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BRC Predoctoral Bridging Fellowships

The NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) has funds available to support Predoctoral Bridging Fellowships for internal candidates within the University of Southampton/University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust Partnership. 

Scheme Outline


The funds will be used to support the salary of the successful applicant for up to 9 months to enable applicants to submit for an externally funded doctoral training fellowship. The expectation is that the award would make applicants competitive for an external doctoral training fellowship application (e.g. MRC, NIHR, Wellcome Trust) relevant to their research experience, which would then support the applicant beyond the funded period.


It is expected that the bridging fellowship period will be used to generate data to support external doctoral training fellowship applications, or to support those awaiting the outcome of an external fellowship application; the emphasis may vary across Themes, so potential applicants are encouraged to discuss with Theme Leads before making an application. All successful awardees are expected to be active in making external doctoral training fellowship applications during their award. 

There is no provision for the cost of consumables or training in the predoctoral fellowship. Please provide details of how these costs will be met in the relevant section of the application form (if applicable). If the applicant has a clinical background, there is the possibility to combine this award with clinical commitments/training, but permission to be released from the appropriate UHS Clinical Division will need to have been secured and consideration given to their position beyond the end of BRC support.

In this round, the topic of the planned research application must be aligned with the following BRC Theme research priorities and accompanying SMART Objectives or planned future experimental theme work:

  • Microbiology, Immunology & Infection (MII)

Topics involving more than one theme are encouraged. The proposed doctoral training fellowships must fit within the NIHR and BRC remit, with a particular emphasis on experimental medicine which does not include any animal research. Please refer to the Theme Research Strategy and SMART objectives for more information. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Theme Leads to discuss their projects before making an application to ensure project and scheme alignment.

As these are predoctoral fellowships, applicants must not already be registered for an MD or PhD programme.  

Application Criteria

Candidates whose proposed doctoral research projects align with the scientific programmes of the BRC are eligible to apply for these bridging funds.


To apply, the Predoctoral Bridging Fellowship application form should be completed and submitted to by 1200 on 16th June 2023. Awards will be notified around the beginning of July 2023.


The application form should contain the following information:


  • A summary of the proposed research programme including: Title of the proposed research, Background, Hypothesis, Study design/Scientific methods. This should be a maximum of one side of A4, size 11 font in length including references.

  • Summary of how the Predoctoral Fellowship will be used to support applications for a doctoral training fellowship, including a timeline/GANTT chart and specific information regarding the funding organisation and call. This should be no more than 500 words. 

  • Statement of how the proposal aligns with BRC Research theme(s), priorities, SMART objectives (if appropriate) and any cross-BRC integration (500 words).

  • Outline for PPI involvement (200 words max), including future work and any activities already undertaken.

  • Details of any further funding support that is available to the applicant (e.g. for lab consumables, training).

  • A summary CV for the applicant should also be submitted. The CV should be no longer than two sides of A4, size 11 font. It should contain basic information about education, employment history and academic responsibilities including a list of the most relevant publications within the last five years.

  • A letter of support from the proposed supervisor(s) stating supervisory experience.


For further information, please contact Dr Karl Staples at

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