ARC Research and Implementation Fellowships

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 over 100 fellowships have been awarded. All of our fellows have come from a wide range of clinical and non-clinical backgrounds — Consultant Psychiatrists, NHS managers, Clinical Psychologists, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologists, General Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Dieticians and Pharmacists, and they hail from all across the East of England.

Our ARC Fellowship 2022 cohort will begin their fellowship on 1 April 2022 for one year until the end of March 2023. Applications will open on 18 October 2021 with a closing date of 30 November 2021.   Applicants will be able to apply for either the research fellowship or the implementation fellowship. 

The 2022 ARC Fellowship will deviate from its previous format 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 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 arrangement. 

Applicants can apply for either the ARC Research Fellowship or the Implementation Fellowship.

1. ARC Research Fellowship

The research fellowship is 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 and half-day action learning sets. The time for research, teaching and ALS sessions 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 for advice. 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 East of England has a comprehensive implementation strategy that is based on a relational model. This emphasises the importance of relationships between people, teams and organisations when trying to implement research.  A central part of the strategy is the ARC Implementation Fellowship, which is a tailored programme for health and social care staff interested in implementation. It is designed to develop a cadre of people with the knowledge and skills to be effective in implementing evidence-based improvements to health and social care. The topics selected for implementation projects must be underpinned by rigorous, relevant evidence. The project will entail the adaptation of such evidence to fit context(s) requiring change and the involvement of motivated people to move change forward and evaluate success.

As with the research fellowship, the implementation fellowship will be funded by the ARC for the equivalent of one day a week for one year (to a maximum of £12,500) and comprises of: attendance at an implementation education block in May 2022 (see below), attendance at an action learning set once a month, and conducting an implementation project (normally in the fellow’s workplace). A key aim of the implementation fellowship is to make it valuable to the employing organisation as well as the individual fellow. Therefore the fellowship time must be agreed in advance with the employer as protected time for the fellow for their fellowship activities.  

Implementation Fellowship applicants will be asked to confirm that they would be able to attend a five day face-to-face education block in May 2022 that will take place in Cambridge. The block starts on Thursday 5th May and ends on Wednesday 11th May 2022 (excluding the weekend). This intensive teaching block replaces the monthly Thursday afternoon workshops that previous Implementation Fellows attended.  In addition, Implementation Fellows must attend the induction day on 7th April. 

Any fellows 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 as they will be asked to confirm that they would be able to attend should they be offered an Implementation Fellowship.

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 linked to the ARC East of England’s research themes. We also particularly encourage applications from previous ARC/CLAHRC Fellows who have done a piece of evidence-based research that they would like to implement into practice.

3. Action learning sets

Research and implementation fellows join together to attend an Action Learning Set (ALS). The set meets for a 3 hour session every alternate month. The sessions are led by Professor Mike Cook. The aims of the ALS are:

  • Learning from experience and sharing that experience with others
  • Being open to the challenge of colleagues and listening to alternative suggestions
  • Having time where you are listened to in a non-judgemental atmosphere
  • Generating more choices about the way forward
  • Reviewing the outcome of actions with the support of fellow set members and sharing the lessons learned


Guidance on how to apply for the 2022 ARC Fellowship Application and relevant documents can be found here