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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

AHP careers fellowship scheme

AHP Careers Fellowship

The AHP Careers Fellowship Scheme is now Closed. The closing date for applications was 12 noon, 17 October 2023.   


The AHP Careers Fellowship Scheme supports career development for the AHP workforce in the public health and social care sector in Scotland.  It does this by funding AHP staff to:

  1. participate in a learning programme delivered by NES, and
  2. lead and deliver a work-based project over 10- 12 months to improve, change or develop AHP services. This can be team, service, locality, organisation or region based. We will also consider national projects

Who can apply

The AHP Careers Fellowship Scheme will accept applications from Support Workers, Assistant Practitioners and registered staff employed in NHSScotland and Local Authorities in Scotland from the following professions:

  • Art therapists
  • Dance movement psychotherapists
  • Diagnostic radiographers
  • Dietitians
  • Drama therapists
  • Music therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Orthoptists
  • Paramedics
  • Podiatrists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Prosthetists and orthotists
  • Speech and language therapists
  • Therapeutic radiographers

We will also consider applications from the AHP workforce within the Third and Independent Sectors, further and higher education where they are submitted in partnership with health and social care AHP services and where there is anticipated benefit to people using / delivering services. 

Frequently Asked Questions and guidance

For more details about the Scheme, how it works, the review panel, timeframes and advice about completing the application form please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Guidance document below

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs [PDF]

Work-based projects

An AHP Fellowship will fund your release for up to 2.0 days per week over 10 to 12 months (or it could fund additional hours if you currently work part time). You will be part of a cohort of Fellows participating in a learning programme and leading on your own work-based project.

Your work-based project should be something that…

  • you want to do, feel enthusiastic about and can evidence needs to be done
  • you’ve already discussed with, and sought buy in from, others who will need to be involved e.g. colleagues, your team, line manager, service heads and relevant others
  • is team, service, organisation, or region wide. We’ll also consider national projects that can be achieved over 10 to 12 months
  • is innovative, is about change and development and/or building on learning, not simply a continuation or expansion of existing service delivery and
  • contributes to local or national strategies and priorities.

NB. If a project focuses on a digital solution, then please apply to the Digital Health and Care Leadership Programme (DLP) which commences in January 2024. Register interest to apply to DLP here. As DLP focuses on supporting digital projects/solutions, these types of projects will not be progressed through the AHP Career Fellowship Scheme. 

Themes for 2024-25 

Each year, the Scheme supports AHPs to contribute to the delivery of health and social care priorities and ambitions, this year we are particularly interested in projects that in some way address one of the three themes listed below: 

  1. Sustainability, which may be in the context of improving efficiencies in service provision; optimising the contribution of roles or optimal deployment of skills within teams to address workforce challenges; or addressing the climate emergency. 
  2. Mental Health and wellbeing, which may enable services to be able to support the mental health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland and our health and social care workforce.   
  3. Public health and Inequalities, which may support one of the Public Health Priorities for Scotland or address other local priorities. 

More information about these themes is available in the FAQs & Guidance document. 

We also remain open to applications about other strategies and priorities as usual. 


It’s never too early to start discussing your work-based project ideas with your colleagues, team leader and, of course, with us. We recommend that you email to set up a time for an informal chat.


Examples of previous projects

If you are looking for inspiration here are some examples of the projects AHP Fellows have undertaken in previous years. 

Cohort 1 (commenced April 2019) [PDF]

Cohort 2 (commenced April 2020) []

Cohort 3 (commenced April 2021) []

Cohort 4 (commenced April 2022) []

Connect with current Fellows in Cohort 5 []

You can also look out for blogs from current Fellows on AHPs across health and social care. (


Cohort 2 and Cohort 3 []

Cohort 4 []


Useful information for applications

You may also wish to make reference to local policies and initiatives.


Contact us


Web Page updated 23 August 2023

Last updated: 30/07/2020

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