NIHR Greater Manchester Research Training Network

The Research Training Network is to bring together aspiring and current NIHR award holders and those supporting them across Greater Manchester.  The aim is to promote learning opportunities, offer peer support, mentorship and facilitate collaborations.

This network will support staff and trainees in any part of the NIHR Infrastructure to build their academic research career and develop their research through for example a series of events and webinars, a peer network, mentoring and signposting.

Training highly skilled scientists and clinical researchers across all healthcare professions is essential for the discovery of new ways to advance treatments to improve people’s health.

Our BRC funding provides Greater Manchester with an exciting opportunity to develop the next generation of researchers with the knowledge and skills to undertake high quality experimental medicine and translational research.

We have brought together expertise from across our partnership to design and deliver a range of training and career development opportunities for all healthcare professionals, at all levels, through the following schemes:

  • Event and Training Programme including researchers, staff, students, public, patients and partners
  • Flexible short-term research and clinical Placements in Experimental Medicine for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals and others
  • PhDs and Clinical Fellows
  • Coaching, Mentoring and Buddy Scheme
  • Skill Share Exchange
  • Leadership Programme
  • Experimental Medicine Training Passport (bite-size flexible hybrid learning for all levels)
  • Engineers in Scrubs
  • Clinical Research Investment Scheme (CRIS) for Senior Clinicians
  • Clinical Trials (e.g., Associate PI programme)
  • Funding to support training, development and career stages
  • Linking across and sharing NIHR, University, NHS and partner education, training and funding opportunities

Prof Georgina Moulton, Academic Career Development Lead

Our Manchester CRF approach to clinical research facilities provides dedicated buildings, equipment, and laboratories for experimental research. We are successfully driving early phase research forward, making a valuable contribution to the health of our local population and beyond.

We work with patients, hospitals, universities and industry to take the best new ideas from cutting-edge science to create treatments and tests to treat illness and help people to live better lives.

We operate in six world-class facilities based at NHS teaching hospitals across Greater Manchester (GM):

Our approach consolidates assets across our CRFs, and explores novel ways to drive efficiencies and maximize the impact of our research across the city region to deliver more experimental medicine studies and increase accessibility of research for local people of all ages ethnicities and backgrounds.

We provide 24-hour, 7-day inpatient and outpatient research services, including those for children and infants, with over 50 research beds and over 20 outpatient consultation rooms across GM.

Our CRFs provide a safe environment where research interventions and treatments for conditions including cancer, rare genetic disorders and respiratory conditions, can take place right in the heart of a hospital campus. Collaboration across GM Manchester enables our researchers to easily access the specialist equipment in the dedicated space required to deliver a diverse range of clinical studies.

At the GM PSRC we strive to develop new patient safety research leaders by working with existing researchers and by encouraging others to work with us for the first time, thereby enabling an increase in the volume of high-quality patient safety research being carried out.

Our specific aims are to:

  • Support staff to work with us from health and social care partners across Greater Manchester and the East Midlands. We provide equal career development opportunities for both clinical and non-clinical staff.
  • Work across the national NIHR infrastructure, NIHR Academy and the network of PSRCs to develop the careers of researchers, offering development opportunities, where possible.
  • Work with individuals to create opportunities for career development, whatever stage they’re at. This may be at pre-doctoral (before their PhD has been completed) or post-doctoral levels (after they have graduated from their PhD) and includes advanced career development and preparation for leadership.
  • Provide support and opportunities for PhD students to continue to work as part of the GM PSRC after completing their PhD programmes.
  • In line with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, recruit and retain individuals from all walks of life, providing equal opportunities to become future patient safety research leaders.

Prof Roger Webb, Academic Career Development Lead

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration – Greater Manchester (ARC-GM) is one of 15 ARCs across England. ARC-GM supports applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems.

ARC-GM works with local partner organisations, NIHR infrastructure and other academic institutions to build capacity and capability in applied health and social care research, evaluation and implementation science across the Greater Manchester region.

Our Strategy

The overarching objective of ARC-GM’s Capacity Building Strategy is to increase GM’s capacity and capability to conduct and implement applied health and social care research through the following four strategic priorities:

  1. Scoping learning needs to provide responsive events and resources 
  2. Promoting research career opportunities and supporting the development and retention of early career researchers:
  3. a) developing, signposting and supporting pathways to research careers
  4. b) supporting post-doctoral researchers
  5. Building capacity and capability in applied health and social care research, evaluation and implementation science for staff in the health and social care system who need to use research and guide future research priorities by: 
  6. a) advancing knowledge and understanding about evaluation, research and how to support their delivery and implement findings
  7. b) increasing the uptake, application and influence of findings
  8. c) improving the quality, focus and relevance of research through co-production
  9. Promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in our capacity building activity

Our opportunities

ARC-GM offers several development opportunities on a yearly basis:

  • Internships for professionals – for those with little to no research experience who wish to explore this as a career path.
  • Pre-doctoral Fellowships – for those with research experience who wish to develop an application to a competitive PhD funding stream.

More about eligibility criteria can be found on the ARC-GM website here.

PhD studentships

We support a number of PhD students funded by ARC-GM and co-funding organisations. Whilst we have completed recruitment to our current PhD opportunities, we continue to support those interested in applying for PhD positions in various ways and further opportunities may become available in the future.

Bespoke training on Evaluation and Implementation

We offer training opportunities to staff working within the health and care system in Greater Manchester who wish to improve their skills and knowledge of evaluation and implementation in order to build capacity within their host organisation.

Additional opportunities

We also support staff from a range of professional backgrounds on an ad hoc basis (e.g. through placements) where there are mutually beneficial outcomes. Individuals are encouraged to contact us to explore potential opportunities.

For more information please contact:

Training and Capacity Building Overview

The NIHR Manchester IAT programme works in partnership with NHS England Workforce Training and Education to drive further expansion of the next generation of research leaders by developing a highly skilled and diverse clinical-academic workforce to address the key health and care priorities in our region and beyond, leading to a healthier society for all.

Our IAT programme is responsible for supporting Academic Clinical Fellows (ACFs) and Clinical Lecturers (CLs) across 26 GMC Specialties. Currently we support ~50 ACFs and 32 CLs. We aim to be an inclusive IAT programme with 26 GMC Specialties meeting our standard of research excellence underpinned by a supportive clinical academic environment.

Our specific aims are to:

  • Build research capacity by aligning ACFs and CLs with key research priority themes: Health inequalities; Cancer; Inflammation & Repair; Rare conditions; Safer health and care systems; Digital; Prevention & Public Health; Clinical Therapeutics & Pharmacology; Multiple long-term conditions; Dementia; Mental Health
  • Enable ACFs and CLs to maximise the opportunities available through the Universities basic, translational and applied research infrastructure
  • Strengthen reciprocity across research infrastructure at local, regional, national and global levels
  • Embed Equality, Diversity and Inclusion into individual ACF and CL research training and across the governance of the Manchester IAT Programme
  • Ground ACF and CL research in patient and public involvement and engagement, including linkage with community partners.

Our NIHR Manchester IAT Leadership and management team comprises:

  • Co-Leads: Jenny Myers(O&G/Experimental Medicine & Translation) and Tom Blakeman (Primary Care/Patient Safety);
  • ACF Leads: Adam Reid (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery/Advanced Materials) and Natalie Cook(Medical Oncology/Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics);
  • CL Lead: John Blaikley(Respiratory/Chronobiology);
  • Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI): Rachel Cowen (Professor of Inclusive Researcher and Academic Development);
  • Mentoring and Coaching Lead: Tracy Briggs (Genetics/Immunology)
  • Faculty Leadership Team: Ian Bruce (Director of NIHR Manchester, Vice Dean for Health and Care Partnerships)
  • Laura Skinkis (IAT Coordinator); and Anne Brandolani (IAT Administrative Assistant).

NIHR Manchester IAT Programme website: ICAT | The University of Manchester

IAT email:

The University of Manchester is a founding member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR), SPCR Phase IV (2021-2026) which is a partnership between the Universities of Manchester, Bristol, Exeter, Nottingham, Oxford, Queen May University of London, Keele, Southampton and University College London.

Through the SPCR, we work to increase the evidence base for primary care practice through high-quality research and strategic leadership; and to build capacity in primary care with a well-established training programme.

Our membership of the SPCR brings together the Centre for Primary Care and Health Services Research and Manchester Pharmacy School, reflecting the increasing need for inter-disciplinary collaboration in the delivery of primary care services.

Our primary care research is cross-disciplinary and broad in its focus, addressing the over-arching research question: ‘How can we safely manage and improve the health of an aging population in primary care?’

Capacity building is critical to our mission, and we support researchers interested in either qualitative or quantitative research methodologies. Career development opportunities can be accessed at: They include:

  • SPCR Studentships in Primary Health Care
  • Primary Care Clinicians Career Progression Fellowships
  • PhD Programme for Primary Care Clinicians
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Our SPCR leadership and management team include:

  • SPCR Board Members: Darren Ashcroft; Tom Blakeman
  • Training Lead: Ben Brown
  • Research Support Manager: Rita Chow

NIHR SPCR Website:

SPCR email:

The Clinical Research Network (CRN) focuses on the delivery aspect of health and care research and consists of a national Coordinating Centre as well as 15 regional organisations. As of October, the CRN will become the Research Delivery Network and will drop from 15 regions to 12, with the Greater Manchester and North West Coast regions combining.

From a Workforce, Learning and Development perspective, the team who support the capability building of our research delivery colleagues already support the whole of the North West.

Our aim is to provide the right people to develop the right skills, at the right time, through a proportional approach to development.

This means that we run engagement sessions with those new to, or curious about getting involved with delivery research, supporting national programmes such as Good Clinical Practice (GCP), delivering workshops around research delivery specific content and opening up longer term development programmes (such as Early Career Researchers and Research Scholars Programme) to the research leaders of the future in the North West.

The NW CRN Workforce, L&D Website contains a host of information about the support and opportunities on offer, including regular newsletters published under the Communication and Updates tab.

There is a tool called NW DOORS (Development Opportunities for Our Research Staff) which can help colleagues identify learning opportunities based on their role and/or experiences levels, which will be continually developed.

You might also want to visit NIHR Learn – our online Learning Management System to explore the different courses and resources available, both locally and at a national level.

NHS Research and Development North West (NHS R&D NW) provides strategic and practical support to health and care staff and organisations primarily across the North West of England, to develop and increase the research capability and capacity of the clinical and practitioner researcher workforce.

Its principal funder since 2013 has been Health Education England, now transferred to NHS England, following the merger between these organisations in 2023. It has a diverse portfolio of work focused upon four distinct interdependent priorities:

  • Workforce Transformation – we design and deliver several specialist programmes to support early career practitioner researchers (pre and post professional registration), including funded internships and pre- and post-doctoral ‘bridging schemes’ to help researchers to build competitive applicants for NIHR and other fellowships. Our work programme is in the process of aligning individual activities to meet the needs of the integrated care agenda ensuring that practitioners from across health and care settings can learn and develop together, thereby addressing healthcare needs across the region.
  • Organisational Development – we provide support and programmes of work to promote organisational change. For example, we have developed the Leading Cultures programme to support health and care service providers at organisational and system levels to develop research active organisations.
  • Incubator Activity – we are constantly evolving our programme of work. New, innovative programmes are developed and tested in collaboration with key stakeholders including NIHR Regional Research Delivery Networks, higher education institutions (HEIs) and 3rd sector organisations. Our latest incubator offerings include the Social Care Internship Scheme, Releasing Potential Workshop Programme and our Let’s Talk Research Regional Research Conference.
  • Facilitating partnership working and driving collaboration – we work to bring agencies and stakeholders together to help expand the opportunities for early career researchers to thrive in our region and beyond. We network with lead agencies on local, regional and national levels and use our knowledge and expertise to help ensure that researcher development resources available to individuals and organisations meet the needs of our local communities.

Further detail of the work of NHS R&D NW  including its work programme for  2024/25 is available on our new website: and its social media links . (Please note that this is a soft launch of a new site, to be completed  by March 2024).

Prof. Bill Campbell, Director of Capacity Building

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