ARC-GM Research Internship Programme

Our internship programme is an introduction to research for registered health and care professionals (excluding doctors and dentists) in Greater Manchester.


Internships are for 30 days (or 225 hours), to be used flexibly over 12 months to suit the needs of the intern’s current role and work life balance. We will be recruiting for the next  internship cohort in May 2022.


The internship programme is aimed specifically at health and care professionals who have an interest in exploring the possibilities of a research career combined with their current professional role and who may benefit from undertaking postgraduate research study.



There is no backfill provided however our internships do provide:


  • The chance to enhance research knowledge and skills through first-hand, supervised experience of applied health research
  • A training budget and the option to undertake a fully funded Masters’ level research module
  • A chance to explore opportunities for postgraduate study in research.

Applicants from diverse backgrounds, social care and public health disciplines are particularly encouraged to apply.


Our NIHR ARC-GM internships are based at the University of Manchester. Internships have been designed to be as flexible and inclusive as possible and will be delivered fully online to meet stringent University accessibility requirements. The University has made significant adjustments to ensure that interns receive an excellent experience despite the pandemic restrictions. Each intern is matched to a primary academic supervisor within NIHR ARC-GM and the topic for each internship is aligned to at least one of our research themes.


If you interested in applying for our internship programme, all of the associated application information for the 2020/21 cohort can be accessed below.



Meet our 2020 - 2021 interns:



2021-2022 Internship Webinar:


Watch our recent webinar where you can find all about the recent experiences of our 2020/2021 interns (15:38 – 1:01:37), what the 2021/2022 internship programme involves (3:36 - 14:42), and how to apply (1:03:06 - 1:17:58).




More information about how and where to apply:


  • 3. How do I apply? 

    All applications need to be submitted using the online Google application form here 

    Some questions have word count limits so it may be easier to draft your answers first in a document to check your word count and copy and paste these across to the appropriate section.

    Written support letters from:

    1. your line manager, and
    2. your service/department manager must also be e-mailed to

    You can download a template for your letters of support here.

    Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed prior to receiving a decision.

  • 5. What are the research themes in ARC-GM?

    Within the application form you will be asked to give an outline of which research theme(s) you are interested in undertaking your internship in and why. You do not need to have prior research experience, but your internship topic will need to align to at least one of our research themes. 

    Have a look at the following informaiton about each of our research themes and a number of potential internship topics that align with theme’s research aims (although these lists are by no means exhaustive). 

    We are very happy to discuss internship topic ideas with anyone who is considering applying, so please get in touch using the contact e-mail provided for each theme.  

    If you are offered an internship you will be matched by our team to a primary supervisor and possibly a co-supervisor (particularly where an internship topic aligns with more than one research theme).


    Digital Health Theme

    The focus for this theme is the evaluation of digital health technologies; barriers and facilitators for implementing digital technologies and strategies for overcoming digital inequalities. 

    Digital technologies can include electronic patient reported outcome measures, the patient’s digital care record, digital communications between patient and staff, patient facing online tools and apps, home health monitoring devices, clinical decision making tools and algorithms using artificial intelligence. 

    Examples of potential internship topics:

    • Digital inequalities across different patient populations and services
    • Understanding and improving engagement of specific patient’s groups in electronic patient reported outcome measures.
    • How do changes in electronic patient records being implemented affect outcomes?


    Sabine Van Der Veer (


    Organising Care Theme 

    This theme develops evidence to inform the planning and delivery of health and care services. Answering questions such as; how are things done? Is it: Effective (does is work)? Efficient (is it worth doing)? Equitable (what impact does it have on inequalities)? 

    The theme supports the health and care system by evaluating the impact of new ways of working (particularly equity in access and delivery) and disseminating evidence to inform service planning and delivery by health economies.  

    Current focus (although not limited to these):

    • developing a programme of research in care homes
    • evaluating new initiatives aiming to reduce demand for urgent and emergency care

    Examples of potential internship topics:

    • Access to care; how do new approaches of organising health and social care impact on access to care?
    • Integrated care; who does it work for? How does it affect inequalities?
    • Health and care workforce: to what extent are there shortages in the health and care workforce? How are these distributed? What can be done to improve the situation?


    Will Whittaker  (


    Mental Health Theme 

    The current focus of projects is on children and young people, but projects will also focus on adults and people with long term conditions as the portfolio of work grows.

    Examples of potential internship topics:

    • the physical health of people with mental health problems
      • understanding unmet mental health need and barriers to service access and utilisation
      • patient and public engagement in research
    • digital mental health
    • the mental health workforce
    • health inequalities


    Alison Littlewood (


    Economic Sustainability Theme

    This theme is broader than economic evaluations.  It seeks to understand what influences the economic sustainability of health and care services.  It does this through generating research evidence to develop solutions and evaluating initiatives designed to increase economic sustainability.

    Examples of potential internship topics:

    • Integrated care and health services with a focus on older people in care homes
    • Investigating the relationship between CCG expenditure and CCG performance
    • The impact of local government proactive spending strategies on population health

    This theme could provide co-supervision if the internship topic was hosted in another theme


    Mike Spence (


    Healthy Ageing Theme 

    This theme engages in research about healthy ageing: what works in terms of achieving living longer, ageing well and living healthy and socially connected lives?

    Examples of potential internship topics:

    • Falls and frailty
    • Health of an ageing workforce (particularly health workforce)
    • Mental & physical health of older carers / caring for those for with long-term conditions, especially during covid-19 and potential deconditioning during lockdown
    • Inequalities in ageing with regards to ethnicity, digital inclusivity and effect of place / communities.
    • Digital use of technologies in ageing (e.g. apps) potential for a joint internship with the digital health theme.
    • Menopause and strength over the life course / cultural differences in the experience of menopause / impact on working life


    Dr Annemarie Money (


    Implementation Science Theme

    Evidence on adoption, diffusion and implementation of new innovations now exists but is rarely used to inform adoption (or disinvestment) decisions.  This theme has a crucial role in understanding how innovations are adopted at scale and pace and addressing the knowledge/practice gap.

    To access a seminar on this theme please see link

    Examples of potential internship topics:

    There is the opportunity to align an internship with a ground breaking study that is using implementation science to drive faster uptake and adoption of an innovation in the NHS.  This is a mixed-methods study and there are several areas on which an intern could focus:

    • The development, implementation and evaluation of innovations within primary care
    • Innovative trial design - assessing clinical effectiveness in real world settings.
    • Patient/professional experiences of receiving/providing a trial treatment
    • The wider setting, with relevance to policy and spread of innovations

    The internship would be suitable for people in a range of roles, including individuals who are interested in or have responsibility for the adoption or spread of innovation in the NHS; this includes those wanting to develop new ways to speed up adoption processes in an evidence informed way.

    Please feel free to make an informal enquiry if  you would like to know more before applying:


    Mike Spence (


    Evaluation Theme

    This theme is all about using evaluation methodology so these are very flexible internships in terms of the topic as it can be tailored to the intern’s own research interests.

    The particular focus is likely to be directed by the applicant based on their area of interest. Evaluation methodologies where the intern could develop their knowledge and skills include: scoping reviews; systematic reviews and survey design and conduct.

    There is also an opportunity for an intern to be based in one of the other research themes with some supervisory support from the evaluation theme.

    Interns within this theme are recommended to undertake a research Masters’ module such as Critical Appraisal & Evidence Synthesis and additional training in research methods is also available.

    Examples of potential internships:

    Updating a systematic review and/or developing a systematic review protocol based on your own area of practice/research interest


    Gill Norman (


    Topics relevant to multiple themes in ARC-GM:

    • Health and care inequalities
    • Evaluation of digital health technologies
    • Inclusion and diversity in research engagement