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Future-Focused Leadership Programme - Application Guidance for Leaders


30 August 2022


1.0 - August 2022



The Future-Focused Leadership Programme is open to current leaders based within NIHR or delivering a national role for NIHR. You will be developing into or taking up leadership roles at a senior level and facing significant leadership challenges where support will be most needed and impactful.

The programme will enhance your skills in leading across organisational boundaries, leading strategy and change, and influencing others to achieve the strategic aims of NIHR.

Overview of the Application Process (including key dates)

Online application NIHR/Candidate Opens 30/08/2022 at 12pm
Closes 14/10/2022 at 1pm
Eligibility check NIHR W/C 17/10/2022
Review and selection Selection Panel Cohort 1 - November 2022
Notify candidates NIHR Cohort 1 - December 2022
Programme virtual launch Candidate/Cappfinity Cohort 1 - January 2023

Application form

The form is divided into 3 different sections asking for details on your personal information, your role and existing leadership journey.

Part 1 - Your Personal Information

  • title
  • name
  • email address
  • contact number
  • location post code
  • host organisation

Part 2 - About Your Role

  • are you a Research Professor?
  • are you a Leader based in one of the NIHR Coordinating Centres? If yes, you will be asked to indicate which centre.
  • for all other NIHR Leadership roles, please provide your role title
  • please provide the name of the Senior Leader who is sponsoring your application
  • are you currently leading at a national level for NIHR? If yes, you will be asked to provide a short summary of your leadership role, the initiatives you are leading on and how these relate to NIHR strategic aims [Max 250 words]

Part 3 - Your Leadership Journey

  • please describe how your role involves collaboration with others outside of your host organisation, including the benefits and challenges of these different stakeholder interactions [Max 250 words]
  • describe your current leadership role in your host organisation, including any experience of leading a team or supervision of other researchers [Max 250 words]
  • describe what type of leadership style you currently use. Providing real-life examples, what have been the benefits of this approach and what are the challenges [Max 250 words]
  • tell us why you believe this is the right time in your career to participate in the Future-Focused Leadership Programme and how it will benefit you [Max 250 words]
  • describe how your participation in this programme would benefit NIHR [Max 250 words]

Completing the application

All questions are mandatory and you will need to supply answers for each question before moving on to the next section. You will be instructed when to use N/A in order to move forward.

Training Leads, Proposers and Sponsors may be contacted for confirmation purposes. Please ensure you have spoken to the person, and they have agreed to undertake this role.

We recommend you consider the following within your application:

  • adhere to word count
  • be clear and succinct
  • use open and honest reflection and consider your achievements and areas which could be improved
  • include your main aspirations for your leadership role

Equal Opportunities and Diversity

NIHR and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) have a duty as a public body to promote equality of opportunity. All applicants will be contacted shortly after the closure date by NIHR Equality Monitoring. Monitoring ensures that all applications to NIHR Programmes are treated equally in terms of gender, ethnicity and/or disability.

The information you share with the monitoring system:

  • will be stored separately from your application
  • only be used for the purpose of monitoring equal opportunities
  • be kept securely and in confidence

NIHR Privacy Policy

Our purpose for collecting information is to communicate with you about your application and have the necessary information to evaluate you for a fellowship. The data we collect is in the public interest and information provided may be subject to Freedom of Information requests. 

Please read the NIHR Privacy Policy and information on the application form at the start of the process.If you require further details, you can contact the DHSC Data Protection Officer by email at:

Eligibility checking and panel assessment

  • the NIHR will complete an initial screen for eligibility
  • following this, each application will be reviewed and scored by 3 members of the selection panel which comprises of senior leaders within NIHR and partner organisations
  • all candidates will be notified of the outcome via email.

Cohort 1 Timings

  • candidates notified - December 2022
  • virtual launch webinar - January 2023

If you require any further information, please contact the programme team by email on