Types of fellowship

PhD scholarships - OPEN

PhD scholarships - OPEN
Deadline: 16:00 on 23rd September 2020
Contact: Suzanne Rix and Julie Marsden at research@versusarthritis.org

Our prestigious PhD scholarships aim to encourage the best basic scientists and non-medical healthcare professionals (including nurses and allied health professionals) to embark on a research career in any discipline relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases.

Who should apply?

Scholarships are awarded annually, by open competition, for projects that have clear relevance to our aims and provide training in research in a multidisciplinary environment.

Students supported by these awards can be basic scientists or non-medical healthcare professionals (including nurses and allied health professionals), medical graduates are not eligible.

Applications should be made by the proposed supervisor at an eligible institution. Proposals may also be submitted for collaborative studentships by institutions with an industrial sponsor/supervisor. Due to funding regulations, applicants must be based in the UK.

Applicants can either apply with a named student or with projects alone, with student recruitment to be carried out at a later date. We would still recommend that where possible a named student is associated with the application, and those without named students at this stage will be asked to submit relevant information (CV and supporting statements) when the student is appointed.

What does the scholarship offer?

Versus Arthritis will provide up to four years of support for these scholarships. Applicants can apply for one of two models of funding:

  • 1+3-year model will allow for the completion of a relevant MRes/MSc in year one, followed by three years of PhD funding. Stipend and tuition fees will be paid for the four years; consumables will be paid for years two - four only
  • 3+1-year model will provide three years of PhD funding (stipend, fees and consumables) with the option of applying for supplemental funding for year four if required.

The funding model requested should be outlined in the relevant section of the application form, with information on any proposed MRes/MSc course, where applicable. These scholarships provide a generous tax-free incremental stipend, UK tuition fees, improved running costs of £10,000 per year (capped at £7,500 in year four of a 3+1 model) and a travel grant for conference attendance. We will not pay overseas tuition fees.

How are they funded?

These scholarships are awarded by a panel consisting of members of the fellowship expert group alongside appropriate experts. Since the number of awards is limited, geographic/numerical limitations may apply to the number of studentships held by a single department. Applications should be made through Grant Tracker.

Please refer to the PhD scholarship scheme form guidance (PDF 258 KB).

Further information and FAQs about applying for PhD scholarships, are available here. PhD stipend values are available here.

Submissions after 4.00 pm on 23 September 2020 will not be accepted.

The Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prize - OPEN

Deadline: 16:00 on 1 July 2020
Contact: Shereen Sabbah and Paul Thornhill at research@versusarthritis.org

What is the Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prize?

At Versus Arthritis we are committed to supporting research careers to build a world-class workforce to continue the fight against arthritis. As an addition to our existing awards and career support activities, we are launching The Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prize. We will award two prizes in 2020 – the Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prize (early career category) and the Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prize (late career category). Each prize will recognise academic achievements, research outputs and contribution to new knowledge with the potential for significant impact on the quality of life of people with arthritis. The prize will also recognise exceptional involvement, participation, engagement and leadership by the recipients with patients, colleagues, industry representative and other partners.

Who can apply for the Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prize?

You can apply for the early career category prize if you are a current Versus Arthritis PhD student, Clinical Research Fellow or Foundation fellow, or completed a Studentship or Fellowship no longer than 12 months before the closing date for applications.

You can apply for the late career category prize if you are a current Versus Arthritis Career Development Fellow or Senior fellow, or completed a Fellowship no longer than 12 months before the closing date for applications.

You must be currently employed by or matriculated at an eligible UK institution which is willing to receive the research support award on behalf of the recipient. As The Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prize recognises individual achievements, joint applications are not eligible. You may not apply in more than one category.

What will the prize winners receive?

The recipient of each prize will receive a personal cash prize, a research support award payable to their institute and a commemorative trophy.

The prize recipient in the early career category will receive:

  • A personal cash prize of £1,000
  • A research support award of £20,000
  • A commemorative trophy.

The prize recipient in the late career category will receive:

  • A personal cash prize of £2,000
  • A research support award of £40,000
  • A commemorative trophy.

Each recipient will also be expected to present their research as a keynote speaker at a Versus Arthritis event within a year of receiving the prize.

Use of the research support award

The research support award may be used at the discretion of the recipient to defy arthritis through any relevant research and public engagement activities undertaken in their professional capacity. This may include but is not limited to: payment for research assistance, technical support or teaching replacement; travel and subsistence; conference attendance fees, attending training courses, consumables, specialist computer software and purchase of capital equipment. The research support award may not be used towards the recipient’s salary or institutional overheads. More information is available in the Fellows Prize Q&A section of the website.

How to apply

  • All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.
  • Please refer to the Fellows Prize application guidance document (PDF, 157 KB).
  • Applicants should state which category of prize they are applying for and outline their suitability to receive the prize.
  • Applicants will also need to include one reference from a professional referee with direct knowledge of their suitability to apply at the time of application.
  • The fellows prize application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline.
  • Submissions after 16:00 on the deadline day will not be accepted.

How the Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows Prizes are awarded

These are awarded by a panel consisting of members of the Versus Arthritis Fellowship Expert Group and Subcommittees.

There are two stages to the assessment process:

  1. Assessment: Eligible applications will be assessed individually by representatives of the prize award panel.
  2. Panel review: Members of the prize award panel will meet to review and formally rank all eligible applications.

Recipients of the Versus Arthritis Outstanding Fellows prizes will be announced in Autumn 2020.

Career development fellowships - OPEN

Deadline: 9 September 2020
Maximum duration: Five years
Contact: Shereen Sabbah and Paul Thornhill at research@versusarthritis.org

What do career development fellowships provide?

Career development fellowships aim to attract and retain talented postdoctoral basic scientists, vets, nurses and allied health professionals in research relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions, and provide them with the opportunity to develop an independent research career and progress towards higher-level appointments.

Who can apply for career development fellowships?

Applicants should normally have at least three years’ postdoctoral research experience. Applicants should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. Please note, medically or surgically qualified individuals that are practising medicine, aren't eligible to apply for this scheme.

What can you apply for?

Fellowships are normally awarded for five years and aren't renewable.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application. Please read our costing your fellowship page for more information about eligible and ineligible costs.

Salaries

  • Should be requested according to experience on the appropriate scientific scale (including London weighting if relevant)
  • a maximum starting salary of spine point 43 on the national scale
  • salaries of support staff, such as technicians and research assistants, will not be funded.

Expenses

You are permitted to apply for reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal, including:

  • Consumables
  • small pieces of equipment (up to £30,000 in value)
  • purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals (see below)
  • travel to a collaborating institution.

Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. Versus Arthritis is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and supports the principle of the 3Rs.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be submitted jointly by the candidate with his/her sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process, a full application should be submitted by the deadline.

As part of the full application you will be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the fellowship funding panel for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

Please read the career development fellowship guidance document (PDF, 272 KB) and the applying for a fellowship webpages prior to beginning your application.

How career development fellowships are awarded

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting: the applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 5-6 months after the deadline date.

Successful applicants to this scheme requiring a visa are eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa under the fact-track process of endorsement.

Senior research fellowship - OPEN

Maximum duration: 5 years
Costs: Up to £750,000

Deadline: 16:00 on 9 September 2020
Contact: Shereen Sabbah and Paul Thornhill at research@versusarthritis.org

What are senior research fellowships?

Senior research fellowships are our most prestigious fellowship grants. They're awarded to outstanding medical, veterinary, nurse and allied health professional or science graduates committed to a research career in any discipline relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases with the expectation of securing higher-level appointments.

Who can apply for senior research fellowships?

Applicants should:

  • have a PhD (or equivalent)
  • be able to show that they are delivering an independent research programme, substantiated by publications in international journals and the award of peer-reviewed grants
  • based in a UK university, hospital or research institute
  • not hold an established academic post.

We welcome applications from international candidates intending to move to a UK institution. We also welcome proposed partnership funding for these awards.

What can you apply for?

Senior research fellowships are normally awarded for five years and are not renewable.

There is a maximum limit of £750,000 for costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application. Further information on eligible and ineligible costs can be found in the associated guidance document.

Salaries

  • Up to 50% of the applicant’s salary costs can be requested according to experience on the appropriate scientific or clinical salary scale, including London weighting if relevant. Host research organisations will be required to provide a minimum of 50% of the applicant’s salary for the duration of the award.
  • Costs for a supporting technician or junior post-doctoral research assistant can also be requested.

Expenses

  • Reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal can be applied for; such as small pieces of equipment up to £30,000 in value and consumables.
  • Costs for the purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals can be applied for. Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. We are a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and support the principle of the 3Rs.
  • Costs to cover travel to a collaborating institution can be requested.
  • Costs for conference attendance should not be included in the application form. A travel support fund for presenting outputs arising from the fellowship at national and international conferences will be allocated to the grant if successful. Please note that we don't support the funding of a major or substantive clinical trial as a fellowship. However, we would support a feasibility/pilot clinical study within a fellowship, or methodological development work or supplementary analysis as a bolt on to an established or proposed trial. For more information please see the guidance on how to apply for a grant. If you're unsure as to whether your study constitutes a clinical study/trial, please contact the research office (research@versusarthritis.org).

Find out more information on costing your fellowship.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be submitted by the candidate outlining the proposed programme of research. Applications should include a statement from the head of department agreeing to provide appropriate facilities and outlining the commitment by the institution to the fellowship and the future career of the applicant.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you'll be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the awarding committee for the purposes of triage.

Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

Please read the senior research fellowship guidance document (PDF, 234 KB) and the applying for a fellowship webpages prior to beginning your application.

How senior research fellowships are awarded

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the full applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal. Applications are also reviewed by our patient insight partners.
  3. Shortlisting: the full applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 5-6 months after the deadline date.

Successful applicants to this scheme requiring a visa are eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa under the fact-track process of endorsement.

Joint funded MRC clinician scientist fellowship - OPEN

Maximum duration: four - five years
Deadline: 2 September 2020
Contact: The MRC programme manager at fellows@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk

What do clinician scientist fellowships provide?

These fellowships allow talented medically and other clinically qualified professionals, who have gained a higher research degree to lead their own research, establish a research team and make the transition to independent investigator.

The clinical scientist fellowship (CSF) provides either four year or five years' support, covering personal salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumable expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project.

Who can apply for a clinician scientist fellowship?

The CSF aims to support individuals transitioning to independence and is open to hospital doctors, dentists, general practitioners, nurses, midwives and members of the allied health professions. Veterinarians may apply where they have equivalent qualifications and providing their project is of relevance to the charity. Medical or dental graduate should be of specialty registrar (StR) or consultant status, or be at the equivalent level in general practice and if not, have clear plans for doing so and have consulted their deanery prior to submitting the application. Applicants must not have held a comparable intermediate fellowship (from any organisation) previously.

All applicants must have obtained a PhD (or equivalent), or expect to have done so, by the time they take up the award. There are no eligibility rules based on years of post-doctoral experience and to be considered suitable, all applicants must clearly demonstrate how their skills and experience at the time of application will help them transition to independence.

What can you apply for?

The CSF provides full personal salary costs, together with support for research staff, consumables expenses, travel costs and capital equipment appropriate for the research project. There is no limit to the funding that can be requested under the scheme, but requests must be appropriate to the project and sufficiently justified in terms of delivering the objective of the research proposal.

In the case of a five year 'Tenure Track CSFs' award the final year of the fellow’s salary is met by the host research organisation, all other costs associated with the final year of the fellowship are met by the CSF award.

Applicants are particularly encouraged to consider the opportunities the fellowship offers to establish collaborative networks and for cross-sector development, as the award will support a period of research overseas, at a second UK institution, or within industry where appropriate for the research project.

What are the time allowances for non-fellowship activities?

As part of a full-time award, fellows may spend up to six hours a week (pro-rated for part-time fellows) on other commitments (e.g. teaching, demonstrating, other funded projects) or may undertake up to two clinical sessions a week. For patient-orientated projects where the clinical sessions undertaken will be of direct relevance to the research, applicants may request up to five years’ funding and undertake up to four clinical sessions a week. Applicants planning to undertake more than two clinical sessions a week during their fellowship are advised to contact the MRC office prior to submission.

Greater flexibility on the time dedicated to non-fellowship activities (e.g. those detailed above or obtaining grant support) may be permitted during the second half of a fellowship. Existing fellows wishing to pursue other project funding or additional clinical sessions should contact fellows@headoffice.mrc.ac.uk prior to making any commitment.

How to apply?

These grants are administered by the MRC. To apply for this joint funding scheme, applicants must include a completed joint funding form as part of their cover letter. More information on the scheme, a copy of the joint funding form and details on how to apply can be found at www.mrc.ac.uk

During the review process, prior career breaks, flexible working and changes in discipline will be taken into account when assessing research experience to date and track record.

Starter grants for clinical lecturers - OPEN

Maximum duration: one to two years
Deadline: September 2020
Next deadline: The next round opens in January 2020 and closes in March 2020.
Further information: https://acmedsci.ac.uk/grants-and-schemes/grant-schemes/starter-grants
Contact: Academy of Medical Sciences grants team at clinicallecturers@acmedsci.ac.uk

This scheme is a partnership between the Academy of Medical Sciences and Versus Arthritis. Other partners in this scheme include the Wellcome Trust, the British Heart Foundation, the Medical Research Council and Diabetes UK.

What do starter grants for clinical lecturers provide?

The starter grants for clinical lecturers scheme provides modest starter funds of up to £30,000 over one to two years to enable research active clinical lecturers to pursue their research work, gather preliminary data and so further strengthen their applications for longer term fellowships and funding.

Who can apply for a starter grant for clinical lecturer?

The grants are intended as start-up funding and as such are not intended for applicants who have already obtained substantial funding through, for example, Clinician Scientist Fellowships, New Investigator Awards or large project grants.

All eligible applicants must:

  • Have a PhD or MD
  • hold a medical, dental or veterinary undergraduate degree and be registered with the General Medical Council, General Dental Council or Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • hold a clinical contract.

What can you apply for?

The maximum grant available is £30,000. This can be spread over one to two years to contribute towards directly incurred research costs such as consumables and equipment.

Grants cannot be used to pay for your personal salary costs or to employ research assistants, PhD students or postdoctoral staff.

How to apply

These grants are administered by the Academy of Medical Sciences, more information and details on how to apply can be found at acmedsci.ac.uk.

During the review process, prior career breaks will be taken into account when evaluating a candidate’s research output and progress.

Successful applicants cannot reapply. Unsuccessful applicants are limited to one resubmission.

Submission deadline is September 202.


 

View our fellowship application success rates (PDF, 35KB).



Fight for Sight / Versus Arthritis PhD Studentship - CLOSED

Deadline for abstract applications: 17:00 on 11 June 2020

Contact: For any queries relating to your proposal please contact Fight for Sight at grants@fightforsight.org.uk.

Abstract applications are now invited for a PhD Studentship co funded by Fight for Sight to address arthritis and visual impairment. This includes, but is not limited to Bechet’s Syndrome, Giant cell arteritis, and Sjögren's syndrome. Any research relevant to inflammation and uveitis are also welcomed.

For shortlisted applicants the closing date for full application submissions will be 22 October 2020. The successful applicants of the 2020 grant round will be notified in March 2021.

What does the Fight for Sight PhD studentship provide?

  • Grant of up to £100,000 for three years.
  • Includes the costs of
    • stipends (Minimum stipend £16,000 outside London / £18,000 in London per year)
    • PhD fees at UK/EU rate
    • consumables
    • equipment essential for the project
    • open access publication costs
  • Excludes indirect costs and any other non-attributable overhead costs
  • Excludes recruitment costs

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • Applications must be made by the potential PhD Supervisor(s)
  • Please note that Fight for Sight will only accept one PhD Studentship application from the same individual acting either as Supervisor or Co-Supervisor
  • Supervisors must be affiliated with UK academic or medical institutions
  • The Student must be attached to a UK institution but the research can be undertaken in the UK and/or overseas
  • Supervisor(s) must have a contract which extends beyond the termination date of the PhD Studentship
  • The Student appointed must not be medically or otherwise clinically qualified professionals.
  • The scheme does not cover funding gaps for studentships already started
  • The proposed project must aim to stop or reduce sight loss

How to apply?

These grants are administered by Fight for Sight, more information and details on how to apply can be found at https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/apply-for-funding/funding-opportunities/phd-studentships/

For any queries relating to your proposal please contact Fight for Sight at grants@fightforsight.org.uk.

Applications must be submitted via the Fight for Sight online grants management system.

Clinical research fellowships - CLOSED

Medical graduate/Entry level

Maximum duration: 3 years

Deadline: 16:00 on Wednesday 26 February 2020

Contact: Suzanne Rix and Julie Marsden at research@versusarthritis.org

What do clinical research fellowships provide?

Clinical research fellowships are our entry level scheme for talented medical and non-medical healthcare professionals. They're awarded to encourage clinically qualified professionals into an academic research career in any discipline relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions. They aim to provide training in clinical and/or laboratory research techniques leading to a higher degree (usually a PhD).

Who can apply for clinical research fellowships?

Applications are now open to both medical and non-medical healthcare professionals. Medical graduates are expected to apply usually during speciality training (including surgeons/surgical trainees), whilst non-medical healthcare professionals need to have at least one year's experience of clinical practice. Non-medical healthcare professions that are eligible to apply include: dentists, physiotherapists, nurses, occupational therapists, podiatrists, prosthetists and orthotists, psychologists, veterinary surgeons, radiographers and pharmacists.

All applicants should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute.

What can you apply for?

Clinical research fellowships are normally awarded for three years and aren't renewable. We also encourage applications from candidates who wish to apply for less than three years' funding, due to having already secured part-funding towards a PhD, for example through receipt of a Royal College of Surgeons one-year research fellowship or similar from other funding bodies.

You'll be expected to register for a higher degree (usually a PhD). Applications for Masters degrees will not be accepted.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application.

Salaries

  • Salaries should be requested according to experience on the appropriate clinical salary scale, including London weighting if relevant.
  • Consultant level salaries will not be funded.
  • NHS salaries above Band 7 will not be funded.

Expenses

  • Reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal can be applied for; such as small pieces of equipment up to £30,000 in value and consumables. PhD tuition fees won't generally be provided.
  • Costs for the purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals can be applied for. Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. We are a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and support the principle of the 3Rs.
  • Costs to cover travel to a collaborating institution can be requested.
  • Costs for conference attendance should not be included in the application form. A travel support fund for presenting outputs arising from the fellowship at national and international conferences will be allocated to the grant if successful. Please note that we don't support the funding of a major or substantive clinical trial as a fellowship. However, we would support a feasibility/pilot clinical study within a fellowship, or methodological development work or supplementary analysis as a bolt on to an established or proposed trial. For more information please see the guidance on how to apply for a grant. If you're unsure as to whether your study constitutes a clinical study/trial, please contact the research office (research@versusarthritis.org).

More information on costing your fellowship can be found here.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Please refer to the Clinical Research Fellowship Application Guidance (PDF, 238 KB).

Applications should be made jointly by the candidate with their sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research and the nature of the training to be provided. Candidates will need to provide names of two people that can be contacted as referees (this shouldn't include the proposed sponsor(s) on the grant). Routine clinical work (this is, not related to research) should be limited to no more than two programmed activities (8 hours) a week during the fellowship and the host institution must provide a signed statement agreeing to this restriction.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you will be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the awarding panel for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

Further information and FAQs about applying for Clinical Research Fellowships are available here.

How clinical research fellowships are awarded

These scholarships are awarded by a panel consisting of members of the fellowship expert group alongside appropriate experts.

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the full applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting: the full applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel members. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interviews the shortlisted applicants and makes funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 5-6 months after the deadline date.

Successful applicants to this scheme requiring a visa are eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa under the fact-track process of endorsement.

Submissions after 16:00 on the deadline day will not be accepted.

Foundation fellowships - CLOSED

Medical graduate/Entry level

Maximum duration: 3 years full time
Deadline: 16:00 on 17 June 2020
Contact: Suzanne Rix and Julie Marsden at research@versusarthritis.org.

What do foundation fellowships provide?

Foundation fellowships aim to retain the best postdoctoral researchers in areas of research relevant to arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases and provide an opportunity for fellows to develop independent research ideas at an early stage in their career.

Who can apply for foundation fellowships?

Foundation fellowships are open to basic science and other non-medical (including nurses, allied health professionals and veterinary surgeons) PhD students in the final year of PhD training, or within one year of completing their PhD at the time of application. These fellowships can not be taken up until the PhD has been awarded.

Foundation fellowships should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. The proposed sponsor of the foundation fellowship must not be the applicant's previous PhD supervisor. Versus Arthritis will give preference to applicants who wish to move to another laboratory in the UK. If remaining at the same institution, applicants will ideally move department, and additionally be expected to spend a period of time in another laboratory, preferably abroad. We reserve the right to reject applications that do not fully meet the eligibility criteria.

Please note, medically or surgically qualified individuals that are practising medicine, are not eligible to apply for this scheme.

What can you apply for?

Fellowships are normally awarded for three years and aren't renewable.

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for, however detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application.

Salaries

  • Should be requested according to experience on the appropriate scientific scale (including London weighting if relevant)
  • salaries of support staff, such as technicians and research assistants, will not be funded.

Expenses

You are permitted to apply for reasonable research expenses directly related to your proposal, including:

  • Consumables
  • small pieces of equipment (up to £30,000 in value)
  • Costs for the purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals. Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. Versus Arthritis is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and supports the principle of the 3Rs.
  • travel to a collaborating institution.
  • Conference attendance should not be included in the application form. A travel support fund for presenting outputs arising from the fellowship at national and international conferences will be allocated to the grant if successful.

More information on costing your fellowship can be found here.

Please note that we don't support the funding of a major or substantive clinical trial as a fellowship. However, we would support a feasibility/pilot clinical study within a fellowship, or methodological development work or supplementary analysis as a bolt on to an established or proposed trial. For more information please see the guidance on how to apply for a grant. If you're unsure as to whether your study constitutes a clinical study/trial, please contact the research office (research@versusarthritis.org).

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Please refer to the Foundation Fellowship Application Guidance (PDF, 258 KB).

Applications should be submitted jointly by the candidate with their sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research. Candidates will need to provide names of two people that can be contacted as referees (this should not include the proposed sponsor(s) on the grant).

The fellowship application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you'll be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the fellowship funding panel for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

Further information and FAQs about applying for Foundation Fellowships are available here.

Submissions after 16:00 on the deadline day will not be accepted.

How foundation fellowships are awarded

These scholarships are awarded by a panel consisting of members of the fellowship expert group alongside appropriate experts.

There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage: at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the fellowship funding panel. They will evaluate the scientific merit of the project, the track record and future potential of the applicant and the suitability of the proposal for a Foundation Fellowship. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review: the applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting: the applications and peer reviews are assessed by the fellowship funding panel members. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview: the fellowship awarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 5-6 months after the deadline date.

Successful applicants to this scheme requiring a visa are eligible to apply for a Global Talent visa under the fact-track process of endorsement.

Nurse and allied health professional internship scheme - CLOSED

Duration: Eight weeks (6 July to 28 August 2020)
Deadline: 11 February 2020 at 17:00
Contact: Mary Fry (m.l.fry@soton.ac.uk)

What do the internships provide?

This internship scheme is open to recent graduates or final year students in Nursing or an Allied Health Profession (UK HCPC registerable) who have an interest in clinical research into the personal impact of arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases.

The programme provides opportunities to:

  • Obtain first-hand experience of working in a working in an institution with an excellent reputation in musculoskeletal disease research.
  • Be one of eight placements nationally (eight weeks full-time from 6 July – 28 August 2020).
  • Work alongside some of the UK’s leading nurse and allied health researchers.
  • Use state-of-the-art equipment and evidence-based effective practice.
  • Attend study days and receive supervision, evaluation and mentoring in research.
  • Be involved in a self-contained research study and data collection process.
  • Experience the research governance process.
  • Participate in multi-professional seminars and workshops.
  • Become part of a specialist network of new researchers and intern alumni.

The internships are for eight weeks full-time from Monday 6 July – Friday 28 August 2020.

There are eight placements available per year to be hosted at one of seven leading research institutions:

  • Keele University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Salford
  • University of Oxford
  • University of the West of England

Who can apply for the internships?

Applications to the internships are open to recent or final year Nurse or Allied Health Professional students (UK HCPC registerable) with a first or second class honours degree, or will be graduating in 2020 with these predicted grades. Applicants must also have an interest in clinical research into the impact of rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions.

You can read blogs from previous interns here.

How to apply: For further information about the internship programme, to register an expression of interest or for details of how to apply, please contact Mary Fry on m.l.fry@soton.ac.uk or 02380 594023.

Key dates:

Applications open: 3 December 2019
Application deadline: 11 February 2020
Interview date: TBC (Oxford)
Scheme dates: Monday 6 July – Friday 28 August 2020