Florence Nightingale Foundation / Council of Deans of Health Leadership Scholarships

22 June 2017

Ruth Taylor, CoDH Executive Member (Workforce) and former Florence Nightingale Foundation scholar, reviews some of the key elements for any of our members who are considering applying for the Aspiring Deans Leadership Scholarship. 

As part of our strategic approach to developing the academic workforce, in this case aspiring Deans , the Council of Deans of Health works in partnership with the Florence Nightingale Foundation to offer opportunities to aspiring Deans to apply for leadership scholarships. It is important to be clear that the applicant’s institution is part of the collaboration and your manager will need to support you in many ways (including financially by providing half of the funding).

As a follow-up to the session that I led at the Council’s Summit in May, this blog aims to summarise the discussion that we had about the CoDH / Florence Nightingale Foundation Aspiring Deans Leadership Scholarships, and to provide readily accessible information so you can decide whether this is for you. At the session (which was very well attended), we did the following:

  • I provided an overview of the scholarship including timeframes and the associated processes of application and interview.
  • Discussed the requirements within the application form, with a particular focus on what the applicant should aim to demonstrate.
  • Had an open discussion with attendees and two current/former scholars (Debra Salmon and Iain Beith) where we shared experiences, responded to questions, and offered support.

I think it is worth me briefly saying that this is a fantastic opportunity. As a former scholar myself (2012) I had the most amazing year of: learning, development, challenge, networking, relationship-building and fun!

Key facts

  • All the information about the Aspiring Deans Leadership Scholarship is on the Florence Nightingale Foundation website.
  • The closing date for the receipt of applications is Monday 11 September 2017.
  • The process includes: completion of an application form, a letter of support from your organisation, a shortlisting process and an interview (and possibly a short presentation which has been the case in previous years).

Key tips

  • Review all the information on the website including the reports from previous scholars.
  • Talk to your line manager. You will need financial and other support if your application is successful, and your organisation has to provide a letter of support clearly stating that you are being supported with time and with the funding.
  • Talk to other scholars if you can: they can tell you about their experiences of the process, and about the scholarship itself. Both Iain and Debra said that they would be happy to be contacted.
  • Consider seeking feedback on your current leadership skills – both your strengths and areas for improvement – as the insights will help you with Section 3 of the application.
  • When you describe your plans for the bespoke element of the leadership scholarship, you can be ambitious – aim to stretch yourself and you can consider including an international element (e.g. a study tour) in your proposed programme. The former scholars’ reports will also give you some ideas and insights into what is possible.
  • Impact on healthcare practice: in Sections 5 and 6 of the application form, it is important to make sure that you focus on patients/clients and healthcare practice, i.e. how what you do (or plan to do) impacts on healthcare practice.
  • Ask a critical friend to review your application and be prepared for feedback that may challenge you to develop your thinking about: how you present your current achievements; how you articulate your leadership skills and development needs; where you see yourself impacting on healthcare (and social care) practice; and how you view the future of healthcare and healthcare education.
  • If you are shortlisted for interview, take time to practice so that the style of your presentation (which in previous years has been without visual aids) and interview is of the highest quality (there is an expectation that as academics we should be good at this!).

Finally, if you are thinking of applying or are in the process of writing your application and you would like to have a chat with me, I am more than happy to be contacted on my work email (ruth.taylor@aru.ac.uk). Good luck to those of you who are applying for this fantastic opportunity!

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