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Public Health England and NIHR Clinical Research Network Award



If you have any questions about the awards please email us at  

Supporting Information

PHE and NIHR CRN award application form

The first ever Public Health England (PHE) and NIHR CRN award has been developed to recognise public health professionals and early career researchers* who are active in research

Since its inception in 2006, the NIHR has significantly increased the scale of clinical research in the NHS and social care settings, particularly through the NIHR Clinical Research Network. During this time, significant changes have taken place to network infrastructure and culture, to ensure that public health research is effectively supported to provide a strong evidence base to tackle the public health challenges we face.  Part of this work is developing a closer relationship with Public Health England so that the important research undertaken by PHE can benefit from network support.

By investing in, and supporting those working within population health research, is crucial in improving public health across all settings, topics and methodologies, as well as having closer connections while working together.

The PHE/NIHR CRN research awards offer a really important opportunity to do just that. The awards aim to make close connections and showcase research skills, processes and outputs, and encourage the adoption of PHE research studies on to the CRN portfolio.


  • The scheme will be open to public health professionals and public health early career researchers
  • The research undertaken by applicants should meet CRN eligibility criteria
  • Any research undertaken or resulting from an award will not be automatically eligible for CRN portfolio status. The process for inclusion in the CRN portfolio will remain the same.


  • All applications should be submitted in the name of a current public health professional or early career researcher
  • Applicants should be contributing to public health research studies on the NIHR CRN Portfolio
  • Applications will be submitted via a dedicated email address using an application form
  • Publicity for the scheme will be via NIHR CRN channels (website, bulletins, social media etc.) and similarly for PHE channels.

Application process and judging of applications

  • Applications should be made using the application form. Any additional information submitted will NOT be considered by the panel
  • Applicants should note the word limit for each section of the application form
  • Completed application forms must be received by midnight on 8 December 2019. Receipt of applications will be acknowledged
  • Applications will be assessed jointly by a PHE/NIHR CRN panel including public representatives.  Other representatives may be co-opted with agreement from PHE and NIHR CRN
  • Successful applicants will be notified within one month of the closing date. We expect a high number of applications and are unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants
  • The prizes will be a conference place for a public health professional and a place for an early career researcher.


Public health professional and early career researcher award winners will receive a complimentary conference pass to attend the Public Health Research and Science Conference taking place 31 March - 1 April 2020. Travel arrangements will be provided by NIHR CRN.

Award presentations

The awards will be presented at the conference dinner during the Public Health Research and Science Conference planned for Tuesday 31 March 2020.  To ensure a high profile for the awards, we suggest presentations to award winners could be made at PHE’s annual conference.

Follow the awards on Twitter

@NIHRcommunity@PHE_uk  #PHENIHRResearchAwards


*An early career researcher is defined as being health care, social care and public health professionals currently in training posts or within 5 years (excluding career breaks, and extended pro rata for those in less than full-time work) of appointment to substantive NHS (or equivalent) positions. Special consideration will be given to those who can demonstrate they were only able to take up research opportunities later in their career.  

 The term healthcare professionals includes, but is not limited to: radiographers, psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, genetic counsellors, clinical pharmacists, biomedical scientists, dentists, doctors and nursing, midwifery, allied health professionals and public health professionals (including those working in local government).