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Research In Your Career Award

The Academy of Research and Improvement are committed to supporting individuals to get involved in research or develop research as part of their careers. We understand that it can be difficult to find the time and to know which direction to go in. To address this we are working in partnership with ARC Wessex/HEE and launching a new internship award offering individuals working in community settings and primary care within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight region (including peer researchers) the time and support to develop research opportunities in their work area. The award offers people or teams the chance to create a tailored development plan suited to their, and their team’s, needs and aspirations. 

All successful applicants must have support from their line manager or equivalent, and additional support from an academic or clinical/practitioner research mentor with appropriate experience to guide your development and support the award objectives (this person should be identified by you but please contact us if you need support identifying someone). The objectives of the award should align with your team/service/organisation priorities and any local needs.

As part of the award, you can include costs and time to undertake any training which will enable your development plans i.e., Good Clinical Practice (GCP) in research course, Principal Investigator (PI) training, online courses, or Masters in research modules.

How could the award be used?

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The award can be used in three different ways depending on where you are in your development or the approach that best fits your plans:

  1. Getting started: This stream is for individuals who are interested in beginning to explore what research in their careers could look like.

  2. Develop and progress: This stream is available for individuals who have already undertaken research or research career development activities and need time to consider and undertake the next steps related to a specific project or career pathway. 

  3. Team approach: This stream is available for teams of individuals who would like to work together to explore and develop research opportunities within their service/organisation, build wider research collaborations or consider developing grant applications for future research funding to address locally relevant issues. This award should have a lead applicant/s and include a range of team members working with community and primary care settings.

Under each stream the award funding can be used for a variety of activities. Examples include:

  • Undertaking a small-scale research project or pilot, or analysing existing data

  • Exploring the current evidence base and undertaking a review of the literature

  • Implementing research findings in your team 

  • Undertaking patient and public involvement and engagement (PPIE) to identify research issues and priorities, or inform future work 

  • Exploring research in practice options such as delivering other people’s research in your team or becoming a principal investigator (PI)

  • Exploring and building collaborations or networks with research active individuals and academics in your field 

  • Building research partnerships across community settings, such as with local authorities or  community groups  

  • Initiating or progressing a clinical/practitioner academic career through the development of a fellowship application, i.e., PCAF/ DCAF/ ACAF (See NIHR Integrated Clinical/Practitioner Academic Training programme) 

  • Exploring and mapping research needs and opportunities within your team 

  • Writing up and disseminating findings from a project 

  • The award is also available to managers to explore and consider building research capacity within their team

Who is eligible to apply for the internship?

  • The award is open to any individual/team working within a community or primary care setting within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.  Organisations could include, but are not limited to, local authority, NHS, voluntary organisations, or community groups. 

  • Support from your line manager or equivalent to undertake the award.

  • Support from an academic supervisor(s) and/or clinical/practitioner research mentor(s) who will meet with you regularly throughout the award. The academy team can help you identify this person if needed. 

  • Ability to complete the internship within a year.

  • Attend two networking meetings with your fellow awardees, hosted by the Academy of Research and Improvement, to i) launch your award and ii) feedback and celebrate your progress 

How should the internship be organised? 

Internships can last up to one year and each successful applicant/team will be awarded up to £15,000 to cover backfill costs for salary, formal training costs, and any project costs including PPIE. Undertaking the project one day a week is a commonly adopted structure however this can be flexible depending on the needs of your application and how your service/employing organisation wishes to release you.  The Academy team will arrange to check in with you throughout the award period to offer support as required. 

What needs to be completed at the end of the internship?  

On completion of the internship, you will be required to summarise the work you have undertaken and set out any changes or next steps. You will be invited to present your work at a celebration event bringing together all award holders, as well as complete written feedback which can be in the form of a report, blog, or video. A feedback template is available to help guide you. We also request that you feedback directly to your local team and any research participants to ensure they benefit from your work. Additional support from the Academy will be available to support dissemination of your work through journal publications or conferences should wish to do this. 


If you would like to apply for a Researcher Development Award, please complete the following application form:


The deadline for applications is Fri 23rd August 2024. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the application process by early to mid Sept and need to start the internship before the end of October 2024. 

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