Programme Grants for Applied Research

New Director's Message 
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Programme Grants aim to produce independent research findings that will have practical application for the benefit of patients and the NHS in the relatively near future. Programme Development Grants are a complementary scheme to allow investigators to undertake preparatory research that will position them to submit a competitive Programme Grant application. 

Apply or manage your award 


2016 Director's message

Programme Director Professor Paul Little releases a second message in which he:

  • Provides an update of the impact of the key changes made to the scheme
  • Details introduction of a new light touch process to further help applicants thinking of applying
  • Re-emphasises the move to three calls per year
  • Describes the types and range of research welcomed by the scheme

Read the whole message here or view the Tips page for further information.   

2013 Director's message

Programme Director Professor Paul Little announced significant changes to the programme in his inaugural message in 2013. Read message or view podcast below. 

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Important change to the Programme Grants funding scheme

Programme Grants will now launch three Competitions per year, with Stage 1 opening for applications in February, June and October. This change will be in effect from Competition 20, which will open on 10 February 2016. The deadline for submission of Stage 1 applications is 6 April 2016.The change to funding scheme will also apply to Programme Development Grants from Competition 16, please see the revised call schedule on the PDG Calls and Competitions page for further details. 

The reasons for this change include: 

  • reducing the time between calls for applicants
  • reducing the time taken for research to move along the research pathway and deliver meaningful results to patients
  • addressing the NIHR-wide push to cut application and funding timelines, creating a more efficient research system.

Key dates for applicants are given on our Calls and Competitions page including the programme's participation in NIHR themed research calls. 

For the latest call and competition dates from across the NIHR visit the funding opportunities page.

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Pre-submission form for applicants

PGfAR are pleased to launch a new initiative to help researchers thinking of applying. Applicants have the opportunity to briefly describe their proposal for comment before submitting a formal application. It is non-mandatory and designed to help applicants so that the common problems seen by the advisory panels can be addressed earlier. 

Please click here to download a form.

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Prestigious Opportunities within NIHR

Call for Members of Programme Grants for Applied Research Sub-Panels

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) seeks to appoint new members to serve on Programme Grants for Applied Research sub-panels that consider researcher-led proposals to the programme.

We would welcome applications from methodologists with a strong track record in applied health research who wish to contribute to the assessment of research proposals.

For further details, including a full description of membership opportunities and the application process, visit

Applications will be reviewed regularly throughout the year, in March, July and November.   

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Prevention and Treatment of Obesity Themed Call

The PGfAR Programme is participating in the NIHR Prevention and Treatment of Obesity themed call

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NIHR Journals Library

In 2013, the Programme Grants for Applied Research Journal joined the suite of open access peer reviewed journals published in the NIHR Journals Library.

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The review of the first six competitions and 100 awards features case studies from eight researchers across a broad range of health research including dementia, children's medicines, diabetes and trauma. Download a PDF copy of the review by clicking on the link below. 

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Download PGfAR Review Document