The funding aims to support a new highly personalised flexible, research capacity building programme for social care practitioners with prioritised awards for people applying from underserved communities. 

The Social Health and Research Empowerment programme (SHARE) at ARC South London, aims to:

  • Build research capacity and capability in social care practice, management and leadership; 
  • Support the use of and development of research in the sector; 
  • Improve research culture and infrastructure in adult and children’s social care practice, in underserved communities; 
  • Promote equality, diversity and inclusion, particularly health, social care and race equality.

Anyone employed by a local authority, care provider or non-profit organisation such as a charity will be eligible to apply to the programme. Applicants could be employed as practitioners, commissioners or managers.

Successful applicants will be able to access workshops and a comprehensive Continuous Professional Development (CPD) capacity building programme. Additionally, they will be able to choose from options including: mentorship/advice clinic drop-ins, peer learning, shadow/design or contribute to research, analysis and evaluation relevant to practice either within their own organisation or as part of an academic led joint practitioner academic team (CPD placement). They will be encouraged to build closer links with social care, research-active practitioners and within ARC South London with the aim of developing future research projects. 

The SHARE progamme will be grounded in equity, diversity and inclusion principles including: applying an intersectional approach to the research, implementing ARC South London’s Involvement Strategy, engaging with our diverse Public Research Panel and access to our 2026 Research Leadership Academy. 

The SHARE team will seek opportunities within the ARC South London themes for awardees to access tailored research experiences and contacts; they will be invited to attend ARC knowledge sharing events and present their work. Awardees will be invited to network with the NIHR, Policy Research Unit (PRU) in Health and Social Care Workforce Research (HSCWRU) in the Policy Institute at King’s College London. The SHARE programme will expand existing links with the National ARC Social Care Priority area led by ARC Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The two-year programme will run until March 2026.

Professor Cilla Harries, Head of Graduate Research School and Researcher Development, Kingston University, NIHR ARC Academic Career Development Lead will lead the programme.


This funding programme will enable practitioners to develop research focusing on areas of social deprivation and diversity. Findings from their studies will be used to improve provision of social services in areas with the greatest needs for improvement in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, people who receive care and their carers.

Prof Cilla Harries