Applications for the HLA Scholar’s Programme 2024-2025 are now open only to NHSE NE and NHSE SW applicants, and are open until 24th June 2024. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, with early applications reviewed first. Applications submitted after the 24th of June 2024 will not be reviewed for the 2024-2025 Scholar Year. 

Applications that meet the high standards required for admission into the HLA are accepted on a first-come basis.

Applications submitted by NHSE NE and NHSE SW applicants now until 24th June 2024 will be considered for the September 2024 intake.

About the Application Portal

Thank you for your interest in the HLA Scholars Programme. The health service has never needed decent and honest leadership more than it does at the present moment. The Healthcare Leadership Academy has been created to nurture, empower and support healthcare workers to become those future leaders. It is founded on a belief the health service is not inevitably one way or another. That things can in fact be changed and indeed changed very rapidly, if they are addressed by someone with sufficient confidence, knowledge and authority. It is these attributes that we will help you to develop.

Within the next few years the HLA will spread onto three continents and we will recruit scholars from over 50 countries. Our progress has only been made possible because of the extraordinary hard work of our community, the spirit of common purpose amongst our scholars and the unity our scholars find in their diversity. 

You will find information within this portal covering what you need to know for your application, including frequently asked questions. If you have any further questions, please do reach out to [email protected].

Meet our HLA Scholarship Alumni

Dr Asha Thomson (HLA Scholar 2020-2021) is a Speciality Dentist in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Senior Clinical Teacher in Oral Surgery at KCL. She was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Honours List during her HLA year. She is the Chair of Dental Leadership Alumnus NHS England Midlands and East.

Dr Olamide Dada set up the ‘Melanin Medics’. When applying to Medical School, she had struggled to find a platform that provided support and advice as a student of Afro-Caribbean descent. Having been successful in her application, Olamide realised that she had the opportunity to fill this gap and pursued it. She now would like to use the ‘Melanin Medics’ platform as a way of encouraging and motivating young people of Afro-Caribbean descent to realise the greatness within themselves and ensure that prospective medical students have the support they need in order to pursue a career in medicine. She received the Rare Rising Star Award at the House of Commons having been recognised as one of the Top 10 Black students in the UK. She was also recognised as one of the Top 100 Future Leaders 2018 and welcomed to No.10 Downing Street as a result. Olamide was named as a recipient for the Akindolie Medical Scholarship awarded to minority ethnic medical students with strong leadership potential. Olamide is also an alumnus of the Healthcare Leadership Academy, Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management and sits on the GMC Equality and Diversity advisory board as a member. She is also passionate about racial equality, leadership, widening participation and promoting good health behaviours particularly amongst minority groups.

Dr Jacob Oguntimehin established The Aspiring Medic’s Support (TAMS) to assist students from less advantaged socioeconomic backgrounds on their medical journeys, and in just three years has made a huge impact in the UK reaching in excess of 3,000 students in more than 100 schools. The organisation was founded in 2018 by Dr Jacob Oguntimehin, a former student at Keele’s School of Medicine, who is also an Academic Foundation Doctor at the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, and a Healthcare Leadership Academy (HLA) scholar. The Covid-19 pandemic marked a pivotal year for the organisation as it introduced novel ways of developing its outreach programmes remotely, and within months it went from reaching tens of students per month to hundreds and grew from a team of four to 20.

Dr Jahangir Alom is an award-winning emergency medicine doctor. During the early stages of his career, he set up an organisation that encouraged and mentored young people from underrepresented backgrounds to consider a career in the NHS. He has worked with the UK Medical Schools Council and Health Education England (now NHS England) to improve widening participation in medicine.

Jahangir is the Programme Director of an international charity, Selfless UK, which delivers evidence-based global health projects in rural Bangladesh. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jahangir was appointed to the Chief People Officer's clinical advisory group and later joined NHS England as the National Clinical Lead for the Staff COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. He has spent a 4-year term on the British Medical Association's (BMA) Council.

Jahangir is an expert in health inequalities and has provided commentary on BBC Newsnight, BBC News, BBC Question Time, SkyNews, Channel 4 and CNN. 

Raluca Oaten (HLA Scholar 2020-2021) is an intensive care nurse, and associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and is an alumna of the Council’s Student Leadership Programme (#150leaders). Raluca is a new clinician, driven to bring change in the healthcare system and support the development of healthcare students. Raluca’s varied interests and involvements brings diversity of thinking and a fresh outlook on national and international healthcare priorities. Raluca is the Vice President and Midlands Hub lead of Phi Mu Chapter, Sigma, an International Nursing Leadership Organisation. Raluca was the only nursing student invited to be part of the NHS People’s plan Advisory panel, of which she is still a member.

Dr Kieran Robinson is a Senior Paramedic based in the East of England. He first developed an interest in Leadership through his role as an Area Manager for St John Ambulance. After completing his HLA scholar year (2019-2020), Kieran has been Assistant Director of the Newcastle cohort and a Cohort Director of one of our London cohorts.

Kieran attended Edinburgh University to complete his MSc in Critical Care and hopes to complete additional clinical training to become a Critical Care Paramedic with an Air Ambulance service before taking on further clinical leadership roles in the workplace. Kieran currently works for a private ambulance service as a Clinical Team Educator, helping to develop future ambulance clinicians.

Our History

Founded in 2016, the HLA Scholarship recognises and develops healthcare students and professionals with outstanding leadership potential. Our alumni include exceptional nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, paramedics, dieticians, radiographers, physician associates, dentists, doctors, therapists and allied healthcare professionals. The HLA started in London and has since rapidly spread with cohorts in Newcastle, Bristol, Belfast, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Queensland. Although a majority of our scholars are from Europe, many others are located across the world with individuals attending our virtual cohorts this last year whilst living in regions ranging from Ethiopia to Singapore, and from Japan to Siberia. 

The HLA is approved by The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), is a certified member of Social Enterprises UK, is proudly sponsored by The MDU, commissioned by NHS England North East and NHS England South West, and partnered with the Medical Technology Start-up Medics.Academy. Through our partners at Medics.Academy, we work with institutions across the globe including the World Health Organisation, the UK House of Lords, the UK Government, NHS England and Amnesty International, as well as universities ranging from University College London’s Academic Careers Office through to the The University of Queensland in Australia and Mekelle University in Ethiopia. Those who complete the programme are eligible to have the qualification recognised with post nominals from the HLA (MHLA). 

In this cycle of applications to our internationally celebrated HLA Scholars programme, we are proud to announce we are offering even more places to outstanding applicants across the medical, nursing and allied health professions. 


The next Scholar’s Programme starts in September 2024. The cohorts will have contact sessions either completely online or in person based primarily in one of the following locations and virtual global cohorts to allow cross-continental cohorts with scholars collaborating from all over the world:

  • London
  • Newcastle
  • Bristol
  • Buckinghamshire
  • Scotland
  • Leeds
  • Sri Lanka

There will be approximately 10-15 scholars per cohort. Cohorts are designed to be interdisciplinary, with healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds, countries and professional interests. More information on the cohort dates can be found within the portal.

Are there any costs associated with the programme?

The HLA programme is free at the point of access. The full £3,000 cost of the programme is covered by your scholarship. If you are successful in the selection process, you will not have any costs associated with the programme apart from paying for your own travel to the in-person contact days (if you choose an in-person rather than online global cohort). Therefore if you choose an online only cohort, there will be no cost whatsoever.  

We are very grateful to Namita Kumar, Aly Williamson and their team at NHS England North East and Jane Thurlow, Anne Elliott and the team at NHS England, Severn Deanery, as well as Louise Dubras for supporting HLA Belfast, and our partners Medics.Academy, who facilitate our ability to offer 100 scholarships for free.

Who can apply?

The scholarship is open to applications from healthcare students and professionals, for example, but not exclusively, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, paramedics, dieticians, radiographers,  physician associates, dentists, doctors, therapists and allied healthcare professionals. We welcome international applications to any and all cohorts.

Is the programme aimed at a specific level in the healthcare system i.e. students, consultants or somewhere in between?

The Scholars programme is not clinical stage-specific. We have run programmes for many years that have students through to very senior healthcare professionals on the same programme and we get consistently excellent feedback. Our focus is on the core skills of leadership and how to practically apply them to your current situation. The HLA focuses on developing your personal leadership journey and project with input from all kinds of backgrounds, professions, senioritis, nationalities and expertises. Peer learning, mentoring, building a network and utilising the expertise within the community will all form part of your HLA experience.

Can you apply whilst also studying at another institution?

Yes. Enrolling into the HLA scholarship programme is permitted whilst studying at other institutions including universities. Joining the HLA does not contravene normal university requirements for you to avoid enrolling into more than one university programme at once, as the HLA is a non-profit social purpose institution rather than a university. 

How long is the programme?

The programme takes the form of 8 mandatory contact days over a 12-month period. Our experience is that your hospitals, universities or institutions will provide study leave if requested ahead of time. We provide supporting letters as required. All contact dates for the coming year have been set to allow scholars to arrange leave in time.

Scholars also study written and recorded leadership theory content via our scholar portal for around one hour each week during the scholar year.

Can you choose to attend online or in person?

You can choose to attend an in-person cohort in one of our education sites across London, Newcastle, Bristol, Belfast, Edinburgh or Amsterdam, or an online global cohort that will be conducted entirely through live online contact days.  

What will the training cover?

The programme is mapped against the United Kingdom’s National Health Service Leadership Framework and covers the 6 domains of The Healthcare Leadership Academy curriculum: 

  • The Leader as a Communicator
  • The Leader as a Manager
  • The Leader as a Negotiator
  • The Leader as an Innovator and Entrepreneur
  • The Leader as a Follower
  • The Leader as a Philosopher

What is expected of scholars?

Scholars will be expected to develop a project of their own choosing over the course of their year. Previous projects have reached national prominence, winning prizes, publications and presentations at national events. We host celebrations of scholar’s projects at venues including the House of Lords, Amnesty International and our university partners. Participants will also have opportunities to be introduced to key leaders and individuals that will help challenge their thinking and support them in the development of their work and careers.

Three mandatory elements are required in July to complete your scholar year:

  • Attend and engage during all eight HLA contact day sessions for your cohort.
  • Complete the feedback form sent to you after each HLA contact day session.
  • Submit and receive a pass mark for your HLA Scholar Project final submission (comprising a 3 minute video and written portfolio summary). One video and one written submission is required, these will summarise your project and your campaign to support your project. You can, if you wish, produce a separate video and written submission for the project and the campaign.