“Making a Difference in 2009” was launched in January 2009 to develop research leadership, capability and clinical academic careers for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (NMAHPs). The project was designed to run alongside the national initiatives to build NMAHP research capacity following the Finch Report and NHS West Midlands programmes to develop the NHS workforce and invest in leadership.
A major focus of the project was the West Midlands NMAHP Research Training Awards. Five levels of competitive award were designed with input from an Advisory Group, specifically aimed at supporting and encouraging participation in the research fellowships available from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Awards spanned support for pre-PhD training through to post-doctoral Clinical Lectureships.
In total, 37 applications were received and assessed by an Expert Review Panel chaired by Professor John Gladman ((Professor of the Medicine of Older People & Honorary Consultant in Health Care of Older People, Queens Medical Centre Nottingham). Following assessment, 19 applicants were recommended for funding, two of whom have subsequently secured Clinical Lectureship funding from the CNO/NIHR Clinical Academic Training Scheme.
Given the interest in the Awards and the quality of applications received, a second round of WM NMAHP Research Training Awards will be launched in March 2010.