Healthcare Science Fellowship programme information

Details about the criteria and content of the programme.


Programme information

The Healthcare Science Innovation Fellowships Programme is an opportunity for qualified Healthcare Scientists working within the NHS in England and Wales, with at least 1 year of post-qualification experience.

The programme will provide experience of the innovation process, focusing on delivering benefits through the development and use of innovative digital technologies for diagnosis, monitoring, or management of long term conditions. Thus equipping Fellows with the knowledge, skills and confidence for the development, evaluation and implementation of new technologies, and the ability to initiate and lead their own technology innovation projects in the future.

Host departments of Fellows will be awarded a £15K Innovation Fellows bursary to cover auditable costs associated with the Fellowship, and Fellows will have access to blended project–based and online learning and training resources and mentoring to undertake a technology innovation project relevant to their department.

Fellows will be encouraged to look at projects through the prism of the NHS Long Term Plan, seeing the patient as a partner, and understanding their journey, and considering future health technology possibilities. Device regulation and standards will be introduced as enablers to the safe and effective introduction of new and emerging technologies. Methods for identifying and managing unmet needs will be introduced as a central methodology.


Programme criteria and content

The full Programme will last up to 12 months, with the departments of Fellows committing to provide an average of 1 day per week protected time to aid study and project completion.

Online learning resources will comprise inter-related elements, introducing the knowledge and methods required to develop a technology from an initial unmet need through the path to commercialisation and wide-scale adoption into the NHS or wider health and social care system.

It is not expected that a Fellow will complete a full technology development project (from concept to commercialisation) as such projects may take many years from initiation. Fellows will experience the key components of the development pathway as an introduction to the range of skills and attributes necessary for successful evolution of an initial idea to a technology that brings patient and system benefits. Fellows will be partnered with appropriate mentors who will be experts in their fields.

Within the application form, applicants will be asked to provide a short summary of a technology innovation project that they would wish to undertake. The project focus must include an aspect that is relevant to delivering benefits through the development and use of innovative digital technologies for diagnosis, monitoring or management of long term conditions to help people to live their lives well, for longer. Ideally it should have some synergy with one of D4D’s clinical themes (Diabetes, Renal Technology and Long-Term Neurological Conditions) or cross-cutting themes (Assistive Technology & Connected Healthcare, Rehabilitation Technologies, or Human Factors). Applicants, and their departments, will be asked whether they would be open to adaptation or substitution of their submitted project in the event that it is not assessed as being suitable. Applicants are not required to have developed technologies previously, but successful applicants will be expected to have demonstrated passion and aspiration for improving healthcare technology for patient and system benefit.


Experience to be gained on the Fellowship

  • Enrichment of innovation leadership skills.
  • Appreciation of governance and risk management frameworks for medical technologies.
  • Enhancement of communication skills for respectful, inclusive, meaningful and empathetic conversations with patients.
  • Experience of redesigning/optimising a clinical pathway and ‘hands-on’ involvement in a technology development project.
  • Experience of working in multi-stakeholder teams with external partners.
  • Appreciation of commercialisation routes and challenges.
  • Awareness of tools, techniques and partnership approaches to aid technology development and adoption.
  • Increased knowledge of the medical technology innovation development pathway.
  • Springboard for participation in other programmes, e.g. Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.

Programme timeline

Recruitment to the Fellowship has closed for this year. Dates for next year’s recruitment will be posted here once available.

Last updated on 14th July 2022