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Fellowship Awards

HSC R&D Division offers a range of research training fellowship awards at different levels. Please click on the relevent link below. (To view the portoflio of funded Fellowship Awards click here)

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




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Pre-Doctoral Bridging Scheme

The HSC R&D Division in conjunction with NHS R&D North West are providing pre-doctoral awards (Bridging Scheme) to support the development of research careers and work towards a successful HSC R&D or NIHR Doctoral Fellowship application.

Click here to find out about the Bridging Scheme and to download the guidance notes and application form.


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.

Application forms and guidance notes for the 2025 call can be accessed below.

>>Guidance notes 2025

>>Application form 2025


NIHR Fellowship Award Scheme

HSC R&D Division are not taking part in the NIHR Doctoral and Advanced Fellowships Round 12 and 13. If you are interested in a Doctoral Fellowship award please see our HSC R&D Division Doctoral Fellowship scheme.


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 the 2024 cohort opened on 24 August 2023 and closed on 28 September 2023.

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