Master’s Internship Awards in Adult Social Care Research


  • The NIHR School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR) invites applications for student internships to support individuals undertaking a Master’s degree to develop their career in adult social care (ASC) research in England. Awards will be made to support individuals to undertake their dissertation at an NIHR SSCR Core Member university.

    This is part of NIHR SSCR’s ongoing commitment to build research capacity in adult social care.

    The School will consider awards commencing in March 2022 with a clear end point within 18 months of commencement.

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

    Applications received by 12.00 on Tuesday 1 February 2022 will be considered by NIHR SSCR.


Launched in May 2009, NIHR SSCR is funded by the National Institute for Health Research until April 2024. NIHR SSCR works to develop the evidence base for adult social care practice in England by commissioning and conducting high-quality research. We are also building research capacity in adult social care in England through a programme of activities supported by the Department of Health and Social Care and NIHR Academy. Further information is available on our website.

Further information

For queries about these awards please email


We are seeking applications from talented individuals committed to developing a research career in adult social care practice in England by undertaking their Master’s dissertation supported by national experts in social care. 

Applicants will need to be hosted by a Core Member university within NIHR SSCR for their internship and discuss their application with the relevant Core Member lead in advance of submission, as well as their relevant Master’s programme supervisor (which could be at another non-NIHR SSCR university). Applicants can email for guidance on the most appropriate NIHR SSCR Core Member to approach if required.

Requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must be in the process of undertaking a Masters’ degree which requires the submission of a dissertation, which will be the focus of the internship, and must provide a clear development plan for the period of the internship
  • In addition to submission of their dissertation – which should be made available to NIHR SSCR once it has been examined – applicants are required to produce an output for publication for NIHR SSCR; journal papers are encouraged. Applicants can set out their planned output as part of their application
  • Applicants must have the right skills, experience and motivation to carry out their proposed internship, and intend to continue with a career in ASC research beyond the award
  • Research topics should fit with NIHR SSCR’s remit and priorities. Elements of comparative work with other UK countries may be considered, but the focus of the research capacity development is on England
  • Dissertation supervisors must be suitably experienced to support the applicant and demonstrably committed to providing guidance to support them to develop their career beyond the internship
  • NIHR SSCR Core Member leads must provide high-quality institutional support for the completion of the internship and guidance to support further career development
  • The duration of the award is flexible to accommodate the timelines of individual applicants but should commence from late-March 2021 with a clear end point within 18 months of commencement.

Successful applicants are welcome to participate in the life of NIHR SSCR, including attending our annual conference.


Selection criteria

Applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Strong individual applicant (in terms of education, skills and/or experience)
  • Clear alignment of the proposed research topic with the remit of NIHR SSCR
  • Clear development plan for the internship
  • Clear end-point and objectives for the internship award
  • A commitment to a research career in adult social care beyond the internship
  • Demonstrable commitment to on-going support from the practice and academic institutions affiliated to the applicant including the NIHR SSCR core member organisation
  • Value for money.

Funding available

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

Applicants are required to set out how this funding will be used, which can include a stipend and research costs. If the funding will be used to provide a form of salary for the applicant, the host university and applicant will need to ensure this is allowable by the university at which they are registered for their Master’s degree, and that relevant Right to Work checks are in place in advance of the internship.

The funding can be used to provide a stipend to the applicant.

NIHR SSCR does not fund supervision costs.

Funding will be routed through the host institution for the internship.


Application process

The deadline for full applications is 12.00pm on Tuesday 1 February 2022.

Completed applications should be uploaded and submitted using the submission page.

NIHR SSCR Core Member universities can support more than one applicant, but applicants may only submit one application.

Declarations on the application form need to be signed by (a) applicant, (b) their supervisor, and (c) the NIHR SSCR Core Member lead. Electronic signatures are preferred; where the declarations are signed in hard copy, a scanned version of this page should be submitted alongside a PDF of the final application (scanned versions of the full PDF should not be submitted as they are not easily readable).

Commissioning process

All applications will be initially assessed to ensure that they are within the remit of this call, meet required criteria and that the form has been fully completed. All applications successfully passing this triage will be reviewed by the NIHR SSCR Executive Group and assessed by the Capacity-Building Management Team.

Applicants will be informed of the School’s decision approximately a week after the deadline.

A contract for successful awards will be issued by LSE to the host NIHR SSCR institution on standard NIHR SSCR terms.