RCPCH and Newlife Clinical Research Fellowship Award

The RCPCH and Newlife - The Charity for Disabled Children are excited to announce our first joint clinical research fellowship award in childhood disability. Applications are now open, and you can find our forms and full guidance below.

The Award

The fellowship aims to enable the identification and nurturing of a new generation of child health researchers at a senior level and create opportunities to strengthen the scientific evidence base that will lead to improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and management of child health.

The award is open to any post-doctoral researcher (PhD or equivalent) who is a registered paediatrician to carry out childhood disabilities research in the UK. The award will be administered by the RCPCH.

The award will be available to research which is:

  • focused on translational or applied research in childhood disabilities
  • based in, and of benefit to, the UK
  • from a post-doctoral researcher who is registered as a paediatrician, who can complete the research in the UK to principally benefit citizens in the UK but also globally.


The fellowship is a personal award offering up to £263,000 over a three-year period for a talented post-doctoral researcher to undertake a piece of research in the field of childhood disabilities.

This can be in any area of translational or applied research such as clinical studies, epidemiology or health services delivery, affecting disabled children.

The award will support the researcher in their skills and career development as they develop independence.

Joint funding

This fellowship award is jointly funded by Newlife, who are contributing 50% of the funds for this fellowship award, with the RCPCH providing match funding from the Child Health Research Fellowship Fund. 

Newlife is the UK’s largest charity providing essential equipment to disabled and terminally ill children and have been investing in medical research for more than 10 years. The charity’s investment to date on research has concentrated on birth defects, funding over 300 projects to the value of £16 million. The new research partnership between Newlife and the RCPCH will focus on providing much-needed insight into the secondary conditions children endure as a result of the physical impacts of disability. 

The RCPCH is committed to building a research skilled workforce, and skilled child health research leaders, to drive forward research and improve patient outcomes. The Child Health Research Fellowship Fund was set up to support growth in this area and secure a new generation of child health research leaders in the UK and abroad, as well as strengthen excellence in child health research. 

Deadlines and submission details

Applications are open until 09:00 on Monday 4 November 2019. 

Applications close 4 November 2019
Shortlisting date  January 2020
Interviews February 2020
Outcome March 2020
Expected commencement of award June 2020

For any questions or further information please contact the RCPCH Research team at research@rcpch.ac.uk.

Before you apply

We have provided full guidance on how to prepare your application, including the job description and the terms and conditions.

Go to Downloads: Fellowship Award Job Description; Guidance for Fellowship Applications; Preparing a Fellowship Application; Standard Terms and Conditions

How to apply - application forms

You will need to complete and return the following to research@rcpch.ac.uk:

  • completed and signed applicant application form
  • completed and signed supervisor application form (to be completed by the supporting supervisor)
  • short video summarising your research - see below

Go to Downloads for applications forms

How to apply - video

As part of your application you are asked to submit a one-minute long video explaining your research work to be reviewed by the children and young people panel. This video can be carried out using your camera phone or any other preferred medium. We just ask that you keep the video to a maximum of one minute and the file size is not more than 35mb.

Please send the video in a separate email to your written application, and ensure you include your name and project title so we are able to match the video to your written application. All video submissions can be sent to resarch@rcpch.ac.uk. Failure to submit a video will result in your application being rejected. 

You can find out more information on the video submission in our “Guidelines for Fellowship Applications” document. If you have any questions or difficulties with submission, please do contact us at research@rcpch.ac.uk

Go to Downloads: Guidance for Fellowship Applications 

Research privacy notice

As part of your application, we ask you to provide us with personal details about yourself, other people applying for the grant and your collaborators. Please read our research privacy notice carefully before submitting your application to the RCPCH. If you have any questions about the notice, please contact us at research@rcpch.ac.uk.

Go to Downloads: RCPCH Research Privacy Notice

Assessment process

The following outlines the review process and assessment criteria for fellowship applications.

Review process

Applications are assessed in a four-stage process:

  • External peer review
  • Children and young people review
  • Shortlisting
  • Panel interview

All fellowship applications are subject to an early suitability assessment, ahead of external peer review. Applications outside the remit of the scheme will be rejected.

Go to Downloads: Guidance for Fellowship Applications (includes information about the review process), Fellowship Process Flowchart

External peer review

All applications are assessed by independent scientific experts in the relevant fields. A minimum of two reviews from independent experts are sought for each application, though more may be obtained depending on the scheme and the response rate of the reviewers contacted.

Go to Downloads: Scoring Criteria - External Peer Review

Children and young people review

All applicants are asked to submit a written lay summary of their research, along with a short one-minute video outlining the potential impact of their research. Both of which will be reviewed by a panel of children and young people.  

Go to Downloads: Scoring Criteria - Children and Young People Review


Shortlisting is conducted by the Scientific Advisory Group. Informed by the external peer reviewer's and children and young people’s comments, the Scientific Advisory Group will decide which applicants are shortlisted and invited to interview.

Go to Downloads: Scientific Advisory Group Terms of Reference, Scoring Criteria - Scientific Advisory Group Review

Panel interview

Interviews are conducted by members of the Scientific Advisory Group. Interviews usually last approximately one hour and are normally at the RCPCH’s head office London.

Applicants are informed as soon as possible once a final decision has been made and are usually informed of the outcome within five working days of the interview.


All applicants receive copies of the external reviewer's comments after the shortlisting stage. Candidates who are interviewed will receive further feedback from the Scientific Advisory Group after the interview summarising the reasons for the Scientific Advisory Group’s decision.

The RCPCH’s shortlisting and interview decisions are final and not open to appeal.

Assessment criteria

In assessing applications, external reviewers and Scientific Advisory Group members will consider not only the scientific merit of the project, but the potential of the applicant and the career development opportunities the host institution will offer.

Go to Downloads: Scoring Criteria - Eligibility Review


For more information please contact us at research@rcpch.ac.uk.