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The Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) has just been launched by the NIHR to support early stage researchers to spend time in other parts of the NIHR. The award replaces the NIHR Doctoral Research Exchange Scheme.

Sparc 3

The new award is specifically designed to foster collaboration and enhance the researcher's early career, as well as their CV. This award was previously known as the NIHR Infrastructure Doctoral Training Exchange Scheme (IDTE). 

The placement is funded by small awards of up to £5,000 per individual.

The scheme is open to early stage researchers fully or partly funded by the NIHR Infrastructure based at a Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC) or the School for Primary Care Research (SPCR).

Applicants must:

  • be an early stage researcher with research experience (Masters, PhD or post-doctoral);
  • be based in an NIHR Infrastructure organisation with a remit to build research capacity (BRC, CLAHRC, PSTRC or the SPCR);
  • be in a position to complete the award during April 2018-March 2019
  • have continued support from their home organisation for the duration of their award (this will be the home institution that administers their current award).

Round 4

The fourth round of NIHR Infrastructure SPARC is currently open for applications. The closing date for the competition will be 5th December 2017. 

For more information on the scheme, eligibility and on how to apply, please see the NIHR SPARC Guidance notes and application form.

View the case studies from previous awardees. 

Suggestions of where trainees can go to undertake a placement can be found in a Google document.

To find out more about the scheme, please read the SPARC guidelines and contact Karen Fernando at the NIHR TCC.