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ARC Research and Implementation Fellowships

Applications for the 2023 ARC EoE Fellowship cohort are now closed.

The ARC Fellowship is aimed at clinicians, health & social care practitioners, voluntary sector staff and NHS managers across the East of England. It is for those who would like to work at the interface of research and practice; develop an understanding of the research environment; and develop skills in research methodology, service redesign, change management and implementing evidence-based improvements into practice.

ARC Research and Implementation Fellowships

The ARC Fellowship has been running since 2010. Since then 120 fellowships have been awarded. All of our fellows have come from a wide range of clinical and non-clinical backgrounds — Registered Nurses, Dieticians, Pharmacists, General Practitioners, Consultant Psychiatrists, NHS managers, Clinical Psychologists and Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologists, from all across the East of England.

Our ARC Fellowship 2023 cohort will begin their fellowship on 1 April 2023 for one year until the end of March 2024. Applications will open on 17th October with a closing date of 30th November 2022

Similar to last year, the 2023 ARC Fellowship will deviate from previous formats in one important way; where previously fellows were funded by the ARC for one day a week for a year according to their pay grade, from 2022 the maximum funding that the ARC can offer is £12,500 per fellow per year. Thus any applicant interested in applying for a Fellowship this year must ensure that any funding gap to backfill their one day a week research time, will be covered by their employing organisation. For this the applicant must provide a letter from their organisation confirming this agreement.

Applicants can apply for either the ARC Research Fellowship or the ARC Implementation Fellowship but not both.

1. ARC Research Fellowship

The research fellowship is a 12-month programme, aimed at people working in the voluntary sector and health and social care professionals who are keen to develop an understanding of the research environment, and to develop skills in research methodology, service redesign and change management. The focus is on local applied research and evaluation projects, building local capacity for evidence-informed practice, and facilitating networking across health and social care. The ARC Research Fellows will be funded by the ARC for one day a week for a year (to a maximum of £12,500), to carry out a project during their fellowship year under the supervision of one of the ARC’s senior researchers. In addition to the research project, the fellows attend monthly half-day teaching workshops. The time for research and teaching must be agreed with the employer to be protected fellowship time. A key aim is to make the programme valuable to the individual fellow and their employing organisation.

We encourage applicants to identify their area of interest and have a clear idea of the project that they would like to do, draft a research protocol and make contact with the relevant ARC theme lead to ensure that the project falls within one of our research themes (although under special conditions we can accommodate projects outside our themes – see below). Applicants may contact a senior researcher from one of our partner HEIs for advice on drafting their research protocol with a view to that person being a project supervisor should the applicant be successful. This is not essential though, as we can allocate a project supervisor from within the ARC providing the project falls within a theme. The proposed research project is a very important part of the application process. It is important that the project is ready to be started at the beginning of the fellowship and is able to be completed within the Fellowship year.

Making sense of the research world and promoting the implementation of research-based evidence in health and social care organisations are the main aims of the fellowship programme. The series of teaching workshops that we offer our research fellows will help to develop a tailored understanding of research and evidence, research methodology, systems theory applied to healthcare, and theory of change management. These newly acquired skills can be applied in the workplace to effect real change that ultimately brings about improvements in service delivery.

2. ARC Implementation Fellowship

The ARC Implementation Fellowship is a 12-month tailored programme for health and care staff interested in developing knowledge and skills to implement evidence-based improvements in health and care settings, for the benefit of the population. As with the research fellowship, the implementation fellowship will be funded by the ARC to backfill the one day a week fellowship time to a maximum of £12,500. Thus any applicant interested in applying for a Fellowship must ensure that any funding gap to backfill their one day a week fellowship time, will be covered by their employing organisation. The fellowship comprises of attendance at implementation education sessions, and conducting an implementation project (normally in the fellow’s workplace). The project to be implemented must be underpinned by rigorous, relevant evidence but can entail the adaptation of such evidence to fit novel context(s).  An essential requirement of the Implementation Fellowship is to make it valuable to the employing organisation as well as the individual fellow. Therefore, protected time must be agreed with the employer in advance to allow for fellowship activities.

The ARC East of England is able to draw on a wide range of implementation strategies, tools and techniques to enact change in the most impactful way, taking organisational context; the innovation; and the wider health and care landscape into account. People, teams, and relationships between organisations are critical when implementing research and leading change. The ARC East of England has a new Implementation Lead, Dr Sarah Robinson, who is Director of Delivery at Eastern AHSN (Academic Health Science Network). This partnership between the ARC and the AHSN means that Implementation Fellows are able to benefit from the breadth of implementation activities the AHSN is supporting across the region – drawing on expertise in change management and implementation science. Applicants will be asked to confirm that they are able to attend the monthly Thursday workshops. In addition, Implementation Fellows must attend the induction day on 6th April 2023. Those who do not attend these important events will unfortunately have their Fellowship award withdrawn so it is essential that any applicants are very clear on these requirements before they submit an application.

We welcome applications from anyone with an interest in implementation in the health and social care sectors. You may have your own ideas for a project, or projects may be linked to the ARC East of England’s research themes and/or current challenges that health and care systems face. We also particularly encourage applications from previous ARC/CLAHRC Fellows who have done a piece of evidence-based research that they would like to receive support to implement.

3. Guidance on how to apply for the 2023 ARC Fellowship Application and relevant documents can be found here.

The ARC fellowship programme is supported by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network and UEA Health and Social Care Partners.