Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to apply?

Details of the professions that are eligible to apply for the Masters to Doctorate Bridging Programme can be found on the ‘Eligibility’ section of the website.

When do the applications for Masters to Doctorate Bridging Programme open?

Applications for the Autumn 2018 cohorts are now open.

When will the application process close?

Applications for the Autumn 2018 cohorts close on 20th June at midday.

How do I apply?

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

**Please note that interviews will be scheduled on the 18th and 20th July.

Download application form

Do I need my manager’s support?

Applications for the Masters to Doctorate 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 learning contract, which will be signed by yourself, your line manager, your supervisor and the Clinical Academic Programme Team.

A copy of the learning contract can be found on the Masters to Doctorate Bridging Programme home page or the ‘Call for supervisor’s page.’

What time commitment is needed?

For the Masters to Doctorate Bridging Programme you will need to commit to a minimum of 30 days study time over a nine month period. A number of programme 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 Masters to 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 Masters to Doctorate 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 from the ‘Links’ section at the bottom of this page.

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 Masters to Doctorate Bridging Programme. When you commence your programme, we will reimburse your employing organisation with the single payment grant of £3,900.

What can I expect from my supervisor?
  • Each fellow will be allocated a named academic supervisor 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 both programmes 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 ‘Masters to Doctorate Bridging Programme call for academic 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 ‘Masters to Doctorate Bridging Programme structure’ page for more information on the expected programme outcomes for fellows.

What happens after the programme?

The programme will give individuals 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 Charlotte Begg.

tel: 0121 371 8162

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