Entry Requirements

I am currently a medical trainee and will be due to complete training by the programme start date. Am I eligible to apply? 

No, with the exception of GPs, if you had completed your training by the programme start date, 1st August, you are not eligible to join the programme. Medical applicants are welcome from all medical and surgical specialties (including General Practice). They must be doctors in training (holding a National Training Number) or be General Practitioners who have completed their training (post-CCT) and are within the first 4 years post-CCT (full-time equivalent i.e. accounting for part-time working). Doctors will need to gain permission for time out of training from their Postgraduate Dean. 

I am a SAS doctor, am I eligible to apply?

No. Medical applicants should hold a National Training Number, therefore SAS doctors are not eligible to apply. 

I come from a non-medical discipline and I am currently undertaking my foundation training, am I eligible  to apply?

No, with the exception of Dentists, applicants from NMAHPS and other clinical disciplines must have a minimum of 2-year full time (or equivalent) clinical experience after full registration with their professional body, this is required at the point of application.

Is the programme open to healthcare professionals from across the UK? 

Yes. The programme is open to applicants who are registered with their appropriate discipline specific professional body within the UK (e.g. General Medical Council, Nursing & Midwifery Council Nursing & Midwifery Council) and are licensed to practice in the UK. Our first cohort includes Fellows from across the UK. 

I am an international postgraduate trainee, am I eligible to apply and which registration to practice in the UK will be required?

We seek to promote a diverse international community, attracting world-leading talent from across the globe. Our universities hold a sponsor licence and are able to sponsor eligible candidates under the Skilled Worker Visa route.  You must be fully registered with your appropriate discipline specific professional body within the UK, and be licenced to practice in the UK; a temporary registration to practice in the UK is not valid.

I would like to apply for this programme, what could I do to improve my current research skills?

You may discuss with your current employer what opportunities are available and, if able to gain time for this, you may reach to local clinical academics or supervisors of projects that interest you to discuss any opportunnities for participation. 

Your Application & Recruitment Process

How will candidates be shortlisted?

Consortium members from all host insititutions, alongside Patient and Public Involvement and NHS Education for Scotland representatives,  will consider applications and shortlist candidates based on the essential and desirable criteria included in the vacancy advert. It is essential that you address how you meet all outlined criteria in your application. 

How are candidates recuited for specific projects?

We are recruiting the best candidates, and applicants choose which projects they are interested in. All candidates are welcome to apply for any of the available projects. Candidates must indicate their preferred top 2 projects in order of preference when completing their application.

Applicants are strongly advised to contact the supervisor of their preferred projects to discuss them (we expect you to have contacted the supervisor of your first preferred project before you apply). Contact details are available on the projects website. Only one candidate per research project will be recruited. Applicants will be ranked after interview, when a first choice project has already been allocated the second choice will be assigned; if both projects have been allocated the candidate will not be selected for the programme. It is important that all candidates indicate two choices to maximise their options. The available projects will be updated every year. Each university has a maximum number of fellowships to offer each year. Candidates may want to ensure they apply for projects from two different universities to maximise their chances of success.

How flexible are projects to ensure that there is sufficient relevance to a candidate's clinical practice?

You can only apply for an advertised project, because projects and supervisors have to align to the programme focus and aims. However, as with any PhD, there is flexibility within most projects to tailor them to an individual's interests. If appointed, then you will work to transform the brief project description into a full fellowship proposal, which will be reviewed and approved by the programme team to ensure that the work remains aligned to programme aims and focus on multimorbidity, as well as ensuring that the planned work is appropriate for PhD level training.

Can I change my project choice after application? 

If successful, you will be offered a fellowship at a particular institution to do a particular project. We do not expect complete changes of project topic or focus unless exceptional unavoidable circumstances intervene. 

I am currently on a work break, who should be my referee?

Your referees should be from your most recent employer. We expect that one of your referees should be your current or most recent line manager, unless there are specific circumstances that make that impossible. 

I currently have more than one job, how should I reflect this in my application?

You may indicate the rate for one of your current jobs in the salary section available on the application system and include information on all your current positions within your application. If you are offered a Research Fellow position, HR will discuss salary arragements at that stage. 

Programme Funding

Are tuition fees covered?

Three years home rate PhD tuition fees are covered for those successful on gaining a Research Fellow post. 

What is the difference between Wellcome Trust and matched funded Fellows, and are applicants expected to apply for additional grant funding to support training and research activities? 

Grant funding is available to support training, travel and research activities across the four Consortium universities and we expect this should be sufficient to meet all Research Fellows' training needs. Note that some of the fellowships are funded by Wellcome Trust directly and some are funded by participating universities, and the exact funding available may vary somewhat, but the programme will negotiate this. 

PhD Project & Clinical Work

How many clinical sessions I can work in a week? 

During PhD training, trainees will devote 80-90% of their time on their research. Clinical activity and training during the PhD will be a maximum of half to one day per week as appropriate. We will work with you to help organise this to ensure that you maintain and develop your clinical skills and experience.

Can I continue working in Out of Hours? 

The restrictions on clinical work apply to paid time in the day, so you can in principle work in out of hours in addition, but only if it does not interfere with your daytime work and research (for example, overnight out of hours shifts before a working day would not be acceptable). 

What would be my salary as Research Fellow on this programme?

We expect the clinical salary will be commensurate with your existing NHS salary, but our funders have set the salary ceiling based on the applicants core clinical discipline and, whilst we will aim to match this, we are constrained within these limits.

Can this programme be done remotely? 

No. While some remote working will likely be possible, depending on your host institution arrangements, we expect applicants to spend a substantive amount of time at their host location to participate in any required face to face training and to take advantage of informal learning and collaboration opportunities.

Can I complete the programme part-time? 

While the preferred option is for candidates to complete the programme full-time, there may be some flexibility in the number of hours worked. However, due to the requirements of being part of a training cohort, this may be no less than 0.6 FTE. 

Where will teaching and training activities be delivered?

Most of the teaching and training activities will be held at the Fellow's host university, but it will be possible to attend teaching at other participating universities, and the training budget each fellow has can be used to obtain training from other institutions (e.g. specialist methods short courses). As well as research training, fellows will be expected to take advantage of generic skills training in their home institution (e.g. grant writing workshops, interview skills).

In addition to personal research and generic skills training, we expect our cohort of students across the different universities to set up a Fellows’ Liaison Group (FLG) to ensure they work together to maximise shared learning and that the programme meets the needs of a diverse community of Fellows. We will encourage virtual meetings across the Universities to underpin multi-institutional coordination/training/mentoring but will also expect face to face events too. The programme will provide bespoke Patient and Public Involvement and Knowledge Exchange skills development.

Fellows will participate in a range of cohort-building activities aimed at developing a community and broadening understanding of research and interdisciplinary collaboration. These will include:

  • Fellow-led activities.
  • Bimonthly whole programme meetings including supervisors.
  • Annual research workshops/summer schools offering targeted educational opportunities, including FLG identified needs.
  • Data presentation; critique and peer-to-peer learning via tutorials and Fellow-led courses.
  • Annual meetings with our Irish Multimorbidity Primary Care PhD Cohort, to promote exchange of ideas and the
    development of a critical mass of multimorbidity researchers.