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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 the 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 from the 2020 call can be downloaded below. Applications will close on Friday 11th October 2019 at 2pm.


>>Guidance notes 2020

>>Application form 2020




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   (DRF)
  • Advanced Fellowships (AF)

Key Dates:

  Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Stage 1 opens
DRF: 2 October 2018
DRF: 2 April 2019
October 2019
Stage 1 closes
DRF: 18 December 2018
AF 4 December 2018
DRF: 18 June 2019
AF: 4 June 2019
Stage 2 opens
DRF: Early April 2019
AF: w/c 29 April 2019
DRF: w/c/30 September 2019
AF: Early November 2019
Stage 2 closes
DRF: Late April 2019
AF: 30 May 2019
DRF: 22 October 2019
AF: 3 December 2019
DRF: June 2019
AF: 9-11 July 2019
DRF: 26-27 November 2019
AF: w/c 20 January 2020


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 Naomh Gallagher (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 Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) programme seeks to appoint 8 qualified and ambitious medical graduates who aspire to become the next generation of clinical academic leaders.

ICAT is an all-Ireland clinician PhD programme funded by Wellcome and the Health Research Board, Health Service Executive (HSE) National Doctors Training and Planning, HSC R&D Division, and six Universities: Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Dublin (UCD), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and University College Cork (UCC).

Integrated with postgraduate medical training, ICAT will support 4 years of academic training at the beginning of higher specialist training (HST) or equivalent, with clinical and academic mentoring until completion of PhD and CCST/CCT. At its core is an integrated programme spanning 6-7 years of seamless, supported and mentored academic and clinical training targeting future academic leaders.

This opportunity is open to medical graduates in Northern Ireland. (The 2017 call was year two of a five year programme, which seeks to appoint eight graduates each year)

To talk to someone about this funding opportunity please contact Naomh Gallagher (Programme Manager, HSC R&D Division)
For more information and to apply go to:
The programme is coordinated by Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI).