Office for Students calls for ideas to support innovation in healthcare education

The Office for Students (OfS) is inviting funding bids from universities and colleges for innovative projects which will support and enhance provision in nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects.

The call offers up to £50,000 for bids which will develop new approaches to attracting students and delivering teaching through these programmes.

All universities and colleges offering higher education courses in nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects are invited to apply.

Proposals may focus on specialist disciplines such as therapeutic radiography, podiatry, orthoptics or prosthetics and orthotics, or may be wider in scope. Projects can also be interdisciplinary, for example looking at recruitment, retention or course delivery across more than one healthcare subject.

With total funding of £400,000 available, this is the second healthcare challenge fund to be launched under the OfS’s Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines (SIHED) programme.

Yvonne Hawkins, Director of Teaching Excellence and Student Experience, said:

'Our challenge fund for specialist healthcare subjects earlier this year produced some excellent proposals. With this new fund we are asking providers across a wide range of health subjects to develop new initiatives to encourage more students from diverse backgrounds to study and complete nursing, midwifery and allied courses – providing England with the next generation of vital healthcare professionals.'

See details of the call for bids 

The deadline for applications is 1200 on Thursday 25 April 2019.

For further information contact Aislinn Keogh on 0117 905 7676 or email [email protected]


  1. The OfS funds a programme of Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines (SIHED). Government reforms to the funding of nursing, midwifery and allied health courses took effect from September 2017, and the SIHED programme is part of a package of support for small, specialist health disciplines in these areas. Find more information on the SIHED programme 
  2. In 2018 a SIHED challenge fund was launched to encourage the development of new approaches to the delivery of, or recruitment to, healthcare courses. This first funding round was restricted to podiatry and therapeutic radiography, as these disciplines have been identified as vulnerable, and resulted in a range of innovative projects. View details of the funded projects 
  3. The OfS is now launching a second SIHED challenge fund. Up to £400,000 is available in 2019 to support innovative projects relating to recruitment to or delivery of healthcare courses.
  4. This call is open to all existing providers of higher education in nursing, midwifery and allied health. New providers may be considered if their projects meet the criteria.

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