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NICE fellow and scholars programme opens for an eighth year

20 September 2016

Applications to NICE’s (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) prestigious fellows and scholars programme opened Tuesday 20 September.

Fellows and Scholars represent NICE at local and professional levels. The positions are unique opportunities to learn about and get involved in the inner workings of NICE. They offer a chance to network with like-minded advocates of evidence-based practice, and promote NICE’s guidance to peers and colleagues.

The programme seeks to represent a wide range of expertise. Previous and current cohorts include dentists, ophthalmologists, academics, general practitioners and psychiatrists. NICE welcomes applications from health and social care professionals working across the UK.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of NICE said: “Our Fellows and Scholars Programme is a great way for motivated individuals to find out more about NICE – the work we do and how we can work together to promote the very best quality of care.

“We have had some truly inspirational individuals’ progress through the programme over the past eight years. I look forward to seeing who applies this year, and who we’ll be warmly welcoming in April.”

Fellows are senior professionals such as consultants, clinical or public health directors and lecturers, who work with NICE for three years. Scholars are professionals such as registrars and managers, who work with NICE for twelve months. Both roles are unpaid and undertaken alongside existing jobs and other professional responsibilities.

More than 100 professionals (70 scholars and 40 fellows) have graduated from the programme, since it launched in 2010. Approximately 70 professionals apply every year, hoping to secure one of the 20 places (ten fellowships and ten scholarships) on offer.

Mr Alun Williams, consultant in transplant surgery and paediatric urology at Nottingham University Hospitals and NICE fellow said: “The NICE fellows’ programme gave my career a fresh new angle and helped me to think about some of the local implications of national strategy. It also opened the door to other opportunities for me to engage with what NICE does. I would strongly recommend it to my peers as a worthwhile use of their time.”

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, managing director of South West academic health science network, NICE fellow and NICE non-executive director said: “I really enjoyed my NICE fellowship. I learnt an enormous amount, which has enabled me to consider how we can move to a more evidence-based health and care system, especially at a time of significant challenges. A testament to the programme is that I have gone on to become a non-executive director at NICE, which is a role I am enjoying greatly.”

Dr Sam Finnikin, Academic GP, NIHR in practice fellow, Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham and NICE scholar said: “NICE is often criticised for producing guidance that is difficult to relate to real patients. My scholarship showed me that this is a concern shared by those in the top echelons of NICE, and that there is a genuine desire to address this. The NICE scholarship has been a hugely positive and useful experience for me. It has helped shape not only my research, but also my outlook as a clinician and an academic. I would recommend it as a truly worthwhile experience.”

Applications to the Fellows and Scholar Programme are open from 12th September until 4 November 2016. Successful applicants will formally begin their fellowships or scholarships on 1 April 2017.


For more information call the NICE press office on 0300 323 0142 or out of hours on 07500 605 228.


Notes to Editors


  1. Mid-career health and social care professionals across the UK can now apply for a twelve month Scholarships with NICE.
  2. NICE Scholars must undertake a project about the delivery of high-quality care during their tenure – for example, on the implementation of, or audit of a specific piece of NICE guidance. Projects should take approximately 7.5 hours a week over the year, and must be agreed with the individual’s supervisor, their employer and NICE in advance.
  3. NICE Scholarships enable health and social care professionals to join an established network of like-minded individuals across a range of disciplines that focuses on evidence-based practice and high-quality care.
  4. NICE Scholarships present unique learning opportunities for professionals to find out about the inner workings of NICE and how the organisation helps settings implement its guidance.
  5. All NICE Scholars will be supported by an advisor appointed by NICE. The scholars’ advisors provide expert support and act as a key link between each scholar and NICE.
  6. NICE will award up to 10 Scholarships to professionals including – but not limited to – specialist registrars, principal social workers,  senior or supervisory social work staff, managers, public health specialists and senior pharmacists, nurses and allied health professionals.
  7. NICE is particularly keen to receive applications from nurses and midwives, including matrons and specialist nurses, principal social workers and senior or supervisory social work staff. These groups play a key role in implementing NICE guidance and in providing high quality care at the frontline of the NHS.
  8. NICE Scholarships are not paid positions – however NICE will meet all reasonable expenses (e.g. travel and accommodation) incurred whilst carrying out activities.
  9. Applications must be received by Friday 4th November 2016. NICE Scholars will formally begin their activities on 1 April 2017.


  1. Senior health and social care leaders across the UK can now apply for three-year Fellowships provided by NICE and join its established network of senior decision-makers.
  2. NICE Fellows are ambassadors for the Institute at regional and national levels and among their professional groups and peers. They support NICE in the implementation of its guidance.
  3. NICE Fellows will have opportunities to work with NICE, including for example providing expert input into the development of support tools for guidance, or contributing to discussions about issues of quality and clinical leadership.
  4. They will join a network of like-minded, influential individuals from a range of disciplines and will have the chance to engage directly with nice senior staff.
  5. All NICE Fellows will have access to an advisor appointed by NICE. The fellows’ advisors provide expert support and act as a key link between each Fellow and NICE.
  6. NICE will award up to 10 Fellowships to professionals including – but not limited to – Medical and clinical Directors, Directors of Nursing, nurse consultants, Heads of Midwifery, Directors of Finance,  allied health professionals heads of services, Directors and Heads of Adults and Children’s Services, and directors of provider services in social care and influential individuals from within the voluntary and charitable sectors and associated networks.
  7. This year, NICE is particularly keen to receive applications from social care leaders, Directors and Heads of adults’ and children’s services, directors of provider services, senior academics, and other senior professionals.
  8. Applications must be received by Friday 4th November 2016. NICE Fellows will formally begin their activities on 1 April 2017.

For employing organisations:

  1. Sponsoring a NICE Fellow or Scholar is an excellent way of contributing to a staff member’s professional development. It also provides the sponsoring organisation with a better understanding of how NICE works.
  2. Organisations that sponsor a NICE Fellow or Scholar will be helping to improve the quality and cost effectiveness of their care. Many of the possible activities that NICE Fellows and Scholars might undertake are things that local health and social care organisations already should be doing, such as encouraging and supporting the uptake of NICE guidance.

NICE must receive applications by 4th November. NICE Fellows and Scholars will formally begin their activities on 1 April 2017.

About NICE

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for driving improvement and excellence in the health and social care system. We develop guidance, standards and information on high-quality health and social care. We also advise on ways to promote healthy living and prevent ill health.

Our aim is to help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, which are based on the most up-to-date evidence and provide value for money, in order to reduce inequalities and variation.

Our products and resources are produced for the NHS, local authorities, care providers, charities, and anyone who has a responsibility for commissioning or providing healthcare, public health or social care services.

To find out more about what we do, visit our website: and follow us on Twitter: @NICEComms.