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4 million pound boost for NHS science researchers

CSO Healthcare Scientists Research Fellowship Competition launched

A new research fellowship scheme opened today will provide £4 million in funding over the next three years for healthcare scientists to undertake research to improve patient services and treatment.

Funded by the Department of Health and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the scheme will fund areas of research that will have direct patient benefit. Research projects may include helping patients to self-care and self-manage, developing diagnostic tests, enhancing therapeutic services or improving the NHS's ability to monitor disease.

NHS scientists are invited to develop a research project that could both address a patient care issue and promote links between the NHS and university research groups.

Successful applicants will be selected by a panel, including representatives from the Department of Health, the NIHR and the NHS.

Funding will be awarded for up to two years on a full-time or proportionate part-time basis.

Health Minister, Ann Keen MP said,

"The funding announced today is further evidence of the Government's commitment to supporting health research in the NHS for the benefit of patients and the public. The Healthcare Scientist Research Fellowship Scheme will bring NHS organisations and higher education together, as recommended in the Next Stage Review, so that high quality research findings can be applied more readily to improve patient care."

Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Professor Sue Hill, who led the initiative, said,

"I am delighted to announce these fellowships which build on the aptitude and dedication of thousands of NHS healthcare scientists. I hope the new opportunities offered to them will help to support the research capabilities of NHS departments by further encouraging scientists to undertake translational research within health to improve care for patients. Through this innovative and pioneering fellowship scheme scientists working in NHS clinical departments of pathology, genetics, physiology and physics and engineering will be enabled to do this."

Mary Manning, Executive Director of the Academy of Medical Sciences said,

"Academic values and the spirit of enquiry should be pervasive throughout the National Health Service if UK health research is to thrive. Schemes such as this will draw the clinical service and research communities further together and contribute to the goals of the Next Stage Review."

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