Building Research Capacity

A key priority for the School is to contribute to the development of greater capacity, in terms of both the generation of research and its utilisation by decision-makers throughout the statutory, third and private sectors.

We are building on our previous achievements (such as our methods review series, building capacity awards and support to early career researchers) and exploring other avenues for investing in greater capacity development in care research.

Along with funding for a third phase of the School, the NIHR has provided £3 million investment for training researchers. We are working in collaboration with the NIHR Academy to offer doctoral studentships, career development fellowships and internships. We are organising a number of training events.

Our capacity-building initiatives offer opportunities across a range of experience levels, and are further developing our community of social care researchers.

Individual career development awards recognise the complexity and variety of current pathways for a research career in adult social care. These awards may build an individual’s range of skills (methodological leadership), support achieving a next step while they continue to contribute to the research effort (e.g. part time PhDs attached to current work) or move to positions to help strengthen future applications for senior awards. The aim of these awards will be to support individuals to achieve their desired goals through training and other tailored activities.

In 2019 we introduced our first four cohorts of career development awards, with further calls expected in annually. Our last call closed in early 2023.

Full-time studentships are linked to each NIHR SSCR Core Member university. Our studentships aim to attract a range of individuals interested in research relevant to adult social care in England as part of their research career development.

We particularly encourage methodologists (e.g. health and care economists, statisticians) and those working in practice to apply. Students receive an annual stipend, fees and research expenses.

In 2019 we introduced our first cohort of PhD studentships. Our second cohort was recruited to start in October 2020.

Our current call for PhD studentships is recruiting now. View details

Developing research leaders awards will be targeted at exceptional individuals working to develop adult social care research and capacity by leading significant research projects or programmes and managing other researchers. These awards will be to support those who are well-positioned for future applications for Professorships or Chairs. The aim of these awards will be to support individuals to become the next leaders for adult social care research.

Our last call for developing research leaders awards closed (Stage 1) on 5 July 2022. View details

View details of our award holders

Practice-based research leaders awards aim to support senior colleagues in social care practice to develop research skills to allow them to become research leaders in their organisations, and by doing so become research champions within the adult social care sector.

Details for this award scheme are being finalised and will be available in summer 2022 following discussion with key sector organisations.

Our last call for practice-based research leaders awards closed on 3 October 2022. View details

Internships will be available from Spring each year to support junior individuals embarking on an adult social care research career. Individuals will need to be able to set out plans for how they expect to reach their proposed next destination such as the preparation for a Masters or PhD-level national fellowship award.

Funding is available for awards of up to £5,000 per applicant.

Our series of training workshops and events cover methodological topics and research skills development.

View workshops


Our capacity-building activities support the NIHR Social Care Incubator which aims to encourage early career interest in adult social care, attract early career investigators and to support and provide further career development opportunities.

View details

The Capacity-Building Management Team oversees the School’s capacity-building activities:

Professor Catherine Robinson
NIHR SSCR Training Lead and Deputy Director

Professor Martin Knapp
NIHR SSCR Director

Dr Mary Baginsky
NIHR SSCR Senior Fellow

Dr Paul Clarkson
NIHR SSCR Senior Fellow

Dr Juliette Malley
NIHR SSCR Senior Fellow

Professor Robin Miller
NIHR SSCR Senior Fellow

Dr Kritika Samsi
NIHR SSCR Senior Fellow

Dr Michael Clark
NIHR SSCR Research Programme Manager

Ms Anji Mehta
NIHR SSCR Finance and Impact Manager

Mr Daniel Gulliford
NIHR SSCR Capacity-Building Officer

For queries relating to our capacity-building programme please contact:

Daniel Gulliford
NIHR SSCR Capacity-Building Officer (part-time)
London School of Economics and Political Science