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
- specialist registrars
- senior nurses
- pharmacists and allied health professionals
- healthcare scientists
- service improvement leads
- public health and social care specialists
- psychological professionals
- lay members
- those working in the charitable and voluntary sector.
Support from senior advisers
We've appointed 2 senior advisers to oversee the programme.
MA MB PhD MRCPsych FFPH PGCertMedEd
John is a public health physician who works
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
Our current scholars
Specialist registrar general paediatrics
Mark graduated from Leicester University in 2008 and completed his foundation training in North London. He undertook paediatric training in South London and has been a member of the RCPCH since 2013. He is a general paediatrician with a particular interest in ambulatory and integrated care and the use of IT and data in healthcare.
As a senior
As a NICE Scholar Mark will undertake a project to assess the implementation of our guidance on
Roz qualified as a Pharmacist in 2008 after graduating with a first class MPharm degree. She is the Director of Pharmacy for
Roz is currently the Registrar for the College of Mental Health Pharmacy and a credentialed member. She is an accredited RCGP trainer for their Drug and Alcohol Certificates and occasionally locums in community pharmacies. She is an independent non-medical prescriber specialising in substance misuse, has contributed to CPPE publications and reviewed
Roz has been a pharmacist topic expert for
Lecturer and honorary researcher
Dr Nicola Guess is a lecturer at Kings College London and an honorary researcher at Imperial College London. Her research interests are in the role of nutrition in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Specifically how the underlying pathophysiological differences may influence the effectiveness of dietary interventions to manage glycaemia. She has been the chief investigator of 4 clinical trials examining the effect of diet on glucose
Neuro navigator and highly specialist physiotherapist
Alisa is a Physiotherapist based in London and works as a Neuro Navigator for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to moving to the United
Alisa is passionate about making community services innovative, efficient and sustainable in order to enhance health and social care outcomes. She works with complex neurological patients and their families to ensure each patient is receiving the right therapy, at the right time and in the right place. Navigating patients through the pathway; from the acute hospital, to inpatient neuro-rehabilitation units, and into the community, has highlighted inequalities and variability in
As a NICE Scholar, Alisa will be reviewing community neuro-rehabilitation services across South East
Non-executive director, trustee, lay member and patient representative
David started his career as a lecturer in economics, worked next in local government and Pricewaterhouse Coopers on economic and
David chaired Bassetlaw PCT, was an independent member of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman commission and has been a patient and public representative on our diabetes prevention and management guidelines update committees.
Currently, he is a non-executive director, trustee, lay member or patient representative with two charities, two public/private partnerships, NHS England, NIHR, a local Patient Participation Group and a community group in the Wirral. The work is on children with SEND, vulnerable older people, primary care research, clinical trials and
David’s scholarship work will focus on shared decision making. He will bring a fresh perspective to the Shared Decision Making Collaborative.
Child and adolescent consultant psychiatrist
Roshelle is a child and adolescent consultant psychiatrist who divides her time clinically working in a CAMHS service in Oldham and as a training programme director in psychiatry in the
Roshelle has a special interest in neurodevelopmental disorders in children and emotional disorders in older adolescents. She has explored newer psychological approaches and innovatively led quality improvement projects to embed these approaches locally. Roshelle has initiated and led regional and national level projects such as the Autumn foundation school
As a NICE scholar, Roshelle will be undertaking an implementation project to ensure that NICE Guideline (NG87) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: diagnosis and management
Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist
Mr Sanjay Rao is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist working at the James Cook University Hospital, South Tees NHS Foundation Trust since 2010. He is an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the Newcastle University and training programme director at the Northern Deanery. He has completed a masters in clinical education from Plymouth University.
Sanjay has a lead role as speciality college tutor for postgraduate education and medical appraiser at South Tees. He is a principal investigator for multicentric research trials and actively contributes to the research portfolio in his unit.
As a NICE scholar, Sanjay will review management plans, individual preferences and factors influencing the clinical approach for symptomatic uterine fibroids. The options include medical management with ulipristal acetate, gonadotrophins, levonorgestrel intra-uterine system, embolization and surgical intervention. This project will review the level of compliance
Doctoral clinical fellow
Katie is a Medical Research Council doctoral clinical fellow. She’s currently undertaking a PhD investigating how we use palliative radiotherapy across the NHS in England and whether
As a NICE
Elaine is a thoracic-themed cardiothoracic trainee based in the Southwest deanery. She is passionate about all aspects of thoracic surgery, especially lung cancer surgery, from endoscopic, minimally invasive to maximally invasive and complex surgery. As she continues to progress she is expanding her training to focus on
As a NICE scholar, she will explore how the National Optimal Lung Cancer Pathway, especially the pathway for patients with curative intent management, can be implemented in her local multidisciplinary team (MDT). She will assess the various steps in the pathway. Subsequently, working in collaboration with physicians and local MDT co-ordinators, she’ll examine where efficiencies and improvement could be made, with the ultimate aim of a faster and more standardised approach for all lung cancer patients.
Advanced primary care pharmacist specialising in antimicrobials
Avril graduated from the Robert Gordon University in 2005 with a degree in pharmacy. She started her career in community pharmacy and worked as a pharmacy branch manager for 9 years. In 2010, she completed her
Avril currently sits on the All Wales Antimicrobial Pharmacist Group and the Welsh Antimicrobial Resistance Delivery Group. She is also a NICE committee member for the management of common infections prescribing guidance. In addition, Avril is the founding member of Supporting Wales with Antibiotics in Primary Care (SWAP), a group aiming to empower and equip primary care pharmacists to embed effective antimicrobial stewardship in every GP cluster in Wales.
As a NICE scholar, Avril is hoping to use her SWAP network to establish a national project aiming to improve patient outcomes for those with recurrent urinary tract infections. This will be done through demonstrating the role primary care pharmacists can have in implementing NICE guidance and quality standards within general practice.
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
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 masters degree in Health Technology Assessment and Management under the Ulysses Programme, a collaboration of Universitat de Barcelona, University of Toronto, Université de Montréal & Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. In 2016, he moved to work in a general practice (GP) as a primary care pharmacist and is currently training to be an independent prescriber.
As a primary care pharmacist, Min's main role involves working
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 for Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGPs) in this area. Unfortunately, undiagnosed HIV and late diagnoses
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 implement our guidance on
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
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 specializing in the management of adults and children with complex spinal conditions including those affected by deformity, neuromuscular conditions, trauma and tumours. He works at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough. Mathew graduated from Bristol University in 2004 with an MB ChB and 1st class BSc in Neuroscience. He completed orthopaedic training in London and fellowship training in Brisbane, Australia.
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
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 Specialty Registrar in Anaesthesia at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust. As a NICE Scholar, Pooja will aim to implement a pre-emptive and pro-active approach to identifying the older
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 NAViGO) within the Northern Trust and helps to deliver training to all staff working within the Trust’s Learning Disability Services.
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 on the epidemiology and mechanistic processes involved in the development of varicose veins. She is passionate about improving the care for patients with venous
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 healthcare delivery (including healthcare inequalities) and improve quality of care by supporting the implementation of
Lead Behavioural Practitioner, Consensus Group
Simon Jones is Consensus Group’s Lead Behavioural
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.