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Midwifery Research Fellowship

Awarded for: 
Writing up doctoral research
Award Amount: 
Maximum £25,000
NMC registered midwife due to embark on writing up their doctoral research
Next Application Round: 
1 Dec 20212 Feb 2022
Next Awards Announced: 
Apr 2022

The Iolanthe Midwifery Research Fellowship provides up to £25,000 to enable a midwife to write up their doctoral research

The MRF was last awarded in 2022. It is not offered every year, and the next year it will be offered is yet to be confirmed. 

The Midwifery Research Fellowship is designed to assist a midwife in the final stages of completing their doctorate degree. This award is unique in targeting the writing up phase rather than the research phase of the doctorate. The funds can be used for any activity that will facilitate the writing process – for example the applicant might choose to use the funding to buy time out from their clinical or teaching duties.

About The Midwifery Research Fellowship

  • It is designed to assist a midwife in the final stages of completing their doctorate degree
  • The applicant must have completed the actual research study (i.e. data collection and analysis) by the award date (to be agreed with Iolanthe) and intend to submit their thesis within 12 months (24 months for part-time applicants) of the start of the award.
  • It is awarded periodically, subject to availability of funds and at the discretion of the Iolanthe Trustees
  • The Fellowship is available for midwives registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC - including lapsed registration) who are also doctoral students registered with a UK university

An amount of up to £25,000 will be made available to the successful award winner. The award is a personal award and as such will only be paid directly to an individual rather than a hospital or other institution.

Previous Iolanthe Midwifery Research Fellows have investigated a range of subjects including the role of emotion work in midwifery; the effects of litigation on midwifery care; and midwives’ and women’s experiences of vaginal examination in labour.

The Iolanthe Midwifery Research Fellowship was last granted in 2022.

Applications are made online. Please read the Application Guidance (link above) and our Privacy Policy carefully before applying.

Previous Winners


Charlotte Clayton, of Bournemouth University, whose topic is: The public health role of caseloading midwives in advancing health equity in women and babies living in socially deprived areas in England: The Mi-CARE Study.


Cristina Fernandez Turienzo, working as a midwife researcher at King's College London and writing up her PhD on continuity of care for women at increased risk of preterm birth in South London


Joanne Welsh, registered for a PhD at the University of Salford, undertaking an action research study supporting midwives to understand antimicrobial stewardship in the Kabarole district of Uganda.


Allison Farnworth, who received her PhD from Newcastle University and use the award to write up her research on ‘How does the organisation of the NHS impact on the abilities and experiences of frontline health care staff in assessing quality of care and engaging in activities to improve it?’


Julie Wray, who conducted her PhD studies at the University of Salford. The Fellowship provided funding for the final phase of her doctorate, which focused on what she terms ‘birth recovery’ during the time in which new mothers receive postnatal care.


Mary Stewart received the 2006 Midwifery Research Fellowship. Her research explored midwives' and women's experiences of vaginal examination in labour and a deconstruction of these experiences to consider how power is negotiated between the protagonists. This fellowship enabled Mary to complete her doctorate degree and submit her thesis by allowing her time out from her current practice.


Jill Sanghera, Research Fellow at Bournemouth University for “A randomised trial to evaluate the effect of an exercise régime on postnatal back pain.”


Billie Hunter used her award to look at emotion work in midwifery.


Christine Kettle, Clinical Midwife at North Staffordshire Hospital (NHS Trust), Staffordshire for “MOMS - Randomised Controlled trial to evaluate alternative methods for suturing perineal trauma following delivery.”


Andrew Symon, Andrew was a staff Midwife at Perth Royal Infirmary when he received his award help with his PhD studies in“Litigation in Perinatal Care – the Effects on Midwifery Practice.”.  He is now a midwifery lecturer at the Univeristy of Dundee.