The scheme is open to individuals employed in or by Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI), in community, voluntary, or not-for-profit organisations in Northern Ireland involved in health or social care provision, as an independent contractor (e.g. GP) in Northern Ireland involved in health or social care provision, or by a recognised HSCNI training agency (e.g. the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency). Awardees will continue to be employed within one of these organisations for the duration of the Fellowship, and are required to hold or obtain a contract of employment for the full duration of the award.

The remit for applications includes all areas of health and social care.

Doctoral Fellowship Awards are available for a maximum of 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time. An award will provide support for the applicant’s salary costs, tuition fees, research expenses and conference travel.

Potential applicants are advised to contact the office to discuss their application (028 95363490).

Application forms and guidance notes for the 2021 call can be downloaded below. Applications closed on Friday 16 October 2020 at 2pm.

>>Guidance notes 2021

>>Application form 2021




NIHR Fellowship Award Scheme

HSC R&D Division supports applications to a number of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Fellowship award schemes. Applications to the scheme are managed by the National Institute of Health Research Academy.  The scheme is open to applicants from Northern Ireland. Awards made to NI applicants are subsequently funded and managed by HSC R&D Division.

Fellowships included are:

  • Doctoral Research Fellowships 
  • Advanced Fellowships 

Key Dates:

Doctoral Research Fellowship Timetable    
  Next Round  
Competition opens for applications for all Fellowships w/c 1 April 2020  
Doctoral Stage 1 closing date for submission of online application 13 August 2020 by 1pm  
Doctoral Stage 2 invitation w/c 28 September 2020  
Doctoral Stage 2 deadline 20 October 2020 by 1pm  
Interviews held in Leeds 17 – 18 November 2020  
Awards start on 1st of month 1 April to 1 September 2021  
Advanced Fellowship Timetable    
  Next Round  
Competition opens for applications for all Fellowships w/c 1 April 2020  
Advanced Fellowship Stage 1 closing date for submission of online application 29 July 2020 by 1pm  
Stage 2 invitation w/c 16 November 2020  
Stage 2 deadline  15 December 2020 by 1pm  
Interviews held in Leeds 19-20 January 2021  
Awards start on 1st of month 1 April 2021 to 1 September 2021  


The new NIHR Fellowships support individuals with the potential and on a trajectory to become future leaders in NIHR research.  The Fellowships provide funding primarily for salaries with a contribution towards research costs. 

Potential applicants from Northern Ireland must contact HSC R&D Division to discuss their intentions and seek advice prior to completing an application for this programme. The declaration for applicants from Northern Ireland must be completed by an authorised representative of HSC R&D Division. Applications from Northern Ireland received without this declaration completed will be considered ineligible. For more information please contact HSC R&D Division Tel: 028 95363490 email Sorcha Finnegan (Programme Manager, HSC R&D Division)

Application packs and further information are available on the following web site:



Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) PhD Fellowships

The Wellcome-HRB ICAT Programme is seeking to appoint its next cohort of well-qualified and ambitious individuals who aspire to become the next generation of clinical academic leaders.

Applications for Cohort 5 (2021) are closed. Applications will open for Cohort 6 (fellowships starting in 2022) in August 2021.

We would like to encourage applications from trainees entering, or in the early stages of higher specialist training (the eligibility criteria can be found on our website), in all clinical specialties.

ICAT is an all-Ireland clinician PhD programme funded by Wellcome and the Health Research Board, HSE-NDTP, HSC R&D Division, and six academic institutions (Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, NUI Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and University College Cork). The programme is coordinated by Clinical Research Development Ireland.

Integrated with postgraduate medical training, ICAT will support four years of academic training positioned at the beginning of higher specialist training (HST) or equivalent, with clinical and academic mentoring until completion of PhD and CSCST/CCT. The first year is predominantly clinical and incorporates selection of PhD supervisors and development of PhD project proposals. This is followed by a three-year fellowship leading to a PhD in one of the partner academic institutions. 

To talk to someone about this funding opportunity please contact Sorcha Finnegan (Programme Manager, HSC R&D Division).


For more information and to submit an application, please go to