Nurses and other clinicians are being encouraged to apply for fellowships and scholarships provided by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
The positions are described as “unique opportunities” to learn about and get involved in “the inner workings of NICE, network with likeminded advocates of evidence-based practice, and promote NICE’s guidance and other products to peers and colleagues”.
As well as helping NICE shape its guidance, being appointed a fellow or scholar can support career development, the institute notes.
NICE awards its three-year fellowships to senior decision-makers, including directors of nursing and nurse consultants, across the NHS and social care.
Scholarships are more project-based and run for 12 months – qualified health or social care professional can apply for them.
Jenny Gordon, NICE fellow and programme manager for evidence into practice at the Royal College of Nursing, called on nurses to apply to both fellowships and scholarships.
She said: “Unfortunately, one the of the concerns that can deter nurses and other health workers from applying for development opportunities such as NICE’s fellowships and scholarships surround the potential time commitment [on average one day a month for fellows and one day a week for Scholars] but I have found that my activities have supported my ‘day job’, not hindered it.
“In my application, I outlined areas of work that were aligned with my ‘day job’ so that I could make the most of the time I had.”
She added: “The fellowship presents unique ways to have access to parts of NICE that others would not normally; such as, board meetings, guideline development group meetings, methodology meetings, and subject specialists like health economists and statisticians.
“I have learned so much, not simply about NICE as an organisation but about myself. I have met so many talented individuals and teams who have been very generous with their time and knowledge; it is definitely an experience I would recommend to others.”
NICE will award 10 fellowships and 10 scholarships on 1 April 2013. It is the fourth year it has run the programme.
The positions are not paid, but NICE will cover all travel and accommodation expenses while undertaking activities.
Completed applications must be submitted to NICE by 5pm on 9 November 2012.