Sam Finnikin describes his experience of being a NICE Scholar
NICE Scholarships are one-year opportunities to find out about the inner workings of NICE. You'd undertake a supported improvement project, related to our guidance, within a local organisation, national charity or voluntary sector organisation.
View examples of potential projects (PDF) that might be suitable activities for scholars.
Scholars recruitment is now closed.
We aim to award 10 scholarships each year to:
- act as our ambassadors for 1 year
- undertake a supported improvement project within a local organisation
- support and maintain the connection between NICE and health and social care experts
- engage with senior staff at NICE and in the health and social care sector
- help us improve and promote the quality of health and social care
- develop new ways of working in health and social care.
How does it work?
You'll be supported in your role through a series of workshops and access to an adviser. The scholarship also provides access to the expertise of our staff.
You'll be expected to spend around 7.5 hours per week on your project. Scholarships are unpaid and you must agree your application with your employer. We will, however, meet all reasonable expenses (such as travel or accommodation) incurred in the course of carrying out scholarship activities.
Would I be suitable?
Scholarships are suited to role such as:
- specialist registrars
- senior nurses
- pharmacists and allied health professionals
- healthcare scientists
- service improvement leads
- public health and social care specialists
- psychological professionals
- lay members from our committees
- those working in the charitable and voluntary sector.
Support from senior advisers
We've appointed 2 senior advisers to oversee the programme.
They've a wealth of experience in health and social care and in working with NICE. The senior advisers provide expert support to our scholars and act as a key link person between them and NICE.
MA MB PhD MRCPsych FFPH PGCertMedEd
John is a public health physician who works part time for NICE (as a consultant clinical adviser) and part-time at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford (as associate professor). He is also a visiting professor at Kings College London, and an honorary professor at the University of Manchester.
John is an editor of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment series and joint editor-in-chief of the SAGE journal Digital Health. His main interest is in digital health; he also has interests in evidence-based practice, knowledge management and systems improvement in the NHS.
RN, MSc (Nursing)
Previously Associate Director of Education and Implementation Support at NICE, Elaine’s previous roles include researcher at the NHS Modernisation Agency and Associate Director at the Association of Greater Manchester PCTs, where she worked across 10 PCTs and 9 trusts on collaborative programmes to design and implement new developments incorporating NICE and National Screening Committee guidance.
Elaine now works for the RCN where she is Clinical Service Accreditation Lead and supports professional learning and development in the North West.
Her main interest is spread and implementation of innovation; supporting individuals or teams to develop evidence-informed practice and approaches to improvement in the real world of day-to-day practice. Associated areas of interest are quality improvement and clinical leadership.
Our current scholars
Senior Community Dentist
Andrew qualified in 1984 and holds
After leaving the Army he was Area Dental Advisor (Scotland) for a leading corporate body and co-authored their UK Clinical Protocols. As an army
As a NICE scholar, Andrew will examine whether current guidelines are crowding
Safe & Effective Care Administration Manager
Karen graduated from Queens University Belfast in 2005 and has completed a number of additional courses including The Open University K101 Introduction to Health and Social Care and ILM Level 3 Leadership and Management. She joined the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) in 2011 and is currently the Safe and Effective Care Administration Manager. As part of this
As a NICE
It is hoped that her project will benefit the wider Health and Social Care sector through shared learning, implementing best practice and identifying common barriers. This would lead to the creation of improvement models suitable for the region.
Public Health Principal
Katie graduated with a psychology degree and began a career in the voluntary sector with organisations working to combat social disadvantage. She then moved into local government and NHS roles including adult social care, children’s services with the majority of that time in public health. Katie has completed several post-graduate courses and achieved an MSc Public Health (Distinction). She was included on the UWE Dean’s list for academic excellence.
Katie works for Bristol City Council Public Health Team in the Strategic Programme for Adults and Older People with a focus on cancer prevention and older people. She has a particular interest in working across the local health and social care system to deliver improvements in public health.
As a NICE Scholar, Katie will look at how voluntary and community sector organisations (VCSO) use our guidance when providing interventions that promote the independence and mental wellbeing of older people in Bristol. This work will also identify the role of public health teams in supporting VCSO to deliver public health interventions at a time when local government will be delivering less and enabling more.
Research Fellow in Health Economics and Consultant in Immunology
Lavanya is currently pursuing a Wellcome Trust funded PhD in Health economics at the University of Birmingham. Her PhD research is focussed on evaluating paediatric allergy pathways in the West Midlands.
As a NICE Scholar, she will be working with her mentors to develop a decision analytical model looking at possible pathways for delivery of paediatric allergy services in the region. She aims to incorporate current evidence regarding allergy service delivery pathways alongside data from her research, including epidemiological data and survey data regarding parent preferences for local services into the model. This approach could help us understand the most efficient and cost-effective ways of delivering these services in the region.
Min Ven Teo
Primary care pharmacist
Min graduated from the Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University and spent his early career in community pharmacy. At the same time, he pursued a
As a primary care pharmacist, Min's main role involves working in a multidisciplinary team to optimise medications and manage patients with chronic health conditions, including the elderly living in care homes. His other administrative roles involve keeping the practice up to date on NICE guidelines, MHRA updates, QOF targets and supporting in clinical audits.
As a NICE scholar, Min aims to use NICE guidelines to enhance the practice antibiotic prescribing via telephone triage system. Demonstrating the contribution a GP based primary care pharmacist can have on the wider healthcare ecosystem.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology registrar
Nicola is currently out of programme completing a PhD at King's College London. As part of
As a NICE Scholar, Nicola will evaluate the implementation in South London of our quality standard on hypertension in pregnancy and identify potential barriers that contribute to variation in practice.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cancer Epidemiology
Rebecca has a PhD in Cancer Epidemiology, focussing on
As a NICE Scholar, Rebecca will use national,
Rebecca is a qualified GP based in London and divides her time been clinical work as a GP at Mawbey Group Practice and working for North West London CCGs on health wellbeing and prevention. She has previously undertaken a Darzi Fellowship and also worked in a rural hospital in South Africa.
As a GP, Rebecca is passionate about improving HIV sexual and reproductive health in primary care and is a Clinical Fellow
As a NICE Scholar, Rebecca will be working in collaboration with RCGP, Public Health England (PHE), Terence Higgins Trust (THT) and Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health to improve and normalise HIV testing in
Rebecca hopes that this holistic and innovative approach will not only help address undiagnosed HIV but a range of other conditions.
Richard is a GP in London and an honorary clinical research fellow at Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London. His main research interest is in sexual and reproductive health. He recently completed an NIHR In-Practice Fellowship to examine contraception and abortions data using electronic health records from general practices (Clinical Practice Research Datalink – CPRD).
As a NICE Scholar, he will explore the barriers and facilitators to
Patient Safety & Quality Manager
Caroline Beattie graduated as a physiotherapist from the University of Ulster (Jordanstown) in 1996. She has completed a number of
As a NICE
Medical oncology specialist registrar
Caroline Forde is a medical oncology specialist registrar and first year Cancer Research
She is passionate about improving the quality, safety and consistency of neutropenic sepsis management as it remains a common and potentially life-threatening complication of systemic anti-cancer treatment. Over the last four
Caroline’s research currently centres on optimising
Her project with NICE will work to address some of the evidence gaps identified by the NICE neutropenic sepsis guideline development group. She aims to provide an updated understanding of current UK neutropenic sepsis incidence, management and outcomes. She will also assess the impact of NICE guidance on treatment approaches and explore current clinician attitudes to risk stratification and management.
Specialist Registrar in Infectious Disease and Medical Microbiology
Jasmin will use the NICE Scholarship to develop and pilot an evidence-based clinical decision tool to promote the safe reduction of unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in acute respiratory infection, which remains the commonest indication for antibiotics in
To facilitate this, a working group of clinicians, pharmacists and patients will explore novel ideas around improving education within the Trust that includes the use of antibiotic prescribing champions. The final part of the scholarship will evaluate the contribution of procalcitonin to
Consultant spine surgeon
Mathew Sewell is a consultant spine surgeon
Mathew has over 70 published papers, is
As a NICE scholar, Mathew will analyse
Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University
Matthew is a Senior Lecturer in Animal Behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University. He has Parkinson’s and is currently a lay member on the Parkinson’s GDG. After his diagnosis, Matthew began to design and deliver outreach activities which aimed to improve scientific literacy in the Parkinson’s population. That experience then led him to
As a NICE Scholar, Matthew will continue this theme by involving current lay members of GDGs in the production of training materials for new lay GDG members.
Specialty Registrar in Anaesthesia
Pooja graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2009 and has since gathered a broad experience of clinical medicine across specialist and general medicine firms as a junior doctor. She is interested in quality improvement and has completed the Darzi fellowship in Leadership and Clinical Medicine during which she was involved in understanding and improving pan-London relationships in liaison psychiatry so as to improve the quality of care delivered to patients.
Pooja currently works as a
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Dr Richard Whitehouse is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who completed his clinical training at The Universities of Coventry and Warwick, graduating in 2004.
After initially working in LD Forensic Services in England, he moved to Northern Ireland in 2006 to work for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust. Richard has a specific interest in working with people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour and leads the Northern Trust’s ‘Positive Behaviour Support Service’. This is a multi-disciplinary service aimed at reducing levels of challenging behaviour by using Positive Behaviour Support strategies. The philosophy of the service is to use the least restrictive approaches, promote quality of life for service users and to maintain and improve local community placements.
Richard is also an Honorary Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast and contributes to the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology’s learning disability teaching as well as offering placements to Trainee Clinical Psychologists. Richard is also Senior Professional Lead for the RESPECT Training Programme (organised though
As a NICE Scholar, Richard will be undertaking an implementation project to ensure that NICE Guidelines (NG11) ‘Challenging behaviour and learning disabilities: prevention and interventions for people with learning disabilities’ are being implemented within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust’s Learning Disability Service.
Academic Clinical Fellow
Rory is an academic clinical fellow and higher trainee in psychiatry of intellectual disability at University College London. His research interests are psychotropic medication prescribing and improving evidence-based care for people with intellectual disability and co-morbid health conditions, including investigating how health services can be best delivered to achieve optimal outcomes in this group.
Clinical Research Fellow and Specialty Registrar in Vascular Surgery
Sarah is a vascular surgical registrar, currently in an out of programme placement to complete a PhD
As a NICE Scholar, Sarah will assess referral and treatment patterns for patients with varicose veins in England by interrogating primary and secondary care databases. This will provide an assessment of the impact of NICE guideline implementation, regional compliance with guidance, cost analysis, regional differences in referral and procedure patterns and factors associated with this.
Varicose veins are extremely common and have an important, negative impact on quality of life. The aim of this project is to assess guideline implementation, identify factors associated with regional variation in
Lead Behavioural Practitioner, Consensus Group
Simon Jones is Consensus Group’s Lead Behavioural Practitioner . He is a qualified Applied Behavioural Analysist and a Consultant Learning Disability Nurse. He is also BILD PBS consultant, an Expert Witness, a PHSO Consultant and a Tizard Associate.
Before working for Consensus, Simon worked for Care UK and Lifeways Group. He has also worked for and managed NHS community learning disability teams, NHS outreach teams, LD Residential Homes and LD Supported Living schemes, specialising in providing support to people whose behaviours inhibit their quality of life.
Simon has a master’s degree from the Tizard Centre at the University of Kent in LD and Autism and two first class degrees in Applied Behavioural Analysis and Community Nursing as well as being a learning disability nurse. In 2008 he was appointed a Queens Nurse and is published author in his field of expertise.
Paediatric Surgery Registrar, Nottingham Children's Hospital
Professional Adviser, Physiotherapist, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
Carley works as a Professional Adviser at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the professional, educational and trade union body for physiotherapists across the UK. Her current UK wide role as a professional adviser entails supporting physiotherapists to implement research into practice, alongside promoting the role of physiotherapy in public health.
As a NICE Scholar, Carley aims to complete a project collating all NICE accredited respiratory physiotherapy recommendations into one document, with an accompanying step by step audit tool. She will also conduct a survey to assess how useful these documents are in helping physiotherapists implement
Specialist registrar in respiratory medicine, Thames Valley Deanery
He will use his scholarship to improve services for those with severe asthma in the Thames Valley region. Five
Working with all members of the multi-disciplinary team to set up a severe asthma service it should be possible to substantially improve the care of this group of patients, preventing emergency admissions and reducing healthcare associated costs. NICE has provided guidelines on such a service, but there is no evidence on how successfully these guidelines are being implemented. He will assess uptake and institute a quality improvement programme in the Thames Valley Deanery aimed at improving care for this vulnerable cohort of patients.
Senior Registrar in Neurosurgery, North Western Deanery
As a NICE Scholar, Nick will work with the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cancer Network on metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC). Specifically, he hopes to examine barriers to recognition of the condition by patient and clinicians alike, and in turn provide an intervention to improve access to the MSCC pathway.
Nicola’s project with NICE aims to improve the uptake of Hepatitis B screening and vaccination in people attending the sexual health clinics who are at increased risk of Hepatitis B acquisition. She has set up the UHB NHS Foundation Trust Sexual Health Key performance Indicators for Hepatitis B screening and vaccination and will be using a real-time clinically-led benchmarking system to continuously monitor performance and drive the service improvement process. This project is framed within NICE public health guidance.
Clinical Research Fellow, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals
Nikoletta will spend her time as a NICE Scholar focusing on fertility support offered to children, teenagers and young adults with cancer at the Great North Children’s Hospital, which is one of the largest children’s medical centres in the UK with a strong commitment to
Specialist Registrar, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Southmead Hospital
Rachel will use her time as a NICE Scholar to assess the national implementation of NICE guidance on the management of ‘Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage’ and to identify potential barriers to implementation. She aims to improve patient experience by ensuring standardisation of care received by patients experiencing pregnancy loss.
Otolaryngology NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow, Ear Institute University College London
As a NICE
Academic GP Registrar & Academic Clinical Fellow in General Practice
Handsworth Wood Medical Centre and University of Birmingham
Sam is currently undertaking a master’s degree in clinical primary and community care. Sam is interested how research outcomes are translated into clinical practice and how clinical guidelines influence clinician’s behaviours. As a NICE scholar, Sam is looking to utilise ‘big data’ to examine how NICE guidelines are applied in primary care with a specific emphasis on lipid lowering guidance and cardiovascular risk scoring.
Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Severn Deanery & North Bristol NHS Trust
Stephen will spend his time as a NICE Scholar looking at how services are delivered to women with severe fear of childbirth. He will seek to understand how pregnant women perceive childbirth as a traumatic experience and how this affects their uptake of services. The project will be the first to study the delivery of NICE recommendations on