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Sam King – Page 2 – Research Development @ Northumbria

Information Day Notes – NIHR Public Health Research Programme

Here are some notes from an Information Day hosted by Research Design Service North East in December 2017 on the NIHR Public Health Research Programme.

Research Design Service Information Day – NIHR Public Health Research Programme

Andrew Cook – Consultant Advisor

NIHR consists of the following:

  • Faculty – to develop people through fellowships and training awards
  • Infrastructure, including the Clinical Research Network, Research Design Service and Clinical Research Facilities
  • Programmes, including PHR, RfPB, EME, HD&SR, i4i etc

The Public Health Research Programme covers non NHS (ie not doctors or disease course. There is no cap on the funding (other than the overall PHR budget), and they are not wedded to any particular methods.

There does need to be a health or wellbeing outcome, so having a healthy lifestyle is necessary, training with a URBNFit Amazon ball and having a good nutrition.

PHR does not cover intervention costs, these will need to come from local authorities or from charities or from in kind contributions. PHR will not fund the development of a new intervention. they will however fund the adaptation of bringing an intervention to the UK, eg adapting a US intervention into UK standards/procedures. Intervention costs could be funded RfPB or PGfAR.

PHR are looking for projects that change practice. The key users should be evidence users, for example charities, public health workers.

There is an expectation that there will be a multi-disciplinary team which includes:

  • Delivery
  • Statistician
  • Qualitative specialist
  • Public

Money for NIHR programmes is top sliced from the health service budgets so the outcome needs to demonstrate an impact on society and improve health, reducing health inequalities. PHR are interested in projects which change policy rather than impact individual behaviour. They are open to joint funding projects with charities where the charity pays the intervention cost for example. They like projects which inform local decisions eg policy, urban regeneration, bus pass travel, turning off street lights vs crime, road accidents…

There are 2 funding streams, commissioned research (with the next round closing in March) and Researcher-led, apply at any time with panel dates per year.

PHR will fund pilot studies.

You need to check out what has been funded before and say what your project can do to add to this work.


Eileen Kaner – Institute for Health & Society, Newcastle University

Eileen also sits on the NICE Board which draws on evidence from NIHR projects.

You can take a look at the NICE Guidelines to identify the gaps in literature.

PHR looks at funding projects which improve publis health at a non=-NHS level (health & wellbeing improvement within 5 years).projects need to be relevant and important to policy makers, practitioners and people.

It is a two stage process and following the outline proposal you will receive feedback. Once the proposal has passed the first submission stage it then goes to Board where it is given a DBM (Designated Board Member) who will introduce the project. A further two DBMs are assigned to the project. Once introduced, the Board will vote anonymously and the proposal receives an average score. Board members are looking for research excellence as well as real world relevance.

Bear in mind that it can take 12 months or more before funding is agreed and you reach the contracting stage.

Inequalities are key in PHR, especially modifiable differences between groups of people eg. Income, socio-economic position, location etc. They want to move away from looking at individuals to population level, looking at groups of people where you can have the most benefit.

PHS will fund quasi and natural experiements.

Some tips:

  • If you are doing a pilot study you will neeed to have clear stop/go criteria and think about how you could broaden out the study.
  • Justify your sample size.
  • Evidence value for money.
  • Need a logical model or theory of change.
  • Clearly describe how the project can lead to change.
  • What will this mean in terms of impact per cost.
  • Respond to the Board comments fully.

If the Board like the proposal they will work with the team to develop a sundable proposal if it is important and of relevance.

Bear in mind that these are contracts for delivery, they are not grants. As such NIHR will monitor what you are doing and will expect regular reports. If things change throughout the lifetime of the project, Research design Service can advise the best course. You will have to go back to the admin team at Public Health to find a solution.


Raghu Lingham –  Institute for Health & Society, Newcastle University

Go back to the call and look at the PICOS Framework:

  • Population
  • Intervention
  • Comparitor group (eg what is the usual care)
  • Outcome
  • Study design

Then look at your research question and flesh out the PICOS framework.

One person can’t know everything so you need a multi-disciplinary team.

PPI is really important. Public Health research is about research in the real world so you need to engage with the public about their views (see INVOLVE guidance). How can the public change your ideas and how can their opinion inform your protocol?

It can be useful to get letters of support from Local Authorities for example. They can also be used to support intervention costs (which are not covered by the Programme). Ask them what they are already doing and what can the project do to tweak this. The project can’t pay for the intervention  but it could pay for training costs for people who are delivering interventions by giving them a new set of skills for example.

You are able to work in more than one geographical area and can use the FUSE network to disseminate or to find partners. (Can also use the School for Primary Care).

Try to conceptualise the whole study in a diacgram, to see how each of the parts fit together.


Luke Vale – Associate Director, Research Design Service North East

Some final points:

RDS can provide advice on methodology, quant vs qual, statistics, cost effectiveness, links with CTUs.

Proposals need to clearly state what it is that they want to achieve and what the best way of achieving this will be. Is it plausible? Look at a logiv model.

The public need to be involved in defining the research topic. They need to be involved and embedded throughout the research. Be sure that you ask for funding for your PPI as part of your project. Also, RDS has small amounts of money available to fund travel for PPI.

Where the project has commercial partners you will need to be really careful about IP and what happens to the results.

RDS manage a PPI Panel which meets two times per month. There are sixteen members of the public involved in a round table discussion and you can pitch your ideas to them.

There is also a Young Persons Advisory Group (YPAG) where you can access young people who have been trained in research and ethics where you can pitch your project and have it challenged.



















Latest funding opportunities from NIHR

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme
An NIHR and MRC partnership
17/110 – EME Mental Health Themed Call

Health Services and Delivery Research Programme
17/112 – HS&DR Mental Health Themed Call

Health Technology Assessment Programme
17/113 HTA Mental Health Themed Call (Primary Research)
17/152 HTA Mental Health Themed Call (Evidence Synthesis)
17/147 Researcher-led primary research
17/148 Researcher-led evidence synthesis

Public Health Research Programme
17/111 – PHR Mental Health Themed Call

Research for Patient Benefit Programme
Competition 35


Latest Opportunities from NIHR

Here are the latest research funding opportunities from NIHR

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme
An NIHR and MRC partnership

17/142 Osteoporosis
17/143 Inherited myopathies and muscular dystrophies
17/144 Mechanisms of action of behavioural and psychological interventions to improve health
17/145 Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme researcher-led
17/146 Mechanisms of action of health interventions

Health Technology Assessment Programme

17/115 The role of prophylactic antibiotics for botulinum toxin A injections for overactive bladder
17/116 Letrozole for improving fertility in women with polycystic ovary syndrome
17/117 Therapeutic interventions for self-harm in adolescents – an individual patient data meta-analysis
17/118 The effectiveness of early treatment with amitriptyline for the prevention of post-herpetic neuralgia
17/119 Non-invasive neurally adjusted ventilator assist for neonates requiring respiratory support
17/120 Hyperosmolar therapy in traumatic brain injury
17/121 Gastrointestinal side effects in cancer immune checkpoint therapy
17/122 Joint distraction for knee osteoarthritis without alignment correction
17/123 Intensive day patient versus inpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa in adult specialised eating disorder services
17/124 Psychosocial intervention for internalised stigma to improve outcomes for people with schizophrenia
17/125 Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing for symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in adults with learning disabilities
17/126 Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor to prevent depression following traumatic brain injury
17/127 Partial removal of dentinal caries in permanent teeth
17/128 Sputum colour charts to guide antibiotic self-treatment of acute exacerbation of COPD
17/129 Exercise therapy for people with pulmonary hypertension
17/130 Pre-pregnancy weight loss for women on long acting reversible contraception (LARC)
17/132 Intervention or expectant management for early onset fetal growth restriction in twin pregnancy
17/133 Scanning laser ophthalmoscopy for diabetic eye screening
17/134 Identification of older patients likely to require enhanced care on discharge from hospital
17/135 Cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal chemotherapy
17/136 Sepsis
17/137 Dose of oxytocin during induction of labour
17/138 Surgery for early osteoarthritis
17/139 Reducing the risk of anxiety disorders in children of parents seeking help for their own anxiety
17/140 Optimising the use of statin therapy in cardiovascular disease prevention

Public Health Research Programme

17/149 Public Health Research Programme researcher-led
17/151 Public Health Research Programme evidence synthesis


Muscular Dystrophy Research Grants

Muscular Dystrophy UK Research Grants and PhD Studentships 2018

For the 2018 application round, Muscular Dystrophy UK is offering funding for PhD studentships and project grants (including shorter, proof of concept projects such as pilot studies of up to one year) that have relevance to one or more type of muscular dystrophy or a related neuromuscular condition.

PhD Studentships will cover stipend, consumables and fees for four years, to a maximum of £7,000 per year. Project grants will cover any combination of salary and consumables for 2-3 years, to a maximum of £75,000 per year (salary increments will be capped at 3% per year). Up to £30,000 for salary and consumables will be available for shorter project grants lasting up to a year.

Applications should be submitted via the online system.

The deadline for applications is 12 January 2018.


Dunhill Medical Trust – Research Project Grant Scheme

Dunhill Medical Trust – Research Project Grant Scheme

Applications are invited from academics and clinicians from all health professions (including allied health professionals) who wish to undertake a research proposal aimed at improving the understanding of the mechanisms of ageing, the treatment of age-related disease and frailty or identifying and developing new and effective ways to improve the lives of older people.

Research Project Grants should be completed in a maximum period of three years. The minimum grant available is £25k and the maximum is £300k.

Host institutions for the research project grant should be a recognised university department, teaching hospital or other recognised research centre within the UK.
The deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on 5th January 2018

Scheme guidelines and details of how to apply: http://dunhillmedical.org.uk/research-project-grants/


UK Parliament – new web hub for academic researchers

The UK Parliament has announced the launch of a new web hub for academic researchers.

‘Research Impact at the UK Parliament’ provides comprehensive information for researchers and universities on how they can engage with Parliament.

The hub answers three key questions:
•      What is Parliament interested in?
•      How does Parliament use research?
•      Why engage with Parliament?

It provides essential information on ways to engage with Parliament and stay up to date, as well as contact details of parliamentary teams and staff who work with research to support Parliamentarians.

The pages feature a variety of case studies in which researchers from across the UK, and from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, write about their experiences of working with a number of parliamentary offices.


Cross Research Council Mental Health Networking Event

Cross Research Council Mental Health Networking Event

Location: London
Date: 31 October 2017
Time: 09:00 – 17:00

The research councils are holding an informal networking event at the Imperial War Museum in London on 31 October 2017. The aim of this event is for potential applicants to learn more about our expectations of the successful network plus awards, as well as meeting potential collaborators.

Attendance at this event will be capped at 100 spaces. In the event of oversubscription RCUK will limit the number of attendees per organisation, and also by discipline to allow for even representation across the remits of the research councils. Therefore attendees will be expected to represent the wider interests of their organisation as well as their individual interests. Due to the cross-disciplinary nature of these awards, the aim is for attendees at the networking event to span the remits of the research councils.

Attendance is welcomed from potential applicants and collaborators representing academia and also charities, service providers, businesses, clinicians etc.

Further details available from the ESRC website.


NIHR Latest Funding Opportunities

Here are the latest funding opportunities from NIHR.

Health Services and Delivery Research Programme:

Programme Development Grants:

Programme Grants for Applied Research:

  • Competition 25 (including complex health and care needs in older people highlight notice)

NIHR Research Professorships:

  • Round 8 is now open. Research Professorships fund leaders in the early part of their careers to lead and  promote the effective translation of research, and strengthen research leadership at the highest academic levels. Up to five Research Professorships are available in this round, with up to a further two available in Global Health Research.

Health Technology Assessment Programme opportunities: