The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of heatlhcare in the UK

Improvement Science Fellowships

Illustration of two people and a globeIn brief

The Health Foundation’s Improvement Science Fellowship programme offers support for fellows to develop their potential to become leaders in the field of improvement science, building practical knowledge about what works to improve healthcare.

This senior post-doctoral Fellowship offers three years’ funding to lead original, applied research dedicated to improving healthcare in the UK, and a unique leadership development programme.

Fellows receive:

Current and previous Improvement Science Fellows have used the opportunity to develop the expertise they needed to:

  • re-position their career in improvement science
  • combine in-depth research with continuing clinical practice
  • consolidate their research interests and build capacity locally
  • make the move from local improvement to national implementation and evaluation.

Key facts

  • Up to five Fellowships were available.
  • Fellows will develop original, applied research dedicated to improving healthcare in the UK.
  • Fellows will participate in a tailored leadership development programme including action learning sets, coaching and masterclass sessions.
  • Over three years, Fellows will receive funding for full-time salary and research costs.
  • Fellows will need to demonstrate significant research or improvement in practice experience and have a PhD or MD. We particularly welcome applications from mid-career clinicians who wish to combine research into improvement with continuing clinical practice.
  • Fellows will have the opportunity to work with the Health Foundation Improvement Science Development Group, an international group of experts from disciplines within the field of improvement science.
  • Applications are now closed.
Comments
Is there any similarity or differences, between policy analysis, as in analysis for (or of), policy, and 'improvement science'. I always thought that the role of research in the policy -making process, ensured if done correctly, that improvements in delivery of outcomes defined by that policy would improve, or be re-defined. Is improvement science a 'new methodology' or is it existing techniques to policy making, that are being used in a new way or set into a new context or language.?


Improvement science is broader than policy analysis. It is research which is focused on developing and testing methodologies for improvement of the delivery of health services and then researching how best to implement these in practice to improve the safety, value and quality of care. Improvement science research may involve policy analysis, to investigate a particular approach to improve healthcare. For example researching changing policy on healthcare regulation to understand how regulation either facilitates improvement or acts as a barrier to improvement, but improvement science does not stop at the policy analysis. The next stage is to work with healthcare services to understand the methods for local improvement which best work with the regulatory framework, then disseminate these methods to enable wider implementation.
What an exciting opportunity. I found this through our intranet at KHP and is timely because I feel the need to have some practical service improvemnet experince to include QI as a part of my clinical work in future. I have experience in service improvement and have had the advantage of a previous 1 year leadership fellowship programme (darzi fellowship) and I am in my 2nd year of an executive MBA. However, I dont have a MD or PhD. Am I eligble to apply?
Hi Pratima, unfortunately you are not eligible to apply to this programme. We do require an MD or PhD / PhD equivalent qualification.
Thanks for replying. I will continue to look out for similar schemes.
Is a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology accepted as a PhD equivalent qualification?
Yes, a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology would be accepted as PhD equivalent.
What is a PhD equivalent
A PhD equivalent might be a professional doctorate rather than an academic doctorate.
Dany
Programme Officer
The Health Foundation
Can you tell me - I am a full time clinician currently undertaking a PhD one day per week and if I were to apply for an Improvement Science Fellowship at some point in the future, would this affect my NHS pension? I ask because I understood that in order to continue to meet the criteria for Registered Mental Officer status and its associated pension benefits, I would need to continue working with mental health clients. I assume a prospective full time Fellowship would prevent this?
Hi Jacqueline, the Improvement Science fellowship can be undertaken part-time as long as it's completed within three years – this would give you the possibility of continuing with your clinical work.

The Health Foundation covers the full cost of the fellow’s current salary, including oncosts.

All fellows must have already achieved their PhD / MD at the time of application.
I am a GP, mid career, who has had some exposure to clinical improvement methodology through support from Macmillan Cancer Support. Is an MD the same as MBChB please ?
Hi,

I am considering sponsors for this fellowship and I have a couple of questions: first, is it possible to have more than one sponsor? For example, one academic and one clinical? And second, what would be more relevant/helpful in terms of choosing a sponsor? The fact that they have experience in topics that are very relevant for the project, or the fat that they have a senior position in the institution. I understand that a combination of both would be ideal but if not possible?

Thank you!
Hi
Is this an one off offer or will there be another call next year (or in the future)?
I have a research idea around medicines adherence which needs further developing; 1st July deadline would be hard to meet.
Thank you.
Wasim
Hi Naj

We anticipate that you will have several mentors over the course of your fellowship, both academic and clinical, according your career and research needs. Initially, however, we are asking you to name a sponsor within your host organisation who is in a position to provide the support you need to further your research project.

The organisational sponsor should be a senior member of the department/faculty in which your research will be based and someone who will help you to navigate organisational requirements. For instance, this might include support such as, initially, ensuring that an award agreement is progressed; and advice on which influential people from the institution should be invited onto a steering group, etc.
Hello Wasim, we are currently undergoing a review of our fellowship programmes so I’m afraid I’m not sure, at this point, about the future direction of the programme.

We should have a clearer idea towards the end of 2014.
Can basic scientists with extensive research experience(PhD in Physiology) apply for these fellowships?
Thanks
Rebecca, Oxford University
I have almost completed my PhD. in Physical Organic Chemistry and is about to receive the degree within a month. My future research shall include the medical/pharmaceutical applications of some organic chemicals. Does this area apply to the fellowship program?
If yes, kindly tell me which universities are eligible for the call. Also, provide me with an idea about the research budget, i.e. how to plan it, what are the costs that need to be included and, please provide me with a template of the research budget.
And yes, I am an Iraqi citizen (54 Years old, Muslim, Married- 4 children, Diabetic), currently living in India. Would these facts affect my eligibility for the fellowship?
Hello there,
came across this fellowship programme while surfing for creer enhancing opportunities
I am a doctor with a post graduate degree in health and hospital management from a reputed university from India
though i dont have a PhD
was on a maternity sabbatical for last two years
would i be elligible for applying to the course
Is there any news on whether the fellowship will be available again next year?
Hi,
I am currently a paediatric trainee (registrar level, completed the MRCPCH exams) and am hoping to apply for paediatric endocrinology as a sub speciality in a couple of years. I am keen to do a fellowship in paediatric endocrinology in the year 2015 (prior to my application), and wondered if :
1) I would be eligible to join your scheme?
2) there are fellowships available in my field of interest?
3) my current visa status (Tier 2 dependent visa) will require me to pay international fees? If so, what would the fees be?
Thank you very much.
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