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The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research has an ongoing research capacity development programme funded by NIHR to train future research leaders in primary care research. This programme aims to complement rather than replicate the training opportunities provided by the NIHR Training Coordinating Centre and other funding agencies such as MRC and Wellcome.

We offer training opportunities to remedy short-supply in areas of particular methodological importance to primary care research, e.g. statistical expertise, health economics expertise and health psychology expertise. The opportunities take the form of PhD studentships, clinical and non-clinical fellowships.

The SPCR awards are designed to complement the national schemes led by the NIHR Training Co-ordinating Centre.  They are advertised nationally by the SPCR and awarded after rigorous peer review. Applications are made centrally with candidates indicating their preferred host department. Each University will offer specific training opportunities reflecting their own areas of expertise.

Read about the capacity and development award application process and timing here.

All SPCR trainees are invited to the annual SPCR Trainees' Event in September where workshops, talks, networking opportunities and poster presentations are offered over a two day programme of activities. In addition, the School has established links to training at national and international events. Find out more about these opportunities here.

 About the awards

SPCR Clinical Training Awards for ST3 GP Trainees

These SPCR awards for GP vocational trainees are made for 2 years at ST3 level, subject to the availability of regional support and NHS funding (we fund only the 0.5wte academic component of the training).  The aim is to complement the national ACF scheme by allowing later entry as it is clear that ST1 is too early for many trainees to make an informed decision about following an academic track and emerging talent is being missed. Applicants are required to meet national eligibility criteria for academic training and will have a training number and be on a VTS.

 SPCR GP Career Progression Awards

There is an increasing demand for part-time academic training for personal reasons and from clinicians who do not wish to lose clinical competencies. In 2012 we introduced part time GP Career Progression awards.  These can be for a length of time from 12 to 24 months. 

 SPCR PhD Studentships

These are available to those with limited primary care experience (e.g. Masters-level training). The awards offer traditional project-specific training in shortage-areas of particular importance to primary care. They focus on non-clinical disciplines (e.g. medical statistics, health economics, health psychology).  Students will be encouraged to maintain links with their own disciplines through collaborative arrangements for co-supervision with established senior non-clinical primary care researchers.

Students receive fees and a tax free stipend. The host department will receive an allocation of funds to support the research.

SPCR Launching Fellowships

These are available to those with some previous research experience, such as those who have worked as research associates in primary care research. However, these awards are not generally based around a specified single project but may involve attachment to a Clinical Trials Unit or similar research grouping involved in a programme of large-scale research. The awards will be open to all disciplines relevant to primary care research, clinical and non-clinical.

Fellows will receive a salary commensurate with their experience and a training allowance.