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Mental Health Internship Awards

The NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARC) Wessex is pleased to be offering six internships specific to mental health research.  These unique opportunities are open to anyone working in or with mental health or social care services across the Wessex region, including staff from NHS Trusts, universities, local government, health, social care or community care organisations, charities and the voluntary sector. 


If you are interested in applying for one of these unique opportunities, read on...


What does the award involve?

Our internship programme offers an introduction to clinical research through gaining research experience by observing/visiting/working in a research environment tailored to your learning needs. For example, for those who are early-stage researchers looking to pursue a research career, the awards may be designed to provide support to apply for a Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic and Practitioner Fellowship (PCAF), Pre-Doctoral Local Authority Fellowship (PLAF) Scheme or Doctoral Clinical and Practitioner Academic fellowship (DCAF) scheme. For those new to research the awards may offer protected time to develop an understanding of research and how to embed research into everyday practice. 



This award may fund up to a maximum of £10,000 over a 6 months part-time, typically releasing time for one day per week from your usual role, to support individuals who:  

  • are looking for an opportunity to experience the research process within an established team of leading health and care researchers,

  • are able to demonstrate understanding that research can improve practice,

  • wish to gain experience through doing a small self-contained project/literature review/ analysis etc. that contributes to one (or more) of four research themes: Ageing & dementia, Healthy communities, Long-term conditions and Workforce & health systems, 

  • have developed an appropriate training plan that matches their learning needs


People would be expected to start their Internship in or within a couple of months of September 2023.


Eligibility criteria 

To be eligible for one of these awards you will need to provide evidence that you: 

  • are a graduate (i.e., have a bachelor’s degree)

  • are from a Wessex-based health or care organisation, local authority, university, or voluntary or community sector organisation, involved in mental health or social care. 

  • hold a substantive full or part time contract with a health care / social care organisation or voluntary care sector organisation

  • have support from your line manager to undertake the internship 

  • have a keen interest in gaining research experience that is relevant to your usual role

  • have identified a named research supervisor who has agreed to support the internship


Please note: Individuals already in receipt of a substantial research grant/fellowship from elsewhere are not eligible for this award (small prior awards may be permitted).  



Key Dates

Live Q&A:  Thursday, 11 May 2023 at 16:30 - 17:30 - Join on MSteams on this link


Deadline for submission of application: 4th June 2023


Shortlisting and Panel decision meeting:  5th July 2023


Award outcome notification: week beginning 10th July 2023


Internship start date / Induction event:  25th September 2023



About NIHR ARC Wessex

The NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARC) Wessex strategy focuses on developing the research skills and talents of the ARC Wessex community and making a substantial contribution to fostering a world class research workforce in applied health and care research. Our Mental Health Initiative aims to build applied health research capability and capacity to enable research-led mental health services across the lifespan in pressing areas of mental health linked to substantial health inequalities in our region. By working with key organisations in Wessex, including healthcare, public health, local authorities, higher education institutions, charities and voluntary groups, Wessex Academic Health Science Network and relevant Wessex-based NIHR infrastructure we will address the needs and priorities of communities in areas where mental health needs are greatest.

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