HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme Internships

Recruitment Timetable

Closing date 6 September 2017
Interview dates 12 September 2017.

South West Clinical Academic Career Programme:

HEE/NIHR ICA Internship (2017/18)


Health Education England (HEE) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have established an overarching Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme for healthcare professionals, other than medics and dentists. This programme is intended to increase research capacity in the NHS in order to improve health and healthcare, by developing people with the potential and aspiration to become leading clinical academics and independent researchers in the future.

This year (2017/2018) we have received national funding to support a number of internships in the South West. These awards support individuals who are early in their clinical academic career and are thinking about doing postgraduate academic study at master’s level and beyond. The internship offer an introduction to aspects of clinical research through gaining research experience by observing/visiting/working in a clinical research environment and undertaking study in research in preparation for applying for a Master’s in Clinical Research.

It is important for successful interns to have support from their line manager. NIHR have produced a guide for aspiring clinical academics and their managers to help early conversations. The objectives of the internship and future clinical academic aspirations should align with team/service clinical priorities and needs.

Useful link

ICA HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme for non-medical healthcare professions


The internships are open to Allied Health Professionals, Nurses, Midwives, Pharmacists, Clinical Psychologists, Healthcare Scientists and wider Dental Team Professions. The internships are available to those who have received no formal long term training in research. If, as part of your registration requirements, you had to complete a diploma or masters, you are still eligible to apply.

To be eligible for one of these awards you will need to provide evidence that you have the following:

  1. Current registration to practice in the UK with the appropriate regulatory and professional bodies
  2. Work in practice for at least one (1) day per week for an organisation who provides NHS healthcare within the South West
  3. One (1) year’s post-registration practice experience
  4. Support from your employer to undertake the internship
  5. A keen interest and clear suitability for a research focused clinical academic career
  6. Mentorship from a named clinical academic supervisor (identified by you)
  7. Access to learning about research - this could include attending an academic module(s) or a short course(s) at a master’s degree level or equivalent in particular aspects of research methods or data analysis (Local opportunities highlighted here)
  8. The opportunity to develop links with an existing clinical research team (identified by you).
  9. Ability to complete the internship by 31 March 2018.

These elements are designed to help you to progress a research support network. You will have the opportunity to develop a bespoke programme tailored to suit your specific needs and aspirations with your identified clinical academic supervisor.

In addition, you will be able to participate in other activities which may include working with current researchers; visiting clinical research facilities, and/or attending research presentations and seminars.

How much is the award and how can the funding be used?

Each successful applicant will be awarded up to £10,000 to cover costs including salary backfill, incidental costs, research and clinical supervision, and formal education costs. Suggestions on how the budget can be spent are presented below;

  1. Clinical backfill - it is recognised that this may form the main budget expenditure. The most efficient backfill arrangements can be decided by the intern’s team/service manager.
  2. Research project – this could include anything related to the applied research objectives from patient and public involvement expenses, digital voice records, reference management systems, dictation services etc. We note that we are unable to fund laptops or computers.
  3. Academic supervision and formal teaching – it is essential to have academic supervision throughout the award. Ideally this support should be from a University within the South West region, however it is recognised that some professional groups may have to find this support from outside of the region. It is recommended that academic supervision costs do not exceed 20% of the overall spending plan. In addition to academic supervision, it may also be appropriate to access formal teaching on research methods depending on the objectives of the internship.
  4. Dissemination costs – an element of the award is to disseminate the findings through publications and/or conference presentations. Therefore the award can be used to fund conference or publication costs.

It is recommended that the spending plans are checked by finance teams prior to submission.

The amount awarded will be paid directly to the intern’s NHS employer.


A brief progress report will be required at a half way point and an evaluation will be completed at the end of the award.

Application process

Prior to submitting an application, it is recommended that applicants contact the research leads within their NHS Trust to discuss applying for this award and investigate what support and help is available within the organisation.

Please submit a completed checklist (see Appendix 1) and all corresponding documentation to: Jess George by 9.00am on the 6th September 2017.

Key dates

Closing date for applications: Wednesday 6th September 2017 by 9.00am
(Deanery House, Bristol BS16 1GW)
Tuesday 12th September 2017
Award period: September 2017- March 2018

Applicants who choose to apply must be available for interview on the above date.

For further information contact

Email: Professor Selena Gray – Deputy Postgraduate Dean and Interim ICA Lead for the South West
01454 252 671