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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 HSC 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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HSC R&D Division 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.  There are also FAQ's available which you can download if you click here.  The scheme is now closed.



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 2024 call can be downloaded below.

>>Guidance notes 2024

>>Application form 2024


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:

Fellowship Timetable    
Competition opens for applications for all Fellowships April October
Closing date for submission of online application


1pm 20th July - Doctoral

1pm 6th July 2023 - Advanced

Interviews held in Leeds


November - Doctoral

January- Advanced


June - Doctoral

July - Advanced

Awards start on 1st of month 1st April to 1st September 1st October to 1st March

The 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:

NIHR Doctoral Fellowship Round 10

NIHR Advanced Fellowship Round 10


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 close 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