The application period is Tuesday 6th October 2020 – Thursday 26th November 2020 at 1pm

What does the SPARC award include?

The NIHR SPARC offers awards of up to £5,000 per individual and allows NIHR Academy Members (PhD or early career post-doctoral researchers) supported by NIHR Infrastructure and NIHR Schools an opportunity 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 and careers.

Applicants are encouraged to explore and maximise the wide range of facilities, expertise and opportunities available to them across the NIHR for their personal and professional development, and develop a placement that is bespoke to their individual training needs, background, skills/experiences, as well as their proposed career trajectory. Further information on the NIHR SPARC scheme; including the guidance notes and application form can be found here.

Further details for NIHR SPARC Placement Host Institutions

Thank you again for kindly agreeing to potentially ‘host’ NIHR Academy members (PhD and early career post-doctoral researchers) at your MIC; its much appreciated. Further details regarding your MIC are detailed in the NIHR SPARC: Where Can I Go? Guide; including the appropriate contact details, should applicants wish to get in touch to discuss potential SPARC placements.

As previously mentioned, applicants can undertake a SPARC placement anywhere across the NIHR; however they must have discussed and sought agreement/permission from the Host Institution (potential Placement Host Institution). Applicants are responsible for liaising with their Home Institution Primary Supervisor, Academic Career Development Lead and Host Institution/potential placement institution and agreeing the scope of the placement prior to submitting an application.

What’s new for Round 7?

Industry/Commercial Sector – We are encouraging potential applicants to consider planning and undertaking placements in other parts of the NIHR that have developed partnerships and collaborations with industry partners. In embedding themselves within already established NIHR-Industry partnerships the aim would be to develop skills and gain experience of what is needed to have a successful working relationship with industry (including the life-sciences, med-tech, SMEs and food industry).

Possibility of undertaking virtual SPARC placements

In light of the current situation and travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraging prospective applicants to explore the possibility of undertaking some or all of their placement virtually, as well as the possibility of undertaking suitable available training online that meets the applicant’s individual training, personal and professional needs.

How do NIHR Academy members apply?

Potential applicants can access the application form and NIHR SPARC Round 7 Guidance Notes on the NIHR website