Environmental sustainability fellowship

The offer

This summer’s heatwaves in north America, flooding in western Europe, and devastation in many low-income countries are a sharp reminder of the urgent challenges raised by climate change. The NHS has done much to reduce its impact on the environment, but faces stretching targets to achieve net zero health services by 2045.

In the UK, the NHS is responsible for around 4% of all carbon emissions and about a fifth of public sector emissions. Over the last 30 years, emissions under NHS direct control have fallen by 62%. But more must be done. In the last year, targets have been set in all countries of the UK to achieve net zero health services by 2045 (or earlier), with ambitious strategic roadmaps and actions for local organisations.

The shift to more environmentally sustainable systems and practices will require building of a sound evidence base. THIS Institute is keen to encourage innovative research activity to advance NHS capacity to improve environmental sustainability, and is therefore seeking to award fellowships to individuals to lead studies on this theme. Proposals might, for example, focus on different areas of activity from energy use, waste disposal, procurement and supply chains, equipment and technology, care processes or building design – but all proposals relevant to improving sustainability can be considered.

Applications are invited from individuals currently in post at UK universities or other research-intensive environment (eg charity, non-profit think tank or NHS organisation). The successful applicant will remain employed by their own university or organisation, and will be part of a vibrant professional learning community supported by THIS Institute.

This fellowship should be completed in 36 months, or up to a maximum of 45 months if part-time. Projects delivering in shorter timelines also encouraged.  It is expected that the fellowship(s) will begin in early 2022.

What we offer

Each award will include salary costs (at the agreed proportion of FTE) and research expenses directly relevant to the project up to a maximum of £270K.

It is expected, at a minimum, that a university or organisation will use the funding to pay for:

  • Salary costs for the fellow including all on-costs (superannuation, NI and apprenticeship levy).
  • Research costs (e.g. items of small equipment, data access, transcription costs, meeting costs, and expenses for service-user participants).
  • Participation costs and expenses. Please consider the costs for engagement with a diverse range of participants and stakeholders. Examples might include costs for translation services, accessibility support etc.
  • Dissemination and publication costs, for example open-access publications.
  • The appointed fellow will be offered a professional development programme which will be discussed on award and customised to the specifics of the fellow’s needs, commitments, and fellowship duration. The programme may include, for example, membership of a learning set, coaching, and/or mentoring. Full engagement with the agreed programme will be expected.

Selection criteria

Who can apply?

Candidates from any UK university or research-intensive environment (eg charity, non-profit think tank or NHS organisation) may apply to the scheme. More than one application per organisation can be submitted.

Given the wide scope of research into environmentally sustainable healthcare, we are looking to support more than one fellowship, with researchers drawn from a wide range of relevant backgrounds and disciplines.

Applicants should be already in post in their employing organisation, and will remain employed by their own organisation. Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant discipline or, exceptionally, equivalent postgraduate research experience. Applicants should be in a position with significant research/academic responsibilities. If in clinical specialty training, applicants will be responsible for making their own arrangements with the relevant deanery or Local Education and Training Board, or equivalent, where appropriate.

Applicants should demonstrate a good publications record for their stage of career, including peer-reviewed outputs. Applicants should be sufficiently post-doctoral (or equivalent) to able to lead a project independently while sustaining excellent relationships with diverse stakeholders. Applications from those at senior level (e.g. associate professor/professor or equivalent) are welcomed, as the fellowship opportunity may be suitable for a sabbatical.

All applications must be submitted via our Fellowship Management System. All applications should have organisational support and be approved by a budgetary authority/finance office. For further information please refer to the guidance for applicants.

What we’re looking for

  • Experienced and skilled researchers who can lead the project independently while sustaining excellent relationships with and demonstrating support from stakeholders for particular interventions.
  • Applicants may have a wide range of relevant backgrounds and disciplines. These might include applied health research, ecology, behaviour change, systems or building design and many others. Applicants may have a clinical or non-clinical background.
  • Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant area or, exceptionally, equivalent postgraduate research experience.
  • Good publications record for stage of career, including peer-reviewed outputs.

Application stages

How to apply

All applications must be submitted via our Fellowship Management System. All applications should have organisational support and be approved by a budgetary authority/finance office. For further information please refer to the guidance for applicants.

Application stages

1. Before you apply

We encourage you to check that your application is eligible and competitive by reading the guidance for applicants. Applicants will be required to agree to THIS Institute’s standard Themed Fellowships Award Conditions at the time of application. If you have questions about the fellowship, please contact fellowships@thisinstitute.cam.ac.uk

2. Submit your application

All applications must be submitted online through the Fellowship Management System by 12 noon on 15 December 2021. Late submissions will not be accepted.

3. Review and shortlisting

Applications will be checked initially for eligibility and completeness, and assessed by an expert panel against the selection criteria included in the guidance for applicants. Short-listed applications will be sent for external peer-review.

4. Interview

Short-listed applicants may optionally be invited for interview at the discretion of the panel.

5. Final decision

All applicants will be notified of the funding decision.

Apply for this fellowship

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