Funding, Post-doctoral

Development and Skills Enhancement (DSE) Award – for mid-career researchers

Development and Skills Enhancement (DSE) Award – for mid-career researchers
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The DSE award is a post-doctoral level funding opportunity from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) aimed at supporting early to mid-career researchers in gaining specific skills and experience to underpin the next phase of their research career. In a change from previous rounds, applicants are no longer required to be Academy members. 

Mid-career mental health researchers have benefitted from this scheme in the past. For examples, please check out the career case studies page and filter by the scheme name.

A DSE award provides funding for:

  • The salary of the award holder for up to 1 year
  • Training and development costs up to £5,000
  • Conference costs up to £1,000
  • Mentorship costs up to £1,000

Full Economic Costings (FEC) are not covered by this award.

The DSE can support post-doctoral researchers who want to further a career in applied health or care research. The NIHR is especially interested to hear from those working in the areas of health data science, clinical trials, entrepreneurship and working with industry and those aspiring to start an academic career or return from a career break.

All applicants must:

  • have completed any relevant pre-registration training (clinical academic applications only)
  • have a proposed host who is an HEI, NHS body, or other provider of health and/or care services
  • hold a relevant PhD or MD, or have submitted their thesis for examination at the time of application – applicants must have been awarded their PhD or MD by the time they start the award
  • have not submitted a DSE application in the previous submission window

The DSE will be open to applications all year round with 3 review periods in August, December and April. The current round closes at 1pm on 28 July for funding commencing on December 2023.

Award guidance and application form on the NIHR website:

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