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NEWS
30th May 2014

Latest update from the NIHR

Research funding opportunities

Commissioned funding stream

Proposals are invited on a range of HTA research questions for both evidence synthesis and primary research. Full details including guidance for applicants are available on the NIHR website. The next round of commissioned call topics will open in early July.

Researcher-led funding stream

The HTA Programme currently has two calls open and is interested in receiving applications on research questions.

Applications in any clinical research area using any of the study designs described on the remit page can be submitted on an ongoing basis. Applications are considered three times a year. The next deadline for proposals is 1pm on 8 September 2014. For more details and how to apply, please visit the HTA researcher-led webpage.

Additionally there is a further researcher-led call which is particularly interested in receiving applications on research using efficient study designs.

Research proposals submitted to this call should demonstrate particular design features to allow either more rapid conduct and/or lower costs when benchmarked against conventional pragmatic multicentre trials, while still providing data sufficiently robust to guide NHS or patient decisions. A webinar is available to support applicants to this call. The closing date for applications is 1pm on 16 July 2014.


NIHR 'make it clear' campaign

From 14 May 2014, the NIHR is having a drive to improve the quality of the plain English summaries in applications for programme funding. It is important for all who read and make decisions about applications that this information is easy to understand. Researchers will be encouraged to develop good quality summaries by an NIHR 'Make it clear' campaign that will highlight the benefit of a good quality summary and provide resources on how to write one.

New guidance has been produced for researchers on writing a summary and more detailed advice is available on the 'Make it clear' webpages. All reviewers of full proposals will be asked to comment on the quality of the plain English summary to inform discussion at boards and panels.


What are the important research questions?

Through the commissioned funding workstream, the HTA Programme identifies and prioritises NHS evidence needs and advertises funding opportunities to address these.

In order to identify important research questions, we consult widely with stakeholders within the NHS and NIHR, external organisations representing health professionals and patients and carers and, with policy-makers. We are keen to receive your suggestions. If you have a suggestion, please visit our website and complete the electronic research suggestion form.


What makes a good research question?

  • Important to the NHS
  • Focused on patients, clinical outcomes and quality of life
  • Supported by current evidence (e.g. a systematic review)
  • Timely, so that the research will continue to be needed following completion of the study
  • Structured to provide a clear, well defined research question.


If you would like to find out about opportunities for getting involved in identifying topics for HTA research, please call Richard Lakin on 023 8059 7822.


Are you interested in becoming a reviewer?

The NIHR is seeking people from a wide range of professional backgrounds to review proposals received in response to NIHR calls. If you could help the programmes in this way please click here.


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