NIHR launches Local Authority Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration
5 October 2021
For the first time, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is supporting individuals working in local authority settings to undertake short placements within the NIHR. They are also providing opportunities for eligible NIHR Academy Members to undertake short placements within a local authority setting.
The Local Authority Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (LA SPARC) scheme will allow individuals to develop skills and capabilities to co-create research that is meaningful and is better able to inform practice and policy. It is hoped that this will lead to enhanced partnerships and collaborations between the NIHR and local authority settings, as well as providing a useful career development opportunity for the individual to enhance their skills, knowledge and expertise.
Successful applicants will receive funding of up to £15,000 to support a bespoke placement/taster opportunity. They may be looking to enhance their career and train in a specific skill or technique, experience research from a different perspective or want to take the next step in developing a practitioner- academic career.
Professor Anne-Maree Keenan, Associate Dean of NIHR Academy, said:
“I am delighted that we are able to support individuals to move between the NIHR and local authority settings, in either direction. This is a unique career development opportunity for individuals to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise and demonstrates NIHR’s commitment to working in partnership with local authority settings to strengthen research capacity.”
Juliet Whitworth, Head of Research and Information at the Local Government Association (LGA) said:
“This placement scheme provides an excellent opportunity for those working in local authorities and supporting services to further develop their research skills and capabilities. I’m sure it will have a real and positive impact on the services provided and the communities that these bodies support.”
The scheme is open to those in a range of local authority settings, from social workers to geographers, and also Public Health Specialty Trainees. NIHR Academy Members must be based in the NIHR Infrastructure, a Health Protection Research Unit or an NIHR School.
The NIHR invests in academic career pathways for health and care researchers from all professional backgrounds. This new scheme compliments the Local Authority Academic Fellowship Programme, which is also designed to strengthen the capacity within local authorities to generate and support health and social care research.