Research and Innovation Development Office
31 May 2017
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has announced its call for Research for Patient Benefit.
This funding is aimed at improving some aspect of the National Health Service, for example 'using quantitative or qualitative methods to:
- study the provision and use of NHS services
- evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of interventions
- examine the resource utilisation of alternative means for healthcare delivery
- formally scrutinise innovations and developments
- consider the feasibility of research requiring major award applications to other funders.'
University PIs are eligible, but not the immediate target of this funding. In the guidance for applicants, the NIHR says:
"The Lead Applicant may be an NHS or University employee; in the latter case, the individual would need to have an appropriate relationship with the host NHS body to ensure proper governance and accountability. As a minimum, the Lead Applicant must have an honorary contract with the NHS body (or other provider of NHS services) submitting the application."
University researchers may also be partners and collaborators on these projects. The scheme, therefore, opens up a world of potential collaborations with health researchers, both inside and outside the NHS.
Up to £350,000 for three years is available per project funded, however this is scaled to the nature of the work suggested. A feasibility study is expected to demand less than £250,000, whereas a pilot-scale study might only request £150,000.
"In all cases, a clear trajectory to patient benefit is a major selection criterion."
I highly recommend anyone in the area of health research investigate this route to funding, and talk to their partners in the NHS.