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HEE/NIHR internship: For the brightest nurses and allied health professionals

The NHS, including its ‘education arm’ Health Education England (HEE) and ‘research arm’ National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), places a high importance on research to improve health care and outcomes. We in the CHILD group, through Newcastle University, have a long track record of teaming up with HEE and NIHR to support the brightest and most talented nurses and allied health professionals to gain research experience.

We now have a HEE/NIHR internship worth £10k for a highly motivated nurse or allied health professional, to gain experience of research. The present internship will reside within the ActiveCHILD study that investigates physical activity in children with physical limitations. The internship is for a professional relatively new to research, and the appointed intern will work with senior allied health clinical academics and post-doctoral researchers to build skills and capacity, and gain hands-on experience in research. The exact activities will be designed jointly with the intern, depending on their learning objectives. The interns will experience different facets of clinical research in its genuine environment through joining the core research team for the project .

In addition to the project-specific opportunities, the intern will receive the following generic learning opportunities and training:

  • Regular interactions with clinical academics from different disciplines across the ICA pathway, and observing a range of clinical academic activities and roles.
  • Information and mentoring about opportunities for further research training and related funding.
  • Mentoring to enable the intern to build independent networks and draw on perspectives beyond their supervisor’s team, and related introduction in the North East and inter/nationally.
  • Participation at monthly support and training meeting to build capacity in non-medical intervention research methods; the meetings are accessed by a range of clinical academics.
  • Participation at project-related research meetings.
  • Networking with other professionals relatively new to research.
  • Access to Newcastle University programme for postgraduate development seminars and workshops.

Expected outputs:

  • Confidence and skills to advance and champion research within the interns’ clinical environment.
  • Clear plan for the next clinical academic steps, e.g. formal education, ICA fellowships, research funding.
  • A peer-reviewed publication – either as first or co-author, depending on the research undertaken.
  • Knowledge and skills to apply for further funding and training, with an advanced application draft by the end of the internship, and clear arrangements for the future supervision and mentorship team.

Up to £10,000 salary funding is available for internships lasting 4-12 months (usually a day a week, but may be up to 0.5WTE, according to clinical needs and the interns’ preferences). Start date is flexible from March 2020 to Dec 2021.

To be eligible, the applicant must be an NHS clinician with a genuine interest in research and a desire to grow as a researcher as well as a clinician. The internships are the first step on a combined clinical academic path (with more senior options usually 50:50 roles). They are aimed at clinicians with limited formal training (individuals who have completed a diploma or masters as a requirement of professional registration are eligible to apply). Eligible applicants must belong to one of the NIHR ICA eligible professions, and must hold registration with the required professional body listed for that profession.

An application may be submitted anytime to Dr Niina Kolehmainen who will be the lead supervisors for the intern, by email:

How to apply

  1. Applicants should make contact with the lead supervisor prior to submitting an application. This is to ensure all applicants have a well-informed proposal. The lead supervisor can then provide the (very short) expression of interest form to be completed by applicant. Note that applications will not be considered if they are incomplete, including applications that do not have a finance and manager signature.
  2. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview, the date to be confirmed. Successful applicant will be informed about the decision soon after.
  3. We envisage to appoint the intern as soon as a suitable candidate is found, and encourage early application and contact from anyone interested.