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MRC Skills Development Fellowships

Skills Development Fellowships (SDF) are three-year training fellowships that support early to mid-career researchers to explore, consolidate and further develop their skills in an MRC priority area in which they are already active or in which they are seeking training. It also aims to support researchers at all career stages who wish to transform their career by developing new skills in a priority area.

From 2017, the MRC has changed the way in which candidates apply for an SDF position.  The University of Manchester is now, in partnership with the MRC, advertising a call for applications for two early career Skills Development Fellowships . For this specific call, one of these awards will be made in Health Economics.  For the other award, we welcome applications from all MRC Priority Skills  areas within the quantitative skills theme:

  • Mathematics,
  • Statistics,
  • Computation,
  • Informatics,
  • Health economics,
  • Mixed methods research applicable to any biomedical or health related data sources, from molecular to population level. 

In keeping with the MRC’s priorities for this scheme, The University of Manchester is seeking to attract, identify and recruit high-quality early career fellows with either quantitative or biological science backgrounds, both from within and beyond the host institution. In particular, we are seeking to attract candidates from non-biomedical subjects (such as mathematics, computer science or economics).

The scheme is described in more detail here:

The call for these fellowships is now open, with successful fellows taking up post between September 2018 – Match 2019.  

Why Manchester?

The newly formed Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health brings together researchers working on the continuum from basic biology to biomedical, clinical and health sciences; a truly translational environment. Combining strong links with two other Faculties  (Arts and Humanities; Science and Engineering), we offer fellows a unique and supportive interdisciplinary research environment.

Health Economics

The University of Manchester has an excellent record of supporting Health Economists from an early stage in their career.  Recent post-doctoral fellowship holders have transited from other areas of economics and have focused on applying advanced econometric methods to health and health care:


Dr William Whittaker

Awarded a MRC/ESRC/NIHR Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Economics in 2010. William’s fellowship focused on health workforce planning, work incapacity and health, and migration and health. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Health Economics at Manchester.

Dr Eleonora Fichera

Awarded a MRC Skills Development Fellowship in the  Economics of Health in 2013. Eleonora’s fellowship title was The Effect of Interventions on Individual Health: Application of Methods to Analyse Heterogeneity of Treatment and Heterogeneity of Treated. She is now a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Bath .

Dr Søren Rud Kristensen

Awarded a Postdoctoral Grant from The Danish Council for Independent Research in Social Sciences in 2012.  Søren’s fellowship title was Efficient Provision of Organizational Incentives in Public Procurement and Regulation. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Health Economics at Imperial College London, and recipient of a MRC New Investigator Award.  

Dr Luke Munford

Awarded a MRC Skills Development Fellowship in the Economics of Health in 2016 (current fellow):  Luke’s fellowship title is:  Health and Wellbeing in Later Life: Measurement, Predictions and Interventions.


Broader MRC Skills Development Areas

The University of Manchester provides a dynamic structure that enables an efficient pipeline for the translation of discovery biology advances through preclinical research to clinical and commercial application. With NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) status, CRUK major cancer centre status (one of two in the UK) and major investment from the MRC in stratified and precision medicine infrastructure and programmes, Manchester can offer outstanding infrastructure and exciting opportunities for successful Skills Development Fellows.  


Application Process

Applications for Stage 1 is now closed.

This call has a two-stage application process:

Stage 1:  Submit a full CV and stage 1 application form to

  • Health Economics Stage 1 Application form (DOCX, 203kb)
  • General Stage 1 Application Form  (DOCX, 203kb) (Please complete this form if your application is not in the Health Economics remit)

Deadline:  26th March 2018 (9AM)

Stage 2:  For those shortlisted from stage 1 to stage 2, applicants will be asked to work with their identified sponsors / supervisors to put together a full application. 

  • Health Economics Stage 2 Application form (DOCX, 80kb)
  • General Stage 2 Application Form (DOCX, 80kb) (Please complete this form if your application is not in the Health Economics remit)

Deadline:  28th May 2018 (9AM)


Interviews will take place in mid June 2018.


For full eligibility criteria and further information, please see the Guidance Document (PDF, 109kb.)


Informal enquiries should be directed to Katy Boyle (Faculty Fellowship Academy Manager, and Matt Sutton (Professor of Health Economics,