SAS Doctors’ & Dentists’ Bursary Scheme: 2017/18

Peninsula & Severn Postgraduate Medical Education are pleased to announce that the SAS Bursary scheme opens on Friday, 14th July 2017 and will invite applications from SAS Doctors & SAS Dentists’ working throughout the South West.

The Bursary Scheme will close for applications at 23:55 hours on Sunday, 27th Aug 2017.

This is the sixth year of the SAS Bursary Scheme. Below is some important information for your consideration.

Intended purpose of bursary:

We offer bursaries (50% of the total yearly course fee only) towards the course fees for Associate Specialists, Staff Grades and Specialty Doctors who wish to undertake a postgraduate course in a clinical or non-clinical field that is relevant to the applicant’s professional development. The course should ideally lead to a higher qualification such as a Masters or Postgraduate Diploma, granted by a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) recognised UK provider. 

Applications may be considered for courses that do not result in a Postgraduate Diploma or Masters; however, they should still be provided by a recognised UK institution and should demonstrate the relevance to your professional development.

When allocating bursaries, the emphasis is on enhancing the doctor’s professional development and, as such, more importance will be placed on how the course contributes to your development rather than the qualification attained on completion. It should be noted however, that the bursary will not be awarded for short courses covered by study leave allowance/entitlement. The overall purpose is to contribute more substantially to prolonged periods of study that the study leave allowance cannot cover.

It should also be noted that preference will be given to applicants who wish to complete courses in Medical Education, Medical Leadership and Coaching. Please do not be deterred if the course you wish to study does not fall into one of these categories as the scheme is not exclusively for doctors applying for these courses.

Kindly note these bursaries cannot be awarded for fees towards professional membership examinations such as MRCP/ MRCS or applying for CESR, or for membership of professional bodies. We will not fund courses outside the PGME geography (Peninsula and Severn) unless they are more than 10% cheaper, or the course offers particular relevant modules which are not available regionally.

The Bursary Award can only be guaranteed for the current financial year. If you are doing a 2 or 3 year course, you will have to apply every year as there is no guarantee of automatic additional bursaries to aid further years of study to which you may commit. 

There is no limit to the number of times you can apply for the Bursary, although please note every application will go through the same competitive process.

The bursary contribution will be 50% of the total yearly amount towards the course fee only. HEE would not reimburse travel/ subsistence etc. importantly, remaining 50% of the course fee will have to be paid by the candidates  themselves without using funds from another NHS / HEE resource. There can be no exceptions to this.


The SAS Bursary scheme is mainly for applications from Staff Grades, Associate Specialists and Specialty Doctors & Dentists in substantive posts. 


The scheme will close to applications at 23:55 on Sunday 27th August 2017. An application form and guidance on completing the application form can be found below. If you have any questions or queries please email

Please also be aware that the Bursary scheme is a competitive process and making an application does not guarantee that you will be awarded a bursary.

Please click here for the application form

Please click here for Guidance notes


Bursary Levels

Successful applicants will be expected to contribute towards the cost of the course themselves, as bursaries will be provided up to a maximum of 50% of the full cost of the course, one year at a time (even if the course is delivered over multiple years). Please note that this Bursary scheme CANNOT reimburse for any additional costs or expenses such as travel, accommodation or course materials.

You must not have already commenced the course you are requesting funding for. Applications involving retrospective payments will NOT be considered. If you have been awarded funding in a previous scheme and would like to apply for a bursary towards a different course you are welcome to do so but you must demonstrate how the previous course was of benefit to your development and the wider NHS. Please be aware that these applications will be assessed on an individual basis.

Claiming Bursaries and Cancellation

In order for you to claim your bursary you will be expected to obtain the invoice for the course fee and submit it to: Alice Archer, HEE, Raleigh Building, Plymouth Science Park, Derriford, Plymouth, PL6 8BY. We will then reimburse 50% of the amount to you directly. Upfront fees will not be paid to the applicants unless they have paid the University first.

IMPORTANT: The invoice must reach Alice Archer, no later than Friday, 29th December 2017. We will not be able to award the bursary for invoices received later than this date and you may be liable to pay the full costs of the course.

When a bursary is allocated and accepted but not subsequently claimed, the funds cannot be re-allocated due to the timing of the financial year. Interested applicants are therefore requested to consider their decision carefully before applying so that the funding can be allocated effectively.

Once a bursary has been awarded, the course cannot be deferred without the prior approval of the panel. Under exceptional circumstances (on a case by case basis), a maximum deferment of 1 year will be allowed. In all other cases, funds will be recalled if the course is not taken up as initially intimated to us.

You must inform us immediately (within 2 weeks) if you subsequently decide not to take up the course or withdraw from the course for any reason whatsoever. Failure to do so might render you ineligible for future bursary schemes.

Method of Assessment

Eligible applications will be assessed by a panel consisting of:
• 1 x Associate Dean 
• 2 x other senior PGME representatives 
• 1 x SAS representative (where possible) 

Applications will be individually scored by each member of the panel using a scoring criteria developed against the questions on the application form. Each scorer will give an overall mark to the application and submit the scores to the Project Manager. The scores from each scorer will be combined and an average score will be derived. This score will be used to rank your application relative to other applicants in the scheme. A final decision panel will then be convened to discuss allocations.

Important Dates


Dates to be noted

SAS Bursary Scheme opens to applications:

Friday, 14th July 2017

SAS Bursary Scheme closes to applications:

Sunday, 27th Aug 2017

Scoring remotely:

27th Aug – 7th Sept 2017

Final decision by the panel:

Thursday, 7th Sept 2017

SAS Bursary applicants informed of outcome of their application:

Friday, 15th Sept 2017

Invoice to be received by Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education:

No later than Friday, 29th Dec 2017

Example courses in Medical Leadership, Medical Education and Coaching

As the focus of the SAS Bursary Scheme is on Medical Education, Medical Leadership and Coaching, some example courses in these areas can be found below.

PLEASE NOTE: with the exception of the Postgraduate Medical Education Professional & Generic Skills programme, we do not endorse the courses listed. They are given as examples for your information only and other courses may be applicable. Please ensure you have thoroughly researched and understood the course you are applying for.
Following are some examples:

Various specialty specific MSc courses:

o PG Cert / Workplace Based Postgraduate Medical Education 
o PG Cert/ MA Medical/ Clinical Education 
o MA in Healthcare, Ethics & Law 
o MA in Developing Professional Practice in Management 
o MSc Teaching Mindfulness Based Approaches 

The decisions concerning bursaries are not made solely on the basis of the type of course that you are applying for. Successful applications must demonstrate how this course will benefit their personal/ career development, and how it will bring benefit to the wider NHS.

The Panel’s decision will be Final.