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NICE fellow and scholars programme opens for an eighth year

12 September 2016

Applications to NICE’s (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) prestigious fellows and scholars programme open today.

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.