Integrated Clinical Academic bridging scheme

Published: 21st May 2019

The Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) bridging scheme led by Health Education England North and the National Institute for Health Research offers a 12-month post-doctoral programme with an individual award of up to £34,000 and up to £10,000 for the 6/12 month pre-doctoral programme.

Bridging schemes are a way of providing support to clinical academics to build on their previous academic training and develop proposals for a pre or post-doctoral award, and take the next step on their clinical academic pathway. Find out more at

It is envisaged that the award will contribute towards salary backfill costs, training modules, travel expenses and access to high-quality academic mentorship.

Awardees will be released for up to 50% of their contracted hours to focus on the development of their research career and work towards a successful NIHR fellowship application.

Advice regarding the scheme, funding award and the time release is available to help you negotiate your application with your manager. Please contact Jo Simpson

The scheme will provide:

  • A dedicated period within which to develop your research proposal to form the basis of an application for an HEE/NIHR ICA doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship or alternative.
  • An opportunity for you to assess your current levels of ‘researcher’ skills and competence allowing you to identify, plan and commence your developmental activity.
  • Access to academic and clinical environments that will encourage you to develop creativity and originality in research design and delivery.
  • Engagement with advanced research techniques and knowledge specific to your proposed research.
  • Enhancement of your personal development of written, oral presentation and other communicative abilities required by clinical academic researchers.
  • The opportunity to widen your research network links at regional, national and potentially international level.
  • Development of the skills and knowledge required for you to become investigators and research leaders of the future.
  • Access to ongoing mentoring support.

In order to be eligible for the pre-doctoral level bridging scheme, individuals who work within the ICA professions must hold a Master’s level qualification (or evidence of postgraduate study at Level 7).

In order to be eligible for the post-doctoral scheme, individuals who work within the ICA professions must have completed or are about to complete a PhD immediately prior to commencement of the scheme and are looking to apply for a post-doctoral fellowship. Those awardees submitting an application for a Post Doctoral Level Fellowship can only commence the scheme if they have been awarded a PhD or equivalent.

Applicants must be employed by a provider of health and/or care services that is providing at least 50% of its services free at the point of delivery. The applicant must also be spending at least 50% of their current role delivering health and/or care services which are free at the point of delivery.

The programme for pre-doctoral will commence with a one and a half day workshop in Leeds early September 2019 (residential optional) and the post-doctoral programme will commence in November 2019. Attendance at the workshops is mandatory for awardees.

Closing date for applications is 5pm Friday 5th July 2019 and interviews will be held week beginning 22nd July 2019 in Leeds.

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