Digital Pioneer Fellowship FAQs

We have answered our most frequently asked questions, to help you decide if this is the right programme for you and to support you during the application process. 

These questions relate to the South West London ICS Digital Pioneer Fellowship.

Who is eligible to apply?

The programme is aimed at professionals who are working on a health and care transformation project that is digitally enabled and is employed, at any level, by an NHS and Local Authority organisation within South West London ICS. Staff can come from a range of disciplines including clinicians, Allied Health Professionals, and operational staff.
The programme is for individuals who are:
– Currently leading or significantly involved in delivering a digital transformation project within their organisation.
– Able to confirm that this programme is in line with their professional development needs
– And able to commit to attending six mandatory in-person learning

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an application form in which you will be asked to provide information about a current relevant project that would benefit from your participation on the programme. The application deadline is 04 June 2023. You may then be asked for an interview between the 19 June 2023 – 22 June 2023.

When can I apply?

You can apply now and the closing date is 23:59 on 04 June 2023.

Can I apply if I am based outside of London?

The programme is open to staff working for an NHS or Local Authority Organisation within the South West London ICS. You must be able to travel to London for the six Learning Days.

Can I change my answers once I have submitted my application?

Once you have submitted your application, you are unable to edit your answers. We recommend applicants make use of the wide application window to allow them to finetune all answers before submitting.

When should I expect to hear back about my application and are there interviews?

The application deadline is 23:59 on 04 June 2023. You may then be asked for an interview between the between the 19 June 2023 – 22 June 2023.

Can I arrange a call / meeting to discuss my eligibility / application?

Our webinar and Twitter live events should provide all the information you need. Join a discussion with the team running the programme and some of the Fellows who have been supported previously on the South-West London ICS Digital Pioneer Fellowship 101 Webinar on Wednesday 17 May 10-11am:

Follow us on Twitter to find out when the next information event will be taking place. Should you still have any questions, please email with any queries and someone from the team will be happy to help you. In the unlikely event we are unable to answer your question over email, we will happily set up a call with an appropriate team member.

What is the South West London ICS Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme?

The South-West London ICS Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme supports up to 40 change makers employed by NHS and Local Authority organisations in South West London to design and lead transformation projects underpinned by digital innovation. The Fellowship is designed to equipthe fellows with new skills and knowledge, from building good business cases and using Agile as a project delivery technique, to structuring a good evaluation, and implementing change management principles. The programme is designed to connect fellows to like-minded peers, influencers in the system and people who can mentor them.

What is the difference between the South West London ICS Digital Pioneer Fellowship, the DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship and the Horizon Fellowship?

The original Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme was created and run by DigitalHealth.London and other partners for three cohorts of NHS Staff. This programme was available to staff across London and the South East. We are not currently running this version of the Digital Pioneer Fellowship.

The Horizon Fellowship is delivered by DigitalHealth.London and CW Innovation, to support NHS staff specifically working for Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.

The South West London ICS Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme is being delivered by DigitalHealth.London and has a very similar format to the other two versions of the programme, but is only open to NHS and Local Authority staff employed at any level by an NHS and Local Authority organisation in South West London who are working on a transformation project that has been digitally enabled.

How long is the programme?

The programme lasts for 12 months, during which time fellows will be expected to attend six days of learning and a showcase event.

What subjects / modules will be covered?

The programme modules are subject to change, but the following subjects are included within the scope of the programme:
– Benefits articulation & management
– Influencing (Marketing & selling ideas and visions)
– Change Management
– Design thinking
– Agile delivery
– Evaluation
– Business Case development
– Strategic influencing
– Strategic Thinking

How much time will I have to commit to the programme?

We estimate each fellow should allow for approximately seven full days split across the 12 months. You will need to allocate six full days to participant in the tuition and workshops at the learning day events. We estimate an additional two hours per learning day for your own reflective learning and networking. We also recommend that fellows allow another half day for further reading, learning and networking with other fellows.

What are the benefits to fellows?

There are a number of benefits for programme fellows including:
– Access to a peer coaching network
– Capability building through taught modules on key topics
– Problem solving through action learning sets
– Growth in awareness with opportunities to hear from sector and domain expert speakers
– 1:1 mentorship

How long can fellows access support for?

Once fellows have graduated from the formal fellowship programme, they are invited to stay connected with DigitalHealth.London and its AHSN partner organisations. The Academic Health Science Networks have a responsibility to support their respective member NHS organisations where they can and will be happy open their doors to fellows seeking further support in accelerating their project progress.

Is there ever a circumstance where a fellow could be asked to leave the programme?

Failure to attend the mandatory learning days will result in the fellow being asked to reconsider the programme and where necessary, to leave the programme. Allowances are made, in exceptional circumstances for one missed day.

The reason for this, is that the time commitment for the programme is relatively small (approximately six days in the year) and that missing a session will greatly disadvantage the fellow, in terms of learning but in terms of the value that they gain from the programme and interactions with the other fellows.

Does it cost money?

There are no cost implications to either the fellow or their host organisation for the fellowship programme. The only requirement is that the fellow MUST be employed by an NHS or Local Authority organisation within South West London and must provide a letter of support from their employer.

Do I have access to a mentor?

You will have the opportunity of choosing from a pool of mentors, who have been selected based on their seniority and level of expertise. The mentors will offer fellows opportunities for 1:1 dedicated time to explore and discuss challenges that the fellow may be experiencing.

Who is behind it?

DigitalHealth.London delivers the South West London Digital Pioneer Fellowship programme. DigitalHealth.London is a Health Innovation Network programme delivered with the additional partner, CW +. It is supported by NHS England (London) and the Mayor’s Office.

What are the benefits to host organisations sponsoring the fellows?

– Growth in teams better equipped to achieve innovation adoption that drives benefits realisation.
– Access to the latest knowledge and insights from the digital innovation world, ensuring your organisation stays one step ahead.

How do I apply to the London-wide Digital Pioneer Fellowship?

Applications for the DigitalHealth.London Digital Pioneer Fellowship are currently closed. Please sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on the opening of applications for the next cohort of the programme.

Should you still have any questions, please email with any queries and someone from the team will be happy to help you.