Funded Travelling Fellowships for people involved in Medical Practice and Education

Published: 6 May 2016

Funded Travelling Fellowships for people involved in Medical Practice and Education

In 2017, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust will be investing around £1.3 million in British citizens, by awarding 150 Travelling Fellowships.

This will directly support British citizens who want to travel overseas to gain knowledge, experience and best practice to benefit others in their UK professions and communities, and society as a whole.

Travelling Fellowships will be awarded in the Medical Practice and Education category, and the application process is now open.

With every £1 of public or charity money spent on medical research generating annual health benefits of 10p in perpetuity1, it’s clear that well targeted investment can create substantial improvements to public health.

Applications are welcome from doctors, administrators, medical educators and those working in health charities across these broad fields. Those involved in medical education projects that focus on developing innovative educational initiatives are encouraged to apply.

Dr Rameen Shakur was a third year medical student at Cambridge when he travelled to Switzerland and the USA in 2001 to investigate the application of molecular and genomic medicine in the prevention of heart disease. The aim of Rameen's Fellowship was to understand a range of strategies being used to combat heart disease. He visited Harvard Medical School and the Mayo clinic, which is renowned for its high research-based focus on clinical care. Whilst there, he saw first-hand how the use of genome technology and diagnosis was changing the way people diagnose and treat diseases. What he witnessed led him to publish a novel research paper on aspects of looking at new genomic methods to characterise and diagnose congenital diseases of the heart. Rameen believes that the Fellowship helped shape his career; he not only decided to become a cardiologist, but also to do basic science research to enhance current therapies. Rameen now has an academic and clinical position at the University of Cambridge, and works on stem cells to help in the regeneration of hearts. He also works with local and community outreach programmes for low socioeconomic communities so as to help disadvantaged people to take better care of their health.

Among those travelling this year, in this category, are:

  • Dr Simon Le Clerc, a consultant in emergency medicine and pre-hospital care from Stockton-On-Tees. He will be travelling to the USA and Canada to investigate the treatment of non-compressible haemorrhage in trauma patients.
  • Dr Ambika Chadha, a Clinical Academic Lecturer in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery based in the London Deanery and Kings College, who will be travelling to the Netherlands to investigate the use of 3D photography to aid treatment of facially disfigured patients.

Successful applicants must demonstrate the commitment, the character and the tenacity to travel globally in pursuit of new and better ways of tackling a wide range of current challenges facing the UK, and upon their return work to transform and improve aspects of today’s society.

A travelling sabbatical for people with the drive, determination and desire to help others, can further their leadership and role model abilities.

Employees who are awarded Fellowships bring great benefits to their employers, not only in terms of the positive impact on their personal development, but also with the advantage of their enhanced knowledge, new ideas and examples of best practise that they bring back to the organisation.

Applications are judged purely on project merit, and these opportunities are available to all UK residents over the age of 18, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

Successful applicants will receive an average Fellowship grant of over £6,000, covering return airfare, daily living costs, insurance and travel within the countries being visited, for approximately six weeks overseas.

Notes to Editors

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust was established shortly after Sir Winston’s death in 1965, as his national memorial and living legacy. Since then it has awarded over 5,250 Travelling Fellowships.

The application process for travel in 2017 is now open, and there are 14 varied categories in which people can apply.

Churchill’s beliefs and passions are still living on through our Fellows – who are remarkable individuals, representing a wide range of backgrounds, qualifications, interests and professions, but sharing the desire to do something for the improvement of individuals and communities in the UK.

The deadline for the 2017 applications is 5pm on Tuesday 20th September 2016.

In total 150 Fellowships were awarded in the UK in 2016, an investment of over £1.4 million. The Fellows are currently travelling to 52 countries between them, across 6 continents, carrying out a wide range of projects.

To maximise the impact of our Fellowships we have developed partnerships with other organisations, focused on specific areas of concern and relevance for the UK today. Lessons learnt from overseas travel are effectively coordinated and disseminated, and incorporated into best practice in the UK for the benefit of others in similar communities and professions.


1. From Medical Research: What’s it worth, the Wellcome Trust, November 2008