Chief Nurse Research Fellowship Award Scheme 2023-24

Research and Development Department / Somerset Clinical School


1. To support more clinically based staff to gain an understanding of how clinical research enhances patient and service user outcomes and the role clinical staff have in this 
2. To stimulate more clinically based staff to gain experience in research-related activities as part of a trajectory towards a clinical academic career.
Applicants should be interested to develop a stronger understanding of clinical research, committed to complete an evidence synthesis on a service-based theme, and expecting to plan how they might pursue clinical academic career opportunities. 
The Chief Nurse Research Fellowship award scheme is open to nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHP) employed by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. 
Interviews will be held the week commencing 24 July 2023. Successful applicants should be ready and available to start the programme on Thursday 5 October 2023. 
This award funds one day a fortnight of NMAHP time for one year. Funding is provided by the National Institute for Health Research. The Research Fellowship is sponsored by the Somerset NHS FT Chief Nurse, Hayley Peters. 

Aims of the programme:

1.  To have protected time for a self-motivated and ambitious individual to better understand how clinical research is organised in Somerset, and how their service can participate in the future
2.  To undertake a service-based project over the course of the year, to strengthen their experience of research-related activities
3.  To begin to plan their next steps towards what may become a clinical academic career
With guidance from a mentor, the Research Fellow will shape and direct their award to ensure they achieve their objectives and get the most from the opportunity.  
There are three elements to the CNRF award, broadly outlined below.  
The specific detail for each section will depend on the clinical background and ambition of the successful applicant.  
The programme is designed to allow maximum flexibility between each element depending on the priorities of the Research Fellow.

Three elements to the CNRF Award:

1.  Clinical research delivery experience
The Research Fellow will have a basic induction into the R&D department, learning how clinical research is conducted in the NHS. They will gain insight and understanding of:
  • the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR),
  • good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Informed Consent training,
  • the process of research delivery from set-up to archive,
  • local clinical research delivery priorities (e.g. Portfolio reviews, departmental meetings),
  • first-hand experience of recruiting participants onto appropriate clinical trials.
2. Service-based project
The Research Fellow will be taught the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) model for undertaking an evidence synthesis. The Fellow will be supported to complete an evidence synthesis on a self-identified, small, and achievable topic, based in their clinical area.  The size and scope of the project will vary depending on the interests of the Research Fellow. Research Fellows will be supported to turn their work into three useful clinical academic outputs: a conference poster, a short journal article, and a short presentation.   
3. Clinical Academic career development
With the support and guidance of a mentor from Somerset Clinical School the Research Fellow will explore how to develop their clinical academic career.  This includes:
  • mentoring,
  • advice on building and growing networks,
  • signposting to funding opportunities,
  • support with completing funding applications.