We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our site. Cookies are files stored in your browser and are used by most websites to help personalise your web experience.

By continuing to use our website without changing the settings, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more
For more information, go to

Clinical research fellowship

Maximum duration: 3 years
Deadline: 4pm, Wednesday 18th January 2017
Contact: Clare Farmer and Julie Marsden at

Arthritis Research UK would like to encourage applications to this scheme which are aligned with our new 5 year strategic focus on improving the quality of life of people with arthritis

What do clinical research fellowships provide?

Clinical research fellowships are our entry level scheme for clinicians. They're awarded to encourage clinicians into an academic research career in rheumatology or any related field concerned with the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions (including surgery and general practice). They aim to provide training in clinical and/or laboratory research techniques leading to a higher degree (usually a PhD).

Who can apply for clinical research fellowships?

Applications are open to medical graduates, usually during speciality training (including surgeons/surgical trainees). They should be associated with an established sponsor, within a multidisciplinary research group in a UK university department, hospital or research institute. Projects must demonstrate a clear relevance to the aims of Arthritis Research UK.

What can you apply for?

Fellowships are normally awarded for three years and aren't renewable. We also encourage applications from candidates who wish to apply for less than three years' funding, due to having already secured part-funding towards a PhD, for example through receipt of a Royal College of Surgeons one-year research fellowship or similar from other funding bodies.

You'll be expected to register for a higher degree (usually a PhD).

There's no formal limit on costs that can be applied for; however, detailed justification of costs requested should be provided in the fellowship application.


  • Salaries should be requested according to experience on the appropriate clinical salary scale, including London weighting if relevant.
  • Consultant level salaries will not be funded.


  • Reasonable running costs can be applied for (consumables, small pieces of equipment up to £30,000 in value).
  • PhD tuition fees won't generally be provided.
  • Costs for the purchase and maintenance of laboratory animals can be applied for. Studies involving animals must provide adequate details on the number, species, strain and associated costs of animals to be used in the study. Justification for the use of animals and why a suitable alternative cannot be used must also be provided. Arthritis Research UK is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and supports the principle of the 3Rs.

Please note that we don't support the funding of a major or substantive clinical trial as a fellowship. Clinical trials should be funded via our clinical studies sub-committee. However, we would support a feasibility/pilot clinical study within a fellowship, or methodological development work or supplementary analysis as a bolt on to an established or proposed trial. For more information please see the guidance on how to apply for a grant. If you're unsure as to whether your study constitutes a clinical study/trial, please contact us at

How to apply

All applications must be submitted through our grants management system, Grant Tracker.

Applications should be made jointly by the candidate with their sponsor, outlining the proposed programme of research and the nature of the training to be provided. Candidates will need to provide names of two people that can be contacted as referees (this shouldn't include the proposed sponsor(s) on the grant).

Routine clinical work (this is, not related to research) should be limited to no more than two programmed activities (8 hours) a week during the fellowship and the host institution must provide a signed statement agreeing to this restriction.

The fellowship application is a one-stage process – a full application should be submitted by the deadline. As part of the full application you will be asked to complete a short scientific summary which will be used by the awarding committee for the purposes of triage. Information on completing the scientific summary can be found within the online application form.

How clinical research fellowships are awarded

These fellowships are awarded by Arthritis Research UK’s fellowship implementation committee (FIC). There are four stages to the assessment process:

  1. Triage – at this initial stage the scientific summaries of each application are assessed by the FIC panel. Applicants will be informed at an early stage if their proposal has been triaged and all other applications will undergo full peer review.
  2. Peer review – the full applications of those successful at triage are sent for external peer review by experts from the UK and abroad and of international standing in the field of the proposal.
  3. Shortlisting – the full applications and peer reviews are assessed by a panel of FIC members. Shortlisted applicants are invited to attend interview.
  4. Interview – the FIC awarding panel interview the shortlisted applicants and make funding decisions.

Awards are typically made 4–5 months after the deadline date.

For more information, go to
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.