The purpose of the programme is to develop innovation skills in Healthcare Scientists. The intention is to maximise and apply their scientific background in preparation for new roles and more flexible ways of working.
Training and project experience in the process of innovating and evaluating new healthcare technologies. The focus will be on delivering benefits through the use of digital technologies for diagnosis or monitoring, helping people to live their lives well, for longer.
A commitment to support the Fellow’s application by providing 1 day per week of protected study/project time. This will include undertaking an innovation project within the Trust. The agreement of the Fellow’s employer will be a requirement of the application.
The NIHR Devices for Dignity and MedTech Co-operative will deliver the taught content and will provide mentoring support during projects.
Using a blended approach of online coursework broken into modules and hosted on a bespoke platform and through a mentored project undertaken in the Host Trust.
Fellows and their departments are expected to commit on average 1 day per week for the programme over 12 months. It is envisaged that there will be some need to travel over the 12 months to meet in person with the mentors, other Fellows and the Devices for Dignity team. This will be kept under review according to COVID-19 restrictions.
The expectation is that Fellows will complete all the elements of the online ‘introduction to innovation’ learning resource designed as an integrated innovation course. We recommend that Fellows complete the first four learning elements in the first 2 months of the Programme as a foundation for their project development.
No, but Fellows will be encouraged to look at projects seeing the patient as a partner and understanding their journey.
The mentors will be matched to the Fellows based on areas of expertise appropriate to the project and their role is to provide expert guidance on the project; make connections where appropriate and act as a critical friend.
As part of each Fellows project, there is a requirement to consider plans for its adoption into the wider NHS system.
We are happy to have involvement and support of an ICS.
This programme is a collaboration between National School for Healthcare Scientists, the Office of the Chief Scientific Officer and NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech & In vitro Diagnostic Cooperative, (NIHR Devices for Dignity MIC), hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The modules are not a standalone offering.
Who can apply
Yes. Applicants will need to demonstrate an aptitude for innovation. Part of the selection process will include submitting a project proposal that will form part of the Fellow’s programme. The fit and ambition of the project form part of the selection.
Not explicitly. To benefit from the programme, it is a requirement that any applicant is in an established NHS post, has completed training appropriate to their discipline/specialism and has a minimum of 1 year’s post-training experience. The scheme is open to those in England and Wales. The funding requires the NHS post to be based in England/Wales.
We envisage this for an individual for 1 bursary however this could still be supported by a team.
No. The programme is for Healthcare Scientists, 1-year post qualification and working in the NHS, who are interested in the end to end pathway of medical technology development, with some relevant background.
Yes. Those involved in adopting new technologies, redesigning services to accommodate implementation of technologies or repurposing existing technology into new disciplines would be most welcome to apply.
Benefits to fellows
Yes. The course content will be accredited by the CPD Accreditation Service and Fellows will receive certificates for completion of the online learning.
- a £15K training bursary (held by the Host Trust) to support costs of the innovation fellowship
- opportunity to present your project and experience at prestigious CSO Conference
- raising your profile within your own Trust
- mentoring from NIHR and NHS experts in healthcare technology innovation
- networking with other innovators
- engagement with the wider innovation landscape
Benefits to the system
Covid-19 has demonstrated that HCS are a valuable and often untapped workforce for initiating and delivering healthcare innovation. This programme will demonstrate that with the right support and opportunity, HCS can contribute more to solving unmet innovation needs in Trusts and across other healthcare settings.
We expect that this programme will provide a valuable opportunity to extend the scope of the HCS workforce, offering those with the right motivation and inclination for innovation with the tools to develop their skills.
How to apply
They will first need to discuss the opportunity with their Host department to agree a potential innovation project.
They will then complete and submit an application form, outlining the following:
- Why they are interested in the programme
- How they believe it will help them develop as a Healthcare Scientist
- How the programme will help their department specifically
- Provide an overview of the potential technology innovation project, indicating its relevance to the programme focus delivering benefits through the use of digital technologies for diagnosis or monitoring; helping people to live their lives well, for longer and any synergies with the work of the Devices for Dignity MIC.
- Indicate how they would progress the project after completing the Fellowship.
Yes, as detailed under the application process section.
Selection criteria will include:
- commitment to innovation, evidenced by the skillset/ attitude/experience of the applicant
- ambition of the proposed innovation project and its relevance to NHS priorities
- support from host centre: e.g. providing opportunities post Fellowship to exploit the knowledge and skills developed
All applicants should have an innovation project proposed as part of the application process. However, if the applicant is successfully selected as a Fellow, they may be allocated a project brief by the Devices for Dignity team should the project proposed not be feasible within the timescales. The final project allocation will be in negotiation with the Fellow, their host Trust and specialists proposing the project.
The timescale is available in the programme information section.