The Michael Clift Leadership Scholarship

A scholarship to improve the care of vulnerable children and young people with mental health needs in hospital.

We feel so proud of being able to offer this scholarship on behalf of Health Education England, as a tribute to Michael’s achievements and the legacy he has left in improving the mental health of Children and Young People.

The Michael Clift Leadership Scholarship overview

The Florence Nightingale Foundation and Health Education England are proud to announce a new Leadership Scholarship.  The Michael Clift Leadership Scholarship provides a 12-month scholarship opportunity for a nurse to improve the care of Children and Young People with mental health needs in general hospital environments.

Michael Clift advocated for effective and compassionate care of Children and Young People with mental health needs in general paediatric settings. He believed that with the right support nurses can confidently influence Children and Young People and create positive experiences of care that can be carried into adulthood.

Apply for this scholarship if you are:

  • A nurse with a passion to make the lives of Children and Young People (CYP) better
  • A nurse who provides consistent, high quality, evidence-based care at the right time when CYP present at hospital in emotional distress.

Apply for this scholarship if you want to:

  • Understand, lead and implement an innovative model of care for CYP with mental health needs in an acute hospital setting
  • Influence policy and practice at local, national and international levels.

Benefits for you

Be part of a 'life-changing' experience

Scholars report the “life-changing” experience and the profound professional and personal impact. Scholars report feeling more confident to speak out and influence policy and practice improvements at local and national levels thus improving patient care and health outcomes.


  • Career development

    Approximately 80% of our scholars are promoted into more senior roles within 2 years of the scholarship
  • Impact policy and practice

    Scholars report the positive impact they have on leading teams and improving patient care and health outcomes. In a recent survey, 82.5% of leadership scholars identifed that they made an impact to health and social care policy and practice.
  • Support from the Foundation

    The Foundation are on hand to support you throughout the scholarship process. You will also have an experienced mentor and have access to your fellow scholars for support.
  • Network with like-minded nurses and midwives

    Scholars are now part of a growing Alumni network (over 600) providing on-going support and in some cases, friends for life.
  • New knowledge through evidence-based approaches

    Like Florence, scholars will work on evidence-based approaches and use and share their new knowledge to impact patients and lead changes in policy and practice. Like Florence, scholars will generate new knowledge and use this to impact on improved patient care and health outcomes.

Benefits for employer

  • Improvement in patient and health outcomes
  • Retention of staff - scholars stay in healthcare
  • Positive impact on the team and beneficial for staff engagement
  • Recognition of employers commitment to leadership development and succession planning.


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Key Dates

  • Applications Open: 16th November 2018
  • Applications Close: 14th December 2018
  • Interviews: 10th January 2019
  • Scholarship Starts: 11th March 2019

Eligibility criteria

It is vital nurses offer compassionate care to all children and young people (CYP), particularly to those who are experiencing emotional and mental distress. CYP experiencing mental health difficulties can often find themselves in an environment which is not appropriate to their mental health needs, this can include in an emergency/ urgent care department, paediatric ward or adult ward where CYP may be cared for by staff with limited specialist skills and confidence in managing mental health difficulties.

This scholarship will be awarded to either:

  • A paediatric nurse working in an acute NHS setting and caring for children and young people who present with mental health crisis or illness
  • A Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) nurse working in an acute NHS setting.
  • Applicants MUST be working in the NHS or NHS commissioned services in England only.

Application process

Information for applying online:

Please apply via the link below, providing an current and active NMC pin identification, a photograph, a completed application form and a completed nomination form.



Apply online