SPARC Round 6 open for applications

Round 6 of the NIHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC) is open for applications until Monday 16th December at 1pm

The SPARC scheme allows NIHR Academy Members supported by NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools to spend time in other parts of the NIHR to network, train in a specific skill or collaborate with other researchers/specialists. The scheme is designed to optimise and enhance the individuals’ experience as well as their CVs.  The placement is funded by awards of up to £5,000 per individual.

One of the aims of the NIHR is to increase the number of researchers equipped with the skills to work at the interfaces between academia, the NHS and wider health, public health and social care, and industry. In line with this aim we propose to pilot for this round encouraging applicants to use their placement to visit parts of the NIHR that have existing links with industry partners.

The NIHR SPARC funds up to £5,000 for a placement in another part of the NIHR. It is open to all NIHR Academy Members who:

  • are early career researchers (PhD or early career post-doc) undertaking a formal training/career development award, which is competitive, includes a training plan and has a defined endpoint (this may be an application for further funding);
  • are directly funded by an NIHR award that is a part of the NIHR Infrastructure with a remit to build capacity, or are at one of the NIHR Schools;
  • receive at least 25% funding from the NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR School for their salary/stipend/fees over the lifetime of the award;
  • do not already hold an NIHR Academy Fellowship or NIHR Clinical Lectureship;
  • are in a position to complete the award between April 2019 and February 2020;
  • will submit a written report within 2 months of the completion of the placement and;
  • will have continued support from their home institution for the duration of their studies (this will be the home institution that administers their current award).

Please see for more information, including guidance notes and the application form. Please also see ‘SPARC – Where Can I Go? for the types of opportunities on offer within the Infrastructure, follow this link for advice from previous applicants and view case studies from previous rounds here

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