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Integrated clinical academic (ICA) programme


The ICA programme, funded by Health Education England (HEE) and run by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) provides a range of opportunities to undertake fully-funded clinical research, research training and professional development, while maintaining clinical practice and salary. The programme aims to develop the clinical academic research leaders of the future - with the potential to become independent researchers and lead their own research projects.

The video case study above features consultant midwife Yana Richens OBE talking about her research project as part of the ICA Programme. She explains the benefits of the award, both to her as an individual and for patients.

The ICA programme is formed of five elements, plus a mentorship scheme:

Click on the below links and then on the corresponding tab at the bottom of the page. 

We have launched a Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF) Scheme which will replace the Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Masters Studentship. The Fellowship will support award holders to split their time equally between clinical service and academic training over a two-year period.  During this time, Fellows will undertake clinical research training in the workplace and linked to a university, designed around their unique training needs.

Resources and case studies are available to support your decision making and conversations with your manager.


For details on the various schemes within the programme, when to apply and how an award works, please download our guide to the ICA programme. For more information on the ICA programme and how to apply visit www.nihr.ac.uk/hee-ica.

We have a revised list of eligible professions holding a Professional Doctorate. For more information on the ICA programme and how to apply visit www.nihr.ac.uk/hee-ica.

Eligibility for the Integrated Clinical Academic Programme Clinical Lecturer and Senior Clinical Lecturer awards has been extended. It will now include Professional Doctorate graduates, providing they can evidence the quality and proportionality of research education, training and experience gained within their Higher Education Institution. 

The HEE Clinical Academic Careers Stakeholder Group set up a working group to look into this issue, gather views from across the system and establish a set of criteria which holders of Professional Doctorates must show that they meet before being considered.

Applicants will need to gain support from their academic institution to confirm that they meet these criteria.  Once this has been done, applicants should contact TCCawards@nihr.ac.uk before proceeding with their application, as each case will be reviewed on an individual basis.


Cross-funder survey of enablers and barriers to progressing a research-related academic career in the non-medical health professions

It is important that people from health professions other than medicine are involved in research.

We commissioned Southampton University to run a survey to establish the reasons why people from these backgrounds go into research and why they might be put off. The findings show what steps can be taken to support people from non-medical health professions to pursue research-related academic careers.

Download the report from the bottom of this page.