New NIHR funding opportunities available

The following new funding opportunities are available from NIHR:

Health Services and Delivery Research Programme

The NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme funds research to produce evidence on the quality, accessibility and organisation of health services. This includes evaluations of how the NHS might improve delivery of services. The audience for this research is the public, service users, clinicians and managers.

  • 16/116 – Researcher-led, standard outline
  • 16/115 – Researcher-led, evidence synthesis full

For applications for evidence synthesis research, the HS&DR researcher-led workstream now operates a one-stage straight to full application process

For details see the NIHR website.

Research for the Patient Benefit Programme

The NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme invites research proposals which are related to the day-to-day practice of health service staff and is concerned with having an impact on the health or well-being of patients and users of the NHS. As a responsive rather than a commissioning programme, RfPB does not seek to name specific topic areas and welcomes applications on a wide range of issues and aims to fund high quality research that will be directed at achieving benefit for users of the NHS in England.

  • Competition 31

For details see the NIHR website.



How research into different types of evidence create impact…

and is used to develop and improve key services.

Dr Sarah Morton of the University of Edinburgh who did her PhD on how research impact occurs and how it can be assessed looks at the range of ways that research can be used through different mechanisms to make a difference and suggests key ways for improving research use. The article can be read here.





NIHR – Funding Opportunities for Research & Career Development

NIHR have published a booklet providing information about their research funding and career development opportunities for researchers based in the NHS, universities, industry and other organisations concerned with health , public health and social care.

The NIHR funds a range of research programmes to produce the evidence to enable professionals, policy makers and patients to make informed decisions and provide the means to turn new interventions into better care. To achieve this goal NIHR have a range of schemes from pre-clinical, feasibility & pilot right through to systematic review. The major programmes are:

  • Efficacy & Mechanism Evaluation (EME)
  • Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR)
  • Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
  • Invention for Innovation (i4i)
  • Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
  • Programme Development Grants (PDG)
  • Public Health Research (PHR)
  • Research for the Patient Benefit (RfPB)
  • Systematic Reviews (SR)

Calls are issued for either commissioned research or researcher-led (responsive mode). The NIHR also commissions themed calls which are advertised on their website.


Number of Opportunities to apply per year EME HS&DR HTA i4i PGfAR PDG PHR RfPB SR
Rsearcher-Led 3 3 3 2 2 2 3 3 1
Commissioned 3 3 3 1 0 0 3 0 0

For further details about any of these schemes see the NIHR Funding Opportunities for Research & Career Development Booklet or take a look at the NIHR website.


Health systems research initiative – Low & Middle Income Countries

healthcareDepartment for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust (WT). have issued a health systems research initiative call : Providing evidence to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes

The aim of the call is to fund rigorous, high quality research that will:

  • Generate evidence on how to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Inform the delivery of evidence-based interventions or structural changes.
  •  Provide evidence that is of direct relevance to decision makers and users in the field.

Up to £15 million has been committed to the Health Systems Research Initiative, which will be allocated through three annual calls for proposals of £5 million each. The costs of each call will be shared between all four funders.
Applications may be for:
  • Development grants with a duration of 1-2 years and a total budget of around £100k each. These grants are tailored to assist interdisciplinary teams to develop robust and competitive proposals.
  • Full-scale research projects of up to 5 years duration. Typically the funders would expect a project of 3-4 years with costs of £100-£200k per annum.
 Closing date – 14 January 2014 (4.00pm).
For full details of the call see the MRC website.