Fellowship FAQs - Barts Charity

Fellowship FAQs

Frequently asked questions and useful tips for potential applicants to the Healthcare Professionals Clinical Research Training Fellowship Scheme. 


An honorary contract is not sufficient for the primary supervisor. The primary supervisor must be employed by Queen Mary University of London or City, University of London. This is to ensure that the fellow gets appropriate academic support. Prospective supervisors need to meet the organisation’s requirements to supervise PhD students.

The fellow can apply independently of current employment status, as long as a contract of employment with one of the following is agreed and in place at the start of the fellowship:

  • Barts Health NHS Trust.
  • The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London.
  • School of Health & Psychological Sciences at City, University of London.

No, however a contract of employment with one of the following needs to be in place by the time the proposed fellowship starts:

  • Barts Health NHS Trust.
  • The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London.
  • School of Health & Psychological Sciences at City, University of London.

No, this scheme is not suitable for an MRes. The Healthcare Professionals Clinical Research Training Fellowship Scheme covers a three-year full time or flexible clinical PhD.


We do not specify a number of years or level of clinical experience required to apply for the Healthcare Professionals Clinical Research Training Fellowship Scheme.

Instead, we recommend that the fellow should have a good level of clinical experience to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the clinical need in the proposed area of research. 

No, fellows already registered for a PhD or MPhil are not eligible.  We do not recommend early registration because a successful funding decision is not guaranteed and because it limits the possibility of incorporating feedback from the funding process.  

All potential applicants must find a project and a supervisor before applying for the Healthcare Professionals Clinical Research Training Fellowship Scheme. We are unable to provide support or advice on identifying a project or supervisor.  

The fellow needs to be able to demonstrate previous research experience. This could include an MRes, MSc or equivalent experience. We would expect some outputs from previous research experience, for example:

  • Abstracts, posters, or oral presentations at conferences.
  • Publications and pre-prints.
  • Datasets, software, research tools, and methods.

Application development

We recognise it takes time to prepare a good fellowship application. We are supporting pre-doctoral fellowships through the HARP PhD Programme.  This is a doctoral training programme for health professionals, offering full salary and consumables for three years.

We recommend contacting the Research Design Service, funded by the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR). Funding for PPIE activities during the fellowship can be requested. You can contact the Queen Mary arm of RDS London for particular advice. 

Our team is happy to advise fellowship applicants on how to apply for some initial PPIE funding. They are also happy to provide support writing lay summaries and materials.   

Barts Charity fellowship scheme

Please see the questions and answers above detailing eligibility requirements for fellows and supervisors.

Initially we expect the focus of the research proposal and research funding to be in East London at one of our partner institutions: 

  • Barts Health NHS Trust.
  • The Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London.
  • School of Health & Psychological Sciences at City, University of London.

We are happy to consider requests for funding that include additional research or recruitment sites if relevant to the proposed area of research or population. 

Yes, each application will be reviewed in relation to a candidate’s professional background and research experience.   

We can be flexible but would expect the fellowship to start within the following academic year. This would ensure the research and project plans proposed remain both feasible and relevant.  

Yes, we are able to pause the fellowship when justified. This could be, for example for parental leave or long-term sick leave.   

Full time fellows may request to spend up to 20% of their time undertaking clinical activities to maintain their clinical competence.

We accept applications for part-time fellowships – potential fellows should plan to have a minimum of 0.5 full-time equivalent (FTE)  research time exclusive of clinical duties 

No, we are not able to consider partial funding for research projects as part of a PhD.   

Useful tips for preparing a fellowship application

Starting and completing a Clinical PhD program requires a high level of commitment. It is important to consider if this is the right time for you to do a PhD, as well as if you have the right professional and personal network to provide support during the stressful times.

Your relationships with your supervisory team and collaborators will play an important role in the success of your PhD.

For the success of these long-term relationships it is important to carefully consider:

  • Who’s on your team.
  • Their expertise.
  • Their ability to support you.
  • And, their relationship to your research area.

Take time to consider this aspect well and think about both clinical stakeholders and how you will get their buy-in for any change in clinical practice as well as how you will involve patients, families, carers and communities.

Try to make this as inclusive as possible. 

It can be difficult to find a balance between the research and academic needs. 

Take time to consider, with your supervisory team, every aspect of your proposal to ensure the scientific aims are achievable and that you are able to complete the PhD in the proposed timeframe. 

Write your application clearly so that all reviewers can easily understand it.

Consider what you will do with your findings or how they could be implemented into clinical practice.

Make sure to explain the reasoning behind all your chosen methods and ensure they are described in sufficient detail. Please include statistical considerations when applicable.

If you are planning to use mixed methodology, think about if you have the experience to do both. What training you might need to make this possible and how will the various data sets be integrated.

Still have questions?

If you have any more questions about the Healthcare Professionals Clinical Research Training Fellowship Scheme, or would like to discuss your application before submitting, please get in touch.

Contact us