NIHR Population Health Career Scientist Award (PHCSA)

Closing Date: 13/01/2022

Scheme to support UK senior researchers to make the next step in their career by working on a population level research project in conjunction with a local government host institution.

Established in 2006 and primarily funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds health and care research in the UK.

NIHR’s Population Health Career Scientist Award (PHCSA) seeks to develop and enhance research expertise in the most important areas affecting population health by supporting the next generation of independent public health research leaders. The award is funded through the NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) programme and is being delivered jointly by the NIHR PHR programme and the NIHR Academy. It aligns with other relevant NIHR initiatives and is part of the wider programme of NIHR fellowships that includes the NIHR Advanced Fellowships.

PHCSA is a UK-wide initiative to enable senior researchers to make the next step to Reader/Professor level in a local government host institution. In recognition of the challenges faced by local authorities, NIHR has started to widen its initiatives aimed at strengthening the research culture within local government, aiming to build and develop capacity and capability within councils and academic institutions.

There is a desire to attract applicants representing a wide range of disciplines in areas that impact the determinants of health (eg environmental science, mathematics, architecture, engineering, geography, education, social sciences, social policy, arts). This additional investment is aimed at building capacity in areas relevant to population health and the needs of local government. It will support local government decision-making by focusing on research programmes directly relevant to and co-produced with local government colleagues.

NIHR is keen to receive innovative and ambitious applications (eg those that make the best use of data linkage and modelling techniques or arts approaches to engage communities in co-production) across a broad range of areas of population health. All research proposals must be within the remit of the NIHR PHR programme, although a broad view of this will be taken.

The central feature of successful applications will lie in a combination of the following:

  • Quality of the candidate and their potential as a future leader in population health research.
  • Importance and likely impact of the research being proposed.
  • Contribution that the discipline can make to improving population health and reducing health inequalities/tackling wider disadvantage.

Areas of particular interest that would be considered in scope include, but are not limited to, programmes of population level research that:

  • Address the major determinants of poor health and health inequalities in the UK, which could include (but are not limited to):
    • Enhancing understanding of how the built environment can help to improve air quality and/or mitigate the impact of climate change.
    • Demonstrating the value of investing in early years interventions for future health and wellbeing.
  • Develop understanding of the most important policies and interventions to implement to tackle disadvantage and reduce health inequalities.
  • Develop and use innovative methodologies to answer the most pressing population health research questions, including dynamic modelling, linkage of routinely collected data and making optimum use of digital technologies.

Applicants must demonstrate that they have mechanisms in place to ensure: the research they are proposing addresses an evidence gap and is needed by, and can be used by, local health and social care systems; and effective dissemination and shared learning across local government and the wider health system.

Funding body National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
Maximum value Discretionary
Reference ID S22793
Category Medical Research

Fund or call Fund