About the CLAHRC Fellowships

The CLAHRC Fellowship is aimed at clinicians, health and social care practitioners, and managers, 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 and change management. The focus within the Fellowship programme is on local applied research and evaluation projects, building local capacity for evidence-informed practice, and facilitating networking across health and social care.

Thirteen fellowships were awarded for 2011, twelve for 2011/12, and seven for 2012/13. All of our fellows have come from a wide range of backgrounds — Consultant Psychiatrists, NHS managers, Clinical Psychologists, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologists, General Practitioners, Registered Nurses, and from across the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Great Yarmouth).

The fellows are funded by the CLAHRC for one day a week for a year, to carry out a project during their fellowship year under the supervision of one of Cambridge University’s senior researchers. This can be a specific project chosen by the fellow or they can contribute to a project within one of our CLAHRC themes. Examples of CLAHRC Fellows’s projects can be found here.

In addition to the research project, we hold a programme of monthly half day teaching workshops and half day action learning sets (ALS). The research time, workshop and ALS sessions are protected time for the fellow. The key aim of the Fellowship is to make the programme valuable to the individual fellow and their employing organisation.

CLAHRC Fellowship programme taught component

Making sense of the research world and promoting the use of research based evidence in healthcare organisations are the main aims of the fellows programme. With this in mind, the educational component of the fellows programme aims to develop an understanding of research and evidence, research methodology, theory of change management, and systems thinking. These skills can be applied in the workplace to effect real change that ultimately brings about improvements in service delivery.

Key themes of the workshops are research based evidence, research methodology, change management and systems theory applied to healthcare.

Due to the restricted time available, fellows are given reading as preparation for the workshop, and a recommended reading list. Teachers are drawn from the CLAHRC themes – Public Health theme, Adult theme, the Engineering Design Centre, the Judge Business School; ERPHO and NHS Cambridgeshire.

Action Learning Sets

The fellows are allocated to 1 of 2 Action Learning Sets which meet for a 3 hour session every alternate month. The sessions are led by Professor Mike Cook (previously Education, Research and Development lead at the East of England SHA, and now at the University of Bedford).

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
Each fellow is expected to
  • Choose a problem that is intellectually stretching and contains some element of risk
  • Research, diagnose and offer a solution to their own problem
  • Implement at least some of the solution
  • Use the group’s help in identifying, defining and analysing the problem. They can also assist with identifying where interest, energy and commitment lie, where power lies, where blockages are to be found.