Research Capacity Building Collaboration (RCBC) Wales (http://www.rcbcwales.org.uk/) was created in 2005 to drive an increase in the research capacity and capability of nursing and allied health professional groups and to contribute toward the development of clinical academic roles. In 2014, its scope was broadened to include pharmacists.
The collaboration comprises six university nursing and allied health departments in Wales which cooperate to provide shared infrastructure and support for research fellowships across the research trajectory, from First into Research opportunities, Master’s degrees, doctoral and postdoctoral studies, to a senior health career research fellowship. The scheme is funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales. Additional funds have been provided by Tenovus Cancer Care.
RCBC represents an opportunity for registered health professionals in nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, clinical science and the allied health professions to secure fellowships to develop their research confidence, skills and expertise. The research fellowship schemes also strengthen the R&D infrastructure by increasing the quality and quantity of research in health care in Wales.
All members of the RCBC scheme join the Community of Scholars. This is the key mechanism that RCBCWales has adopted to promote a collegiate environment to nurture researchers. The Community of Scholars adds value to the fellowships by providing mentorship and master classes in research methods and research leadership, including in engaging with and influencing policy. It meets six times per year, including a two-day residential meeting.
Since its inception, 73 RCBC fellowships have been awarded, over four funding phases and five cohorts. Calls for the funded fellowships are open to non-medical/dental health professionals residing in Wales registered with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, General Pharmaceutical Council or Health & Care Professions Council, to take up at one of the collaborating departments. The scheme is administered by the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education at the University of South Wales.