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Developing research capacity

We are constantly striving to realise the full potential of our researchers. This focus is pivotal to delivering world-class experimental medicine both now and long into our future.

Our Capacity and Capability strategy aims to attract, retain and develop people along the career pathway, from pre-doctoral scholar to senior research leader. We support equity of opportunity to achieving a diverse workforce and develop talented staff from all relevant professional backgrounds.

We achieve this through strategic investment in talented people, open transparent competitive processes, mentoring programmes, leadership development programmes, and focussed learning based on learning needs analysis.

Our aims over the next five years are to:​

  • Develop BRC capacity and capability by attracting over 40 PhD Students and world-class senior external academics

  • Provide dozens of opportunities for post-doctoral bridging funding

  • Support independent researchers to apply for senior awards

  • Work collaboratively through co-funding of capacity and capability building between themes and with external partners

  • Grow an equitable and nurturing research culture that is open, collaborative and supports co-creation with internal and external groups

  • Exploit local, regional and national development opportunities to enhance experimental medicine research in Southampton and Wessex

  • Maximise use of NIHR Academy resources via personal awards and training to develop a vibrant community of Academy members and Associate members.


The Southampton Academy of Research (SoAR) coordinates career development for all healthcare researchers across our university-hospital partnership. It works with local, regional and national providers and is supported by nine NIHR Senior Investigators, two NIHR Research Professors, and an NIHR/CAPHR AHP Research Champion. Find out more

Support for early-career research

Our BRC has supported 44 award holders since 2017. Eight BRC awardees successfully applied for awards from BBSRC, Academy of Medical Sciences, NIHR and Wellcome generating £1.5 million in research income. Our awardees published 177 peer-reviewed publications.

Four research Champions provide peer support for academic writing, qualitative analysis workshops and virtual coffee mornings. We awarded more than £27,000 in 54 learning grants, and provided 346 training places in partnership with SoAR, ARC Wessex, UoS, Wessex Public Involvement Network and RDS South Central. We supported two staff to take up SPARC awards, and two more joined NIHR Emerging Research Leader programmes.

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