Apply to the programme

Applications for cohort 8 of the CEP are open from the 2nd to the 29th October 2023. Follow the link below to apply.

Guidance for your application

For those who have a great idea, but would like more information we have a FAQ section below, or register for our ‘CEP Prep’ events throughout the year.

Applications for cohort eight – 2024

We are pleased to announce the application dates for cohort 8 of the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme which will commence in March 2024.

  • Applications open:  2nd October 2023
  • Applications close: 29th October 2023
  • Review and assessment phase: November – December 2023
  • Outcome notification: January 2024
  • Programme starts: Late February /early March 2024

Guidance and FAQ

To support your application to the programme we will be providing a range of guidance documents and FAQ’s . Please chick on the links below to access the templates and guidance.

Still unsure about an aspect of the application? Have other questions? Contact the programme team to discuss

Key aspects of the application:

  • 1 minute video pitch – you will be asked to provide a 1 minute video pitch on your innovation or idea.
  • Your research – have you really researched the problem? Have you done some market research? what else is already out there?
  • Why you want to join the programme – we want to know your motivations and ambitions for joining us!
  • Two letters of support from professional contacts – the application requires 2 letters of support – these need to be loaded on the portal when you apply

Why not catch up with our CEP prep sessions?


Am I eligible to apply? 

You need to be 18 or over and be part of the NHS workforce.

All NHS workforce staff (including NHS Scotland, NHS Wales and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland) and those providing NHS Services such as: GP’s, dentists, pharmacists, physios, are welcome to apply, including those in both clinical (including clinician academics who work in research/university) and non-clinical roles. If you are working as a locum, or in a hospice you can also apply. 

Examples of those who are welcome to apply include:  

  • Doctors 
  • GP’s
  • Medical, nursing, midwifery and paramedic students 
  • Dentists and Dental Hygienists,  
  • Nurses 
  • Midwives 
  • Pharmacists (including Community Pharmacists),  
  • Psychologists 
  • Allied Health Professionals (such as Physiotherapists, Paramedics, Radiographers, Occupational Therapists, SLTs, Dieticians etc),  
  • Ambulance staff 
  • Healthcare Scientists 
  • Medical Associate Professions (including Physicians Associates etc),  
  • Clinical Support Staff (such as phlebotomists, healthcare assistants/ carers, porters) 
  • Healthcare managers (such as operational managers, project managers, general managers etc) 
  • Administrative and Clerical Staff.
  • Optometrists 
I’m from Northern Ireland, can I apply to this year’s programme?

Yes, we are thrilled to once again be working with HIRANI and Invest Northern Ireland and welcome applications from healthcare innovators in Northern Ireland.

For those applying from Northern Ireland please ensure that you read the following: The NHS Clinical Entrepreneurship Programme (CEP) provides limited financial assistance in support of your business idea.  As such it is classified as Minimal Financial Assistance under the UK’s Subsidy Control Act 2002 which limits such support to £315,000 in the current financial year and previous two.  Should Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to the UK EU Withdrawal Agreement apply, the financial assistance will treated as de minimis aid under Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 which limits such support to €200,000 in the current and previous two financial years.

You are therefore required to supply details of any Minimal Financial Assistance or de minimis aid that you have received in the current and previous two financial years. 

Please note that if your application is successful, you receive a place on the programme you data will be additional shared with Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.

Our partnership with Invest NI allows us to share information on your participation and mentor matches with Invest NI, HIRANI and HSC. Invest NI will also process your personal data under their own Privacy Policy.

I’m from Scotland, can I apply to this year’s programme?

Funding for Scottish applicants to join the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme has been agreed so we welcome Scottish healthcare workers to apply.

Please note that if you apply from Scotland you data will be shared with programme partners in Scotland which consist of : Digital Health Innovation Centre part of the University of Strathclyde Scottish Enterprise, NHS Education Scotland, Scottish Health and Industry Partnership Group (SHIP), InnoScot Health and Scottish Government.


I’m from Wales can I apply?

Yes, we welcome applications from Wales.

Can I apply with an innovation/idea/concept in a very early stage of development?

Yes, we welcome applications from those with an innovative idea, provided this has been given careful consideration.

How do I apply?  

You can find a link to the application portal on our website when it is open.  You need register with the portal with a name and email address. Once logged into your account, you can then begin your application from the portal home page. Please only submit your application via the portal. Applications submitted by post, email, or any other method will not be accepted. 

What do I need for the application?

The application is a series of questions about you, and your potential innovation or idea. You can find a template of the application form on our website (  You will need to prepare:

  1. A 1-minute pitch on your idea or innovation – this can be recorded on the platform or uploaded.
  2. Two professional letters of support. A maximum length of 1-page each. These need to be in letter format to briefly outline who they are and stating that they are happy to support your application. These can be uploaded to the application portal.

All questions need to be complete you must have supplied both a pitch and letters of support or your application will NOT be considered

What is the time commitment, if successful?  

The programme is designed to allow you to engage in full time work/training at the same time as participating in the programme. The time commitment varies and the more engaged you are with the programme, the greater the benefit. The minimum commitment is attendance at half of the scheduled group educational events (there are usually eight per year) four interactions with your assigned mentor; the completion of learning documents such as an action plan, personal development plan and lean canvas; and the provision of periodic progress updates.  

Does it cost anything to join the programme? 

There are no costs associated with joining and accessing the programme. When we return to in-person events, you will be responsible for funding your own travel and accommodation. 

Will I receive funding, if successful? 

This is not a paid fellowship, and the programme does not offer any funding or grants. 

 Can I apply with a co- founder?  

We cannot accept joint applications but can accept applications from co-founders and teams working on the same innovation (as long as they meet the initial criteria of working for or alongside the NHS).

Each application is based on the individual and not on the innovation. 

Can I apply as an ‘Intrapreneur’?  

The programme aims to support all NHS staff and healthcare professionals to develop their ideas for patient benefit. It isn’t only for those who are planning on starting their own business or make a financial return, it’s primarily for those who want to make a difference in the NHS. On this basis, we welcome applications from ‘Intrapreneurs’. Intrapreneurship is the act of behaving like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization, such as the NHS. 

What kind of ideas/innovations do people on the programme develop?  

Primarily, the innovation must aim to benefit the NHS, and this could be directly or indirectly. The idea can be clinical or non-clinical, for example, it may be a device, app, service improvement idea, workforce development idea, or anything else. Some of the ideas currently supported on the programme include: Health and fitness programmes, Charities and social enterprises, Training and education programmes, E-rosters, consent platforms & e-prescribing platforms, AI and deep learning algorithms, Substance abuse interventions, Autonomous drone delivery services, Radiation exposure monitors, Robotic surgery innovations, Remote eye, ear, and blood testing, Prescription label translators, Secure communications platforms, Mental health interventions, Nutrition guidance and plans, digital/ estates/ maintenance/ issue reporting, Smart inventory managing tools, Medicines adherence tools, Chatbots and many more… 

 What is the required format for my letters of support?  

We ask for 2 professional letters of support with a maximum length of 1-page each. Most referees use a letter format to briefly outline who they are and stating that they are happy to support your application.

Your application will not be considered if you do not include your letters of support. 

Will I be able to keep my intellectual property?  

Currently, this programme does not seek to claim any intellectual property. 

How will applications be selected?  

Applications are assessed by two reviewers who assess your application independently. These applications are then reviewed by the CEP team. Applications that meet a certain threshold will get accepted onto the programme. If any details need clarifying, we may choose to arrange a brief video call with you. All unsuccessful applications will be reviewed by a validation committee to ensure that decisions to not offer a place onto the programme this year are fair and justified. 

Who will assess my application? 

There are a pool of assessors that assist with programme applications. These include Clinical Entrepreneurs and alumni, programme mentors, and other programme stakeholders and supporters. All assessors and validators will be asked to declare any known conflicts of interest to the CEP programme team and all assessors sign a non-disclosure agreement. 

Will the content of my application remain confidential?

All information disclosed via the application process will be kept strictly confidential. Assessors, moderators and validators will not share any of the information they are privy to through the application process and will keep all information safe and secure. However, you are still advised to not disclose any information that is potentially patentable. Rather, we recommend you only provide the more general information about your idea/innovation.

 What happens if I do not complete my application?  

Please ensure you complete all sections of the application fully. Incomplete applications will not be assessed. 

It is your responsibility to complete the form in full and submit it to the programme by the closing date.

Only applications made on the application portal will be accepted.

Can I save my application and come back to it later?  

Yes, save your progress using the ‘Save and Close’ button and complete/amend your application at a later date (before the submission deadline). We recommend that you save your work regularly to minimise the risk of losing work due to any local computer or internet problems. 

Can I submit more than one application?

No, please only submit one application and ensure all information provided is complete and accurate. 

What happens if my application is successful?  

If your application is successful, you will be notified and sent an NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Agreement which must be signed and returned in order to accept your place onto the programme. This document will set out the terms of your place on the programme. 

When will I find out if my application is successful? 

We aim to notify all candidates about the outcome of their application by December 2022.

If I am unsuccessful, will I receive feedback?  

Due to the number of applications, we received, we will be unable to provide detailed feedback on individual applications but will endeavour to provide as much information as possible on request. 

What if my innovation or start-up fails when I’m on the programme? Will I be removed from the programme? 

The programme is for the individual, so don’t worry you will still have a spot on the programme. Failure and challenges are part of the innovation journey! 

Can I have some more information on the programme?  

Please see the Programme page or if you have more questions Contact us

Contact Information

Anglia Ruskin University
Bishop Hall Lane
Essex, CM1 1SQ

Follow us

Receive latest news straight to your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list.