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Accessibility Statement


Published: 20 September 2019

Version: 1.6 - June 2022

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This accessibility statement applies to the NIHR website,

This website is run by the NIHR. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.

For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels, and fonts
  • zoom in up to 400% with text staying visible on the screen, and most images scaling without resolution loss
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • read most of the website using a screen reader, including the latest versions of JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver
  • read most of the website on devices without a screen, like a braille computer
  • use the website, though not the search, even if Javascript is switched off.

We've made the website text as simple as possible to understand, using plain English wherever possible.

Some of our content is technical, and contains scientific terms and language. In some instances we have not been able to simplify the wording without changing the meaning of the text.

If you have a problem accessing any documents then AbilityNet has advice to help you make your device easier to use.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • We have a number of documents in PDF and other formats not designed for accessibility. See Non-accessible content for a full list of these documents, including the accessibility options available for each one.
  • Some content is embedded in our website, such as videos, and you cannot easily scale these on screen (but you can open a full screen version)
  • Some content embedded in our HTML documents is not fully accessible. 
  • The breadcrumb trail for pages is not currently optimised for screen readers.

Unsupported browsers

The vast majority of our website works correctly on any web technology.

For security reasons, we only support TLS 1.2 and higher security protocols, and this means that some older browsers will not show the site.

Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft, and while the site may work in more recent versions of IE, we do not recommend its use. 

You may experience unexpected behaviour in other browsers, although we use fully validated code which should work on any other browser.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in five working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the NIHR website team at

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We are a distributed organisation, with offices across the country. You can find out more about our organisational structure on our NIHR governance page.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The NIHR is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Links that are broken or have non-accessible formatting

We scan the site monthly for broken links, and look to fix them as soon as they are identified.

Filter accordions

Currently the accordions that contain the filter options for our dynamic content, like News items, Blog entries, and Funding Opportunities, are not fully accessible. We hope to have fixed this by September 2022, but in the meantime you can use the main listing pages, or the search bar, to find what you need.

HTML markup errors

Due to the way our content management system assembles the html data used to render web pages there are a very small number of html markup errors on our site. Unfortunately these cannot be fixed, but should not compromise the accessibility of our website. If you encounter an issue with HTML markup that does cause an issue, please let us know at

Non-accessible images or video

We strive to make all of our content accessible. We are aware of the following issues with images and video on our site:

  • Due to an issue with our content management system YouTube videos on the site, embedded via iframe, currently do not have a title. Our CMS provider is aware of the issue and is working to address this by January 2023.
  • Video content uses automated closed captioning and transcripting, and this is often inaccurate. We review these captions and ensure their accuracy manually.
  • Some of our videos are missing audio descriptions, which does not conform with WCAG success criterion 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded). We are working to address this by January 2023.
  • Due to an issue with our content management system a very small number of non-decorative images on our site currently do not have alt text. Our CMS provider is aware of the issue and is working to address this by January 2023.

Non-accessible documents

Our site favours the HTML format for documents.

PDFs are not able to comply with the requirements of the web accessibility standard, and we do not generally upload new PDFs. Where we do create new PDFs, we use the PDF/UA standard which is more accessible. In some cases we provide printable PDF versions of documents, such as our Annual Report, which are available to supplement HTML versions.

We are aware of issues with the PDF versions of the below documents, and have provided HTML versions for users:

We are working to address the below non-accessible documents, which do not comply with WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.1.1, Non-text content.

  • SoECAT Tool A - accessible version on request. Contact We are working to make this into an accessible interactive form and aim to complete this work by January 2023.
  • SoECAT Tool B - accessible version on request. Contact We are working to make this into an accessible interactive form and aim to complete this work by January 2023.

We are working to address the below non-accessible documents, which do not comply with WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 2.4.6 Headings and Labels.

As part of our application process for certain calls, we ask applicants to provide information in an excel spreadsheet. Every effort has been made to ensure these are accessible, but if another format is required, please contact the email addresses below.

Certain documents hosted on our website are not produced by the NIHR and so cannot be edited by us.

We have a number of Standard Application Form (SAF) Word documents which contain the questions included in the accessible forms used to apply for funding. These documents are to assist applicants wishing to gather information from multiple partners, and are provided in addition to the information which is provided in HTML formats.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations PDFs and other documents

PDFs and other documents

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. For this reason, we do not plan to fix the below documents:

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

In October 2020, we engaged the Shaw Trust to assess our website for accessibility. They undertook testing of the mobile and desktop version of our sites. On Desktop they used automated testing, a technical manual review, and user testing by seven in-house assessors with a range of disabilities, some using assistive technologies.

The report found that was non-compliant with WCAG legislation in the below areas:


WCAG level

WCAG reference

Ambiguous Form Fields


 1.1.1, 1.3.1, 1.3.5, 3.3.2, 4.1.2

Non-Descriptive Link Text


1.3.1, 2.4.4

Non-Descriptive Page Titles



Missing Alt Text


1.1.1, 1.4.5

Non-Descriptive Alt Text



Untitled Frames


1.3.1, 2.4.1

Video and Audio missing Text Alternatives


 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3

Automatic Caption Accuracy


1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3

Video missing Audio Description


1.2.3, 1.2.5

Inaccessible Non-HTML Documents



In line with the Shaw Trust requirements, we will address issues by October 2022, starting with our most-visited pages.

Third party content

Our website contains third-party content. We do not have control over and are not responsible for the accessibility of this content, but we make best endeavours to work with the third party to improve its accessibility.


We know that the Hotjar tool we use to collect feedback and conduct surveys is not fully accessible. If you want to give feedback about the app, send an email to

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared in September 2019. It was last reviewed in June 2022.

This website was last tested on April 2022. The test was carried out by the Shaw Trust.

We used this approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test:

  • Our 10 pages with the highest traffic
  • Eight pages audited by the Government Digital Service
  • Four pages with non-standard code
  • A selection of example pages to cover all of our page templates and content type, e.g. blogs, news pieces, documents, case studies.