GROW programme

GROW Researcher Development Programme 2023 call for applicants

GROW Researcher Development Programme 2023 call for applicants
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The NIHR Incubator for Mental Health Research is pleased to open applications to the GROW Researcher Development Programme for 2023. Applications are sought from early career researchers in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland working in a research role following a PhD or with equivalent research experience. We welcome applications from researchers in any discipline or sector who are passionate about applied mental health research and would like support to develop their careers through: 

A vibrant and supportive network of peers 

GROW participants will join a cohort of interdisciplinary mental health researchers from around the UK, working in sectors as diverse as nursing, pharmacy, economics, social work, and psychiatry. Each GROW cohort stays connected with each other throughout the programme and is supported to develop collaborative research opportunities and reflect on their learning together. 

“I have moved from feeling lost and lacking in professional confidence, to applying for an NIHR Fellowship and being successful. I would genuinely not have been motivated to apply if it hadn't been for GROW and the support from my peers to help me create a successful application.” 

– Dr Ruth Naughton-Doe, social work research associate 

Professional 1:1 coaching sessions tailored to personal career development goals 

One of the highlights of the GROW Programme is access to individual sessions with professional career coaches. Through 1:1 coaching, GROW participants work towards skills and strategies to achieve their professional goals, identify challenges, build confidence, and reflect on their experiences. Previous GROW cohorts unanimously recommend coaching to future Programme participants. 

“My coach helped me to have more of a clear focus on my future career: I was able to explore the different options and then put feasible actions plans in place to get closer towards moving my career forward.” 

– Dr Rahmanara Chowdhury, psychologist & lecturer 

Monthly cross-disciplinary skills workshops 

GROW participants attend a series of in-person and online skills workshops by expert guest speakers in current mental health research. Previous workshop topics have included securing funding for research, working across disciplines and sectors, research in policy & practice, collaboration with patients and the public in research, making an impact through social media, and looking to the future of mental health research.  

“I really enjoyed the face-to-face workshop. It was a great experience developing a seed funding application with other programme members.” 

– Dr Howard Ryland, psychiatrist & clinical researcher 


The GROW Programme is free to attend.  GROW is funded under the NIHR’s mental health research initiative via the NIHR School of Primary Care (SPCR). SPCR has received additional funding to develop and support a cohort of early career researchers, prioritising regions and professional backgrounds where there are gaps. 

Key dates

Monday 20th February: applications open

Wednesday 29th March: applications close

Early May: successful applicants notified

The Programme runs from June to December.


For further information and to apply to the 2023 GROW Programme, please visit

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