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Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme

Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme


What it is

Sponsored by the Chief Sustainability Officer and managed by FMLM, the scheme has been established to identify and support clinicians who want to develop as clinical leaders and sustainability champions of the future. It offers clinicians with a passion for sustainability a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills and support the NHS to realise its net zero ambitions.

Those appointed to the scheme will work by engaging directly with the most senior leaders in the NHS, helping to embed net zero carbon principles across the healthcare system.

A message from Chris Gormley, Acting Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England

Who it's for

Recognising the unique contribution each clinical specialism can make in reaching net zero, the scheme is multi-professional and welcomes applications from allied health professionals, dentists, doctors in training [including public health registrars and SAS doctors], healthcare scientists, nurses, midwives and pharmacists. It is aimed at aspiring future clinical leaders that have not held senior leadership roles previously.

The NHS equality, diversity and inclusion improvement plan highlights that diverse teams working in inclusive environments have a better experience at work and are more effective at their jobs. There is work to do if senior leadership in the NHS is to match the diversity of our wider workforce and the communities we serve. As a fellowship with the objective of developing current and future senior NHS leaders, we want to see an increase of successful applicants from groups underrepresented at those levels and welcome feedback about improving the accessibility of our recruitment process.

For full eligibility requirements, please read the scheme information pack. For information on other clinical fellow schemes in the FMLM portfolio, please visit this page of our website.

What it offers

Successful candidates gain:

  • a range of skills including leadership and management, policy development, project management, research, and analysis
  • supported leadership and personal development
  • the opportunity to lead on key projects which contribute to national sustainable/net zero healthcare priorities
  • access to professional healthcare and climate change networks at all levels
  • a highly developed understanding of sustainable healthcare policy and application
  • the skills to lead positive change
  • enhanced capabilities at developing and working with teams and to support others in developing their own personal insight and effectiveness.

How it works

Candidates may submit an application for a place on the scheme during the recruitment process each year. Shortlisted candidates are interviewed, and successful applicants are seconded from their current employer to take up a fellowship role for 12 months, starting 1 September.

Secondments are at the discretion of applicants’ substantive organisations and approval from substantive HR, finance and clinical directors should be sought alongside applications.  We have scheduled a seven-week application window to ensure candidates have adequate time to secure support from these individuals before submitting their application.

Clinical fellows will work closely with senior leaders and will have the opportunity to meet regularly with senior members of the Greener NHS team, wider NHS system partners and stakeholders.

Clinical fellows will lead on key projects that will fundamentally change the way that care is designed, developed and delivered across the system. Clinical fellows will gain an unparalleled understanding of sustainability principles as well as an essential range of leadership and management, policy development, project management, research and analysis, communications and collaboration skills.

Leadership development is supported through a comprehensive educational programme to enhance clinical fellows' leadership capabilities.

What do clinical fellows say?

"This clinical fellow scheme has certainly been the most valuable opportunity of my career to date: an incredible journey of leadership, knowledge, competence and confidence development. The scheme creates time for meaningful thought and reflection, and provides tools and advice to continuously embed the learning, creating a real journey of self-discovery."

Miss Imogen Stringer, Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow 2022/23

"I would encourage any clinician interested in planetary health and sustainable healthcare to apply. The Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow Scheme provides the opportunity to immerse yourself within a network of inspiring multi-professional colleagues, each of whom are passionate about the NHS’s net zero delivery ambition and the health of our population."

Mrs Jessie Frost, Chief Sustainability Officer’s Clinical Fellow 2022/23

Webinar - Hear from 2021/22 clinical fellows and alumni members about why you should apply to the scheme


Applications are now closed for 2024/25 recruitment.

Please note that the terms and conditions of the scheme, including eligibility, may be subject to change.

Meet the 2023/24 cohort

Find out who they are and what drives them to help create a better health service.

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