Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Whether you have always known that you wish to complete a Fellowship, or your interest has been sparked from a suggestion from a supervisor or spotting a post on social media, we are pleased you are considering applying for a Post-Doctoral Fellowship with the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR).  

fellowship is a personal grant given to individual researchers to support them with taking the next step in their research career. This will allow you to follow an independent research project, publish your research and prepare grant applications to help you secure future funding. Our fellows benefit from the leadership of researchers at the top of their field as well as supplementary training, networking, mentoring and guidance thanks to the wider School environment. The award will provide funding to cover the costs of a 24-month (if taken full time) fellowship at one of the SPCR members. 

To give you an insight into the benefits of a fellowship, two of our fellows have given us their reflections: 

 Nathan Davies - UCL

DNathan Davies held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship2015-2017, and is Deputy Director for the Centre for Ageing Population Studies and Deputy Director for the NIHR Research Design Service at UCL.  

How has the fellowship helped your career progression?  

It helped me to conduct some preliminary research in the field I was interested in, building on my PhD, and then generate my own ideas which built my skills in developing further research proposals and funding. I was able to develop links with international collaborators and future mentors. Based on this Fellowship I was successfully awarded a second fellowship with the Alzheimer’s Society and subsequently a permanent academic post. 

What have you found the benefits of a fellowship to be?  

One of the biggest benefits for me was the ability to do what I was really interested and passionate about which a Fellowship gives you the freedom to do. The other major benefit for me was being embedded in the SPCR community, I was able to network and get to know so many different researchers in primary care from outside of my own institutions. 

What advice would you give to someone else who is looking to apply?  

Go for it! The SPCR is a brilliant environment to join as an Early Career Researcher which I guarantee the benefits will continue throughout your career. Make the most of the networking events and training the SPCR offer, get to know other members of the school.

Sinead McDonagh

Dr Sinead McDonagh is a Research Fellow at University of Exeter and will be starting her Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 2021.

How do you feel the fellowship will help your career progression?  

I feel extremely privileged to have secured a NIHR SPCR fellowship. Not only has this award provided me with some job security for 2 years (which can be hard to come by for early career researchers), but it has given me the opportunity to undertake research and training specifically targeted toward my personal and professional interests and goals. I am certain that it will support my career trajectory. 

What advice would you give to someone else who is looking to apply?  

Go for it! It is well worth putting some time and effort into submitting an application because the reward is to have the prestigious opportunity to undertake specific research and training to support your career development! 


We are very proud of our dynamic research capacity and development programme and the achievements of our fellowsWe run our Post-Doctoral fellowship competition twice a year with start dates in October or April and the upcoming deadline is 27th October 2022Applications are accessed not only on the quality of the proposed research but also on the application’s track record and ambitions. 

You will find all the information you need on how to apply on our webpages; and if you would like to discuss a Post-Doctoral Fellowship further, please contact us on