Frequently asked questions



Who is eligible to apply?

Details of the eligible professions for the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme can be found on the ‘Eligibility’ section of the website.

When do the applications for Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme open?

Applications for the Autumn 2019 cohorts are now closed.

When will the application process close?

Applications for the Autumn 2019 cohorts close on Monday 17th June 2019, midday

How do I apply?

To apply please complete the application form for the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme, from which you will be short listed and invited to an interview.

**Please note that interviews will be scheduled on the w/c 8th July and 15th July – specific dates TBC once shortlisting has taken place.

West Midlands Pre Doctoral Bridging Programme 2019-20 – Application Form

Do I need my manager’s support?

Applications for the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme will only be accepted with a written and signed statement of support from your line manager. This statement of support from your manager is included as part of the application form.

Before you start the programme we will also provide you with a partnership agreement, which will be signed by yourself, your line manager, your supervisor and the Clinical Academic Programme Team.

A copy of the partnership agreement can be found on the ‘Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme’ homepage.

What is the Partnership Agreement?

The Partnership Agreement is included within the appendix of the application form and outlines the minimum expected of each of the partners, that is: the Fellow, their line manager, the Fellow’s supervisor(s) and the programme team.

This Agreement doesn’t need to be completed at application stage, but is included for information. This is available on the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme homepage.

What time commitment is needed?

For the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme you will need to commit to a minimum of 48 days study time over a twelve month period. A minimum of 10 days will be fixed dates which cannot be changed. The remaining study days can be flexible and negotiated with your academic supervisor and employer.

Do I gain a qualification from this?

The Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme is a preparation programme that develops your skills and knowledge in advance of a PhD application. There isn’t an official qualification awarded at the end of the programme, however it is a good addition to your CV.

What are the benefits for my employer?

The Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme supports the national agenda to increase the capability of non-medical clinicians to contribute to the improvement of patient outcomes and innovations in healthcare. Individuals undertaking the programme will start to develop the skills and knowledge required to undertake their own clinical research and progress along the clinical academic career pathway.

For more information, please see the NIHR ‘building a research career handbook: a guide for aspiring clinical academics (excluding doctors and dentists) and their managers’ which is available here.

How does the funding for my course costs and single payment grant work?

There will be no requirement for you to pay any fees associated with the Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme. When you commence your programme, we will reimburse your employing organisation with the single payment grant of £7,500.

What can I expect from my supervisor?
  • Each fellow will be allocated a named academic supervisor or supervisors for the duration of the programme
  • Supervisors will be sought from across both the regional universities and trusts and if required outside of region
  • A matching scheme approach will be taken to ensure each fellow is matched with the optimal supervisor and will take account of both areas of interest as well as practical considerations
  • Supervisors will join the programme for both the induction period and final presentation day with a minimum time commitment agreed during the programme

For more information about the role of the supervisor please refer to the ‘clinical academic programme supervisors’ page.

Is the programme assessed?

The programme is not formally assessed but you will be provided with feedback from your supervisor(s) and Clinical Academic Programme Team throughout and at the summative presentation at the end of the programme.

Please refer to the ‘Pre-Doctoral Bridging Programme structure’ page for more information on the expected programme outcomes for fellows.

What happens after the programme?

The programme will give you the skills and knowledge required to apply successfully for the next stage of the clinical academic pathway (e.g. Masters or PhD). Support and guidance on options for further academic study or clinical academic careers will be provided.

After completing the programme, you will also become a member of our clinical academic programme alumni, providing you with further opportunities and support.

Further information

If your question has not been addressed on this page, please contact the clinical academic team on the details below.

tel: 0121 371 8162
email: clinicalacademics@uhb.nhs.uk

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