Clinical research training fellowship
This page provides information on the standard MRC clinical research training fellowship award and those funded in collaboration with Royal Colleges and other partners.
Any of these clinical research training fellowships may be awarded for a minimum period of two years and a maximum period of three years (or four years for patient-orientated clinical research). If you are invited to interview by the clinical training and career development panel, you would be expected to demonstrate a commitment to the UK research effort in clinical medicine beyond the period of the award. Applications are welcome across all areas of the MRC scientific remit, although there are a number of priority areas.
Pre doctoral fellowships are awarded at 100% of the Full Economic Cost (FEC). Post-doctoral fellowships are awarded at 80% FEC. In order to ensure that your CRTF application is costed correctly, you should select the following options in JeS:
Document Type: Fellowship Proposal
Scheme: Total cost fellowship
Call: Clinical Research Training Fellowship Predoc Oct 2012
Document Type: Fellowship Proposal
Scheme: Fellowships FEC
Call: Clinical Research Training Fellowship Postdoc Oct 2012
- The MRC clinical research training fellowship
- Jointly funded clinical research training fellowships
- Who can apply?
- Funding provided
- Completion of specialist clinical training
- Other work responsibilities
- Deadlines and submission details
- Applications for further fellowship support
- Guidance for applicants
Please read the following guidance carefully in conjunction with MRC’s Fellowship Application Guidance and CRTF FAQs page. Applications which differ from the requested format may be rejected without review.
The MRC clinical research training fellowship provides up to three years' support for clinically qualified, active professionals to undertake specialised or further research training in the bio-medical sciences within the UK. A further year’s funding is available for patient orientated clinical research training fellowships. The scheme is designed to accommodate the dual clinical-research training career path by allowing fellows to spend up to 20 per cent of their time on NHS sessions. Fellows are required to register for a research degree, normally a PhD, based on research undertaken during the fellowship.
It is awarded at the clinical pre-doctoral or entry level, although medically qualified applicants who obtained their PhD some time ago may also exceptionally be considered.
A number of clinical research training fellowships awards are offered through joint funding arrangements. Please note these are considered in open competition with applications for the standard fellowship competition and common deadlines apply. For further detailed information, please see jointly funded clinical research training fellowships.
All applicants must state whether they wish to be considered for any jointly funded fellowships by completing this form and attaching it as/appending it to their cover letter attachment.
Medical and dental graduate applicants should be at specialty registrar (StR) grade or below, or be at the equivalent level in general practice. Applicants are required to have completed MRCP (or equivalent) exams before taking up the award; if applicants have not completed membership examinations owing to their specialty training pathway they should explain on the application form why this is and when they plan to complete the membership. Experienced StR grade applicants will preferably have worked for a period in a department where clinical research is in progress. Overseas applicants must confirm equivalent status to relevant UK Royal College qualifications in their application – please see the overseas applicant’s webpage. Veterinarians may apply where they have equivalent qualifications to those above and providing their project is of relevance to human health.
Nurses, midwives and members of the allied health professions must have completed their professional training and hold a Masters degree, or equivalent postgraduate research-oriented qualification.
If you have started a PhD/MD (or equivalent), you may apply for a fellowship only if, at the proposed start date, you have not been registered for more than 12 months full-time.
Clinically qualified individuals who hold a PhD/MD (or equivalent) may apply if they were awarded this degree some time ago and they have not been recently active in academic research. The fellowship offers such applicants a valuable opportunity to undertake early postdoctoral training in order to build up a track record in their particular research field, enabling them to then be competitive at the clinician scientist fellowship level. Individuals who think they might be eligible for an award must contact the MRC fellowship department to see whether you may be given permission to apply, at least four to six weeks before the closing date.
There are no residential requirements for post-doctoral applicants, although there are some requirements for pre-doctoral applicants. Please refer to the link under 'guidance for applicants'.
As part of the MRC’s equal opportunities policy, consideration will be given to applicants who are returning to science following a career break. There are no age limits for any of our schemes and all fellowships may be held part-time to fit in with domestic responsibilities.
Full economic costs do not apply to pre-doctoral fellowships. At the pre-doctoral level, the fellowship provides a competitive personal salary up to but not including NHS consultant level, and a research training support grant of up to £15,000 per year (or £45,000 over the three year period). This may cover consumables, PhD fees, equipment, conference travel, other course fees; however, each item must be separately costed and justified. Where animals are requested for the project, funding may be sought separately from the research training support grant. If the fellowship includes an element of research training outside the UK, overseas travel to the training centre and living allowances may also be requested separately from the research training support grant.
At the post-doctoral level, the fellowship provides a competitive personal salary, up to but not including NHS consultant level, research expenses, and travel costs at an appropriate level for the research, under full economic costs (FEC).
The minimum period for a clinical research training fellowship is 24 months. If you have already started a PhD (or MD or other equivalent higher research degree), you may apply for a fellowship only if, at the proposed start date, you have not been registered for more than 12 months full-time (or the part-time equivalent). In this case, you may seek a standard three year award if you wish, however the tenure of the award would not usually be expected to extend beyond the completion of the PhD. In exceptional cases where a Fellow receives their PhD part-way through the fellowship, any full economic costs for the post-doctoral period of the award should be claimed at the end of the fellowship. Please note it is your responsibility to provide documentary evidence of the PhD to support any such claim.
Applications are welcome across all areas of the MRC scientific remit, although there are a number of priority areas (see link below).
If you are medically and dentally qualified and have not yet completed your specialty or vocational training, you should have a clear idea of your plans for doing so at the time of application. Applicants wishing to pursue specialist or vocational training must consult their postgraduate medical dean, regional advisor in general practice, and Royal College prior to submitting an application, as the time in out of programme research is attributable to a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) programme only if it has been prospectively approved as part of a Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board (PMETB) prospectively approved programme of training. Subsequent applications to the relevant body should be made in consultation with the prospective head of department. Trainees will continue to hold their NTN during this time out of their clinical programme.
Full details of the arrangements for specialist training are available in ‘A Guide to Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK (the ‘Gold Guide’)’.
Non-UK clinicians who are still working towards accreditation through their own national systems should consider carefully whether training in the UK will count towards their accreditation.
The MRC recognises the challenges faced by clinicians in combining research training with the demands of a clinical career. We therefore try to operate the scheme as flexibly as possible, with the extent of the fellow’s clinical commitment negotiable depending on the specialty and the needs of the research. Clinical research training fellows may normally:
- Spend up to two sessions a week (three for surgeons) on NHS clinical sessions, with their sponsors' approval.
- Exceptionally, place their awards into abeyance for up to 12 months to undertake clinical training over a concentrated period, although awards should not be put into abeyance within year one.
As outlined above, to help accommodate the dual clinical-research training career paths, the MRC allows fellows to spend time on NHS clinical sessions, with their sponsors' approval. Alternatively, they may spend up to six hours a week teaching or demonstrating. The payment for this may be retained in full if this is the host institution’s normal policy. However, fellows may not apply for other research grant funding during the course of their fellowship.
This fellowship competition is held twice a year.
Your proposal must be submitted through the MRC Je-S system by 4pm on the relevant closing date.
MRC clinical research training fellows who wish to continue developing their research careers and who do not have an established position are eligible to compete for an MRC clinician scientist fellowship.
- Fellowship Application Guidance
- Current scientific priority areas
- Deadlines for applications
- Assessment criteria
- Fellowship terms and conditions
- Residence eligibility requirements
For further information please refer to our contacts page.