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Funding for Community Research Partnerships - Information Pack for Community or Charity Organisations and Groups


Published: 06 April 2022

Version: 1.0 - April 2022

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We are excited to introduce a new funding call, giving research teams, community and charity organisations and groups the opportunity to explore and develop partnerships together. This is intended to provide a springboard for developing enduring health and social care research collaborations, and relationships that benefit all parties. In the longer term, we anticipate these partnerships will help ensure that research finds better solutions for the health and care problems that communities face (especially those who are least well served by health and care), as shaped by those communities.

This innovation came from members of the public who sit on a committee to help the NIHR to decide which research ideas it should fund. NIHR had already identified that there was a gap in early-stage funding and time for the development of partnership working between researchers and communities prior to research ideas being put forward for funding. Public committee members on the Programme Grants for Applied Research Committee, some of whom have community engagement experience, saw an opportunity to create a dedicated funding call which helped to address this gap. They have worked with the Research Design Service and in-house team to bring the ideas to life. There is more information about this call and why it has been introduced in section 2 of this document.

Partnerships can secure up to £150k for between 6 and 18 months to develop relationships and try out new ways of working together and with communities on health and care problems, or to develop new ways of working between researchers and communities that could be adopted by others. Partnerships must include a host organisation who submits the jointly developed application for funding, and takes responsibility for it on behalf of the partners; that organisation must be an NHS trust, NHS Body or another provider of NHS services in England.

2022 is only the starting point; this call will be repeated annually for the next 3 years at least, and the idea is to learn and improve how the call works year on year, based on the experience of all parties. We would welcome your feedback and ideas on this as the work progresses.

We hope that this information pack will provide the answers to any questions you may have about the call, and will help you to decide whether this is something your organisation or group could get involved with. If you are not sure, or you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the team.

Finally, we would like to thank the public contributors who initiated this call, and who have worked on this information pack.

Elaine Hay, Programme Director, Programme Grants for Applied Research 

Zoë Gray, Associate Director, Public Partnerships

Other information relating to this funding call

Section 1: Explaining NIHR and the role of patients and public in health and care research

1.1 What is NIHR and what job does it do?

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). We invest over £1 billion a year in research to shape better treatments and care, involving NHS hospitals, community settings, general practice surgeries, local authority public health services, social care facilities and more. In the last 2 years, NIHR has played a major role in funding COVID-19 and Long COVID research, which you may have heard about in the press.

To decide its priorities and ensure that the research it funds makes an impact, the NIHR works in partnership with:

  • the NHS
  • wider public health and social care systems
  • universities
  • regulators of research
  • industry
  • charities
  • other research funders
  • public, patients, service users and carers (we will say public for short in this document)

NIHR uses the term “public partnerships” to cover the various ways in which people and communities work with NIHR in the creation and use of research. This includes:

  • involvement (research done “by” and “with” the public)
  • engagement (where information about research is shared and/or discussed and disseminated together)
  • participation (where patients or the public are involved as volunteers in a trial)

There are approximately 200 people funded by NIHR who organise, support, or manage public partnerships work in various ways, whether in research teams or with institutions like universities, primary care services or hospital trusts that support research activity. The NIHR expects those whose activity it funds to work to the UK Standards for Public Involvement when involving the public.

NIHR’s research is shaped in collaboration with patients, service users, carers and communities. We partner with patients, service users, carers and communities to keep improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research. People contribute at every stage of the research and also play a vital role by volunteering to participate in studies and trials (e.g: to test medications, public health interventions and care services). We are determined that public perspectives and experiences are heard and acted upon, and that their contributions are valued and recognised as part of research.

1.2 How does NIHR fund research, and who is involved in doing research?

A key way in which NIHR funds research is through operating different funding programmes to fund different types of research. For example, there is a programme focused on how new technology can help health.

NIHR also manages periodic themed calls, which focus on a particular research subject like obesity, or dementia. They are sometimes carried out in collaboration with other research funders. Each programme publishes calls for research proposals, often annually and sometimes more frequently.

Researchers/research teams (this can include public contributors and or charities/community organisations) apply to NIHR for funds so they can deliver research. This requires developing a research proposal.

Researchers/teams usually work in, or through the infrastructure of, universities or hospital trusts. To deliver meaningful research which can make a difference to care and treatments, different perspectives and skills are needed to plan out, write (and afterwards, deliver) a research proposal. This includes people with research skills, clinical experience and lived experience (patients, public, service users, carers) of the conditions, treatments or care being researched.

A research proposal needs to match the aims and eligibility criteria for the programme or themed call. In any proposal, a partnership will:

  • make clear the questions that their proposed research will answer
  • explain how they will go about designing and delivering the research (who will be involved, the time frame, the expected outcomes and the difference it will make), including how public contributors/communities will be involved

This is done using an NIHR Standard Application Form (this link is an example word version only. All applications must be submitted via our online system to be considered) and its associated guidance.

Research proposals are assessed by a committee which includes experts by qualification and by lived experience (e.g: public contributors). The committee assesses proposals and makes decisions about which of these it will fund, according to how they meet the programme criteria and NIHR’s requirements. As part of this, committees will assess how effective the proposed public partnerships work is likely to be.

Once projects have been approved by committees, a funding contract is issued to the institution who signs the contract for the research proposal (the host organisation), and who is accountable for making sure the research is delivered as agreed.

The progress of the research will be monitored by the team who manage the particular programme (programme team), and any amendments to the approach over the course of the project will be formally agreed with them. The host organisation is responsible for managing the partnership they have put in place to deliver the research, its outputs and ensuring that the funding is distributed and used for the activities as agreed in the proposal.

1.3 More about the role of public, patients, communities in NIHR and NIHR’s expectations of public partnerships

The NIHR is committed to strengthening work with patients, service users, carers, communities and the public. This is a key part of our focus on tackling health inequalities, bringing research to underserved communities and regions, and embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in research.

NIHR already works closely with public contributors, who play a significant role in the creation and use of health and care research in NIHR, throughout all aspects of what is known as the “research lifecycle” (see fig.1 below).

Figure. 1: A diagram illustrating the steps in the Research Cycle

Caption: The research cycle starts with the step of identifying and prioritising what should be researched, the next step is commissioning. The third step is the designing and managing of research, followed by undertaking the research. The fifth step is disseminating the research, followed by implementing the research. After this the impact of the research is evaluated, and this leads back to the first step when more research evidence is required to achieve positive health and care outcomes.

The general public is probably most aware of one of the roles that the public plays in research; the role that volunteers play in clinical trials, where they test new medicines or treatments (like treatments for COVID in hospital and at home).

In addition to this, public contributors play a key part in these activities (which all link to the research cycle), for example:

  • setting the questions that research needs to answer or the outcomes that are most important to patients,
  • deciding how the research will be designed to best achieve its aims,
  • collecting and analysing information which will help answer the research question,
  • taking the role of a co-researcher on the team,
  • reviewing documents and papers,
  • checking the language is accessible,
  • sharing the results of research with communities and helping health and care organisations to act upon it

There is significant evidence that the role public contributors play makes research more relevant and impactful.

NIHR recognises that it needs to do more to ensure that there is increased diversity in the backgrounds, ethnicity, gender and lived experiences of the public contributors involved in research, if research is to serve the needs of everyone. In order to achieve this, NIHR expects researchers and institutions to do more work with diverse communities and at an earlier stage of developing research, especially those who are underserved by health and care. This includes individuals and communities who, for reasons of where they live, the jobs and income they have, being disabled or of a certain ethnicity (for example), are more likely to have less access to health and care treatments and services, a poorer experience of them, and/or worse health and care or outcomes. NIHR research needs to better address these needs. It is therefore important to develop relationships with, and work alongside, community and charity organisations and groups who already have a strong understanding of, and relationships with, communities and groups in different areas.

Various guidance and resources have been developed to guide and support research teams in working with communities, in line with the UK Public Involvement Standard on Inclusive Opportunities, including:

    This offers guidance on how to include groups in research who have less access to it/awareness of it. It is aimed at research teams who are designing inclusive research or at those who are assessing the inclusiveness of research.
  • Reaching Out: A Practical Guide to Being Inclusive in Health Research
    This is a write up of the learning from some projects which NIHR delivered with communities to increase awareness of research and to work towards partnerships for designing and delivering research.
  • Research Design Service - Community Engagement Toolkit
    This resource is aimed at supporting researchers and communities to work together to develop research funding applications. It includes 10 guiding principles for effective community management.
  • Health Inequalities Assessment Toolkit
    This aims to help research teams and others to identify the inequalities associated with the health problem they want to tackle, to consider the social and economic causes of those inequalities, and to work out how they can plan and monitor their work to address these.
  • Being Inclusive in Public Involvement in Health and Care Research
    This is a short 12-point document, giving hints and tips for researchers and practitioners about how things to think about when you’re trying to work with individuals and communities on research
  • Increasing Diversity in Research Toolkit (Centre for Ethnic Health Research)
    This is a toolkit for researchers aimed at increasing the participation of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority groups in health and social care research.
  • REPAG Race Equality Framework
    The Race Equality Public Action Group is a public led group formed of people from Black African, Asian and Caribbean heritage, working alongside researchers, to promote and take active steps to improve race equality in health and care research.

Section 2: Information about this funding opportunity

2.1 What is the Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (PGfAR)?

Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) is one of NIHR’s research funding programmes. It aims to deliver research outputs that will lead to clear and identifiable patient, service user or carer benefit. Typically through the promotion of health and wellbeing, prevention of ill health and disease management. Research proposals must be in an area of priority or need for the NHS, public health or social care. You can visit the PGfAR webpage to learn more about this scheme.

2.2 What is a Programme Development Grant (PDG)?

NIHR Programme Development Grants (PDG) is a funding scheme which is part of one of the NIHR programmes: Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR). It was designed to enable researchers and partners to work together to prepare a future application to the programme, or to further develop an existing programme of research which is already funded by the programme. You can visit the PDG webpage to learn more. This new funding opportunity fits under the umbrella of PDG.

2.3 Why has this call for community research partnerships been introduced?

High quality public partnerships work is a key requirement of all NIHR funding programmes.

There are many great examples of how public partnerships work makes research more meaningful and impactful. On the other hand, sometimes this work can end up being researcher-led, with limitations on who is involved and the way that the work is undertaken.

NIHR is keen to broaden relationships, and to do more community engagement, so that the wider needs of communities (particularly communities currently underserved by research and or health and care in general) shape how research is created and used. This will mean that the results and recommendations of research better meet everyone’s needs and can make more of a positive difference to health and care services and treatments.

Public contributors who already work with NIHR initiated the development of this new call. They identified that more could be done to make relationships between research teams and those with lived experience more equal. They advocated that funding partnership development between charity/community groups and organisations and researchers would better enable public members and wider communities to be an integral part of shaping future research, ensuring that it gets designed and delivered with those that it most needs to serve.

This new call for research partnerships has been developed with public contributors and employees working in NIHR. You can learn more about why this innovation is important and needed by reading the blog written by a public contributor, Anica Alvarez Nishio, and Steven Blackburn, from the NIHR.

It is recognised that community/charity groups and organisations are an important bridge to communities that research would not otherwise reach or serve. Community/charity groups and organisations often have a better understanding of the health and care needs of communities in the areas in which they work than researchers would, and they frequently have strong relationships/trust with those communities. Community/charity groups and organisations bring different skills sets, creativity and innovation in how they work with individuals and communities to identify and meet needs. This is hugely relevant and valuable to research design, delivery and use.

This is why this call is specifically encouraging community/charity groups and organisations to come forward, to develop relationships with researchers and to apply for funding to work together in a purposeful partnership. Community/charity organisations and groups do not have to have been involved in research before to get involved.

Researchers have been provided with information about this call in the Programme Development Grants - Developing Innovative, Inclusive and Diverse Public Partnerships call brief.

2.4 How could the organisation or group I work with get involved and funded as part of this call?

If your organisation or group has views about health or care issues which need to be addressed in the area or community you work in and you’d like to work with researchers and the community to explore them, the first step would be to find a partner researcher or research team that has common interests to your group or organisation. The partner researcher/team should already have good links to a research active NHS Trust, NHS Body or another provider of NHS services. This is because any research proposal you develop together must be submitted by a host organisation, which must be an NHS Trust, NHS Body or another provider of NHS services in England.

In the event of your proposal being approved, this host organisation acts as the vehicle to access and distribute any funding amongst partners, and takes legal responsibility for delivery. Whilst a community or charity organisation or group cannot take the role of the host organisation, it might be them that initiates the proposal, and they can of course play a full part in the idea generation, design and delivery of any project.

The funding that any partnership applies for is expected to be shared fairly and transparently amongst the partners, and to cover all the costs of doing the work. Research teams and research active NHS Trust, NHS Body or another provider of NHS services in England have finance teams that are familiar with working out the costs of community engagement and public involvement activities. They will be able to work with you to create a budget that covers all your expenses and time. If you are not sure what costs you might incur, or how to cost your work, you can also use these resources to help you:

If your proposal is approved and contracted, the host organisation will arrange for payments to be made to your community or charity organisation or group on a schedule that is suitable to you. For example, the up front costs of the activity you will deliver can be funded in advance so that you are not out of pocket.

For more information on planning and costing your involvement, see section 3.3.

2.5 Where to find more information about the funding call and how to search for partners

Two documents have been developed to advertise this call; one which is written with researchers in mind, and one which is written with community or charity organisations and groups in mind. This was done because we know that some of the community or charity groups and organisations that could get involved in this work will not be familiar with research or be researchers themselves - yet!

We have also created an online facility via our website, People in Research, to help community/charity organisations or groups and researchers to find each other. Using this facility, you can share any ideas that you might have about activities or themes you might be interested in working on (so that researchers can find you). You can also search for interested researchers to work with.

If you are interested in taking part in this funding opportunity, please do look at all the documents thoroughly and remember that if you have any questions at all (we know that getting involved in research can be confusing), you can ask us a question here.

If you need specific technical help with putting your information up on People in Research, or using the search functionality, you can contact us here.

Additionally, we can help you through our Research Design Services (RDS), which are located throughout England. They have specialist advisors who will be able to help you with plans for the application and they may also be able to link you with relevant health and care researchers. Contact the PDG team who will put you in touch with the appropriate RDS contact.

Section 3: Building partnerships and planning for an application

3.1 Start planning early

This funding opportunity is to support you in building partnerships for future research in health and care. It is about developing relationships to help the planning of research in and with the community that any future research will ultimately seek to benefit. The funding can help you to develop existing partnerships or establishing completely new partnerships, with:

  • people, groups and organisations in your community
  • health and care providers
  • universities, hospital trusts and researchers

It is not recommended to wait until the funding call opens in July to do the groundwork and get ready to be able to apply with partners. It can take some time to make the initial contacts, to decide whether your aims and ways of working are compatible, and to develop trust, before you even agree what you might do together.

We recommend that you speak to your staff or volunteers and the people or communities you work with as soon as possible about the sort of partnership you would like, which health and care related issues affecting them that you want to explore further with researchers, your ideas for how you might go about this and the particular skills and strengths you or your team can bring to a partnership.

It is advisable to try and make contact with researchers or research teams in advance of July. This is when the academic year finishes and many researchers become uncontactable for periods throughout July and August.

3.2 Explore common interests and ways of working between prospective partners

Once you identify potential partners, build time in to get to know each other’s interests and ways of working more before you agree to work together on a proposal. You could start off in a more general way, and focus on specifics as you move towards an agreement to work together. Below are some example prompts to help shape your discussions:

  • The health and care issues that most concern you and your communities in your work, who they most affect (e.g., specific customers that a charity works with) and where (e.g., geographical location)
  • What do you understand to be the specific needs and wants of the individuals or communities in question? What would that mean for how you would work with them, including involving them in shaping the design and delivery of any work together?
  • What would you like to see happen/achieve in the longer term to address these issues? What would success look like for your group or organisation? How might working together get you closer to achieving that?
  • What knowledge, skills, strengths, insight, connections, networks and resources do you already bring and what gaps might there be?
  • What is unique or special about your organisation and the way it works which could be relevant? This could be anything - from running a community radio station or arts classes through to being able to speak community languages
  • What might it look like working together and what are your preferences in terms of ways of working and communicating?
  • What are the things you need to happen or to be provided to make a partnership work in your context? For example, a community organisation run by volunteers might need to recruit someone to help run any activity, they might need funding up front in order to do this. Work might need to happen in evenings or weekends. Is this achievable?
  • Which roles would be involved in designing and delivering work together, and who might be best suited to which roles?
  • Who is best placed to do what in the process of preparing the wording and finances for an application and submitting it (e.g., who can help work out the costs for all partners and prepare the finance section? who would write the text and how would they go about ensuring all partners are happy with the content etc.?)?

Once you agree that you want to work together, you might consider developing a joint working agreement to set your respective roles and expectations in the project. It can be good to have what you have discussed in writing. It also helps you to reflect on what you’ve agreed and make adjustments if you need to. This can be as simple or detailed, as formal or informal as you need it to be. If you are a member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, you can download a template for a joint working agreement. It is also worth agreeing in advance how you would iron out any conflicts or difficulties between partners, were they to arise.

3.3 Understand the budgeting and people implications

If you are a smaller charity or community organisation, especially if you’re mainly volunteer run, you will need to think carefully about how you can build in the time and resources to be part of a proposal, how you will decide what to charge for the work, and how you’ll manage the finances and work together if the research proposal is approved.

One option is to link up with a larger charity or community organisation who understands your work and organisational needs and who already has effective finance and administration systems in place. They could be a partner in the proposal, and you could agree to deliver some of the activity for them, and they would be responsible to the lead partner for that work being delivered. For example, they might agree to do things like manage the payments to your public contributors for their involvement directly, if you do not have the ability to do this. Alternatively, you could both be collaboration partners with the host organisation; each responsible to the host organisation for different activities. Another option is to agree with the host organisation that they do most of the heavy lifting with regards to organisation, management, finance and administration.

However you proceed, it is recommended that all partners agree in advance who will be responsible for tasks such as:

  • organising and minuting partnership meetings and activities (pre- and post-approval)
  • writing and submitting the application on the Standard Application Form (pre-approval)
  • responding to NIHR and partner queries about the project (pre- and post-approval)
  • preparing and agreeing any external communications about, or publicity for, the project (post-approval)
  • preparing the costings for all partners (pre-approval)
  • managing the distribution of funding and accounting for the project expenditure (post-approval)
  • agreeing how project records will be kept and reported and putting in place processes for this (post-approval)
  • reporting on the project and being part of monitoring processes (post-approval)
  • running project activities and delivering outputs (post-approval)
  • co-ordinating activity with public contributors and ensuring they are remunerated for their time (pre- and post-approval)

You will need to be clear about which individuals working with your group or organisation will be involved in which tasks, how much time this is likely to take, when they might be able to fit the work in over the intended period of the project delivery, and how this fits alongside other work that you have to do. If you do not think you will have the capacity to do the project work with current volunteers or paid staff, you could think about employing new bank staff, contract staff or recruiting some new volunteers to cover other work, or to be part of the project. This would of course involve time and money (for writing job descriptions, advertising roles, interviewing, onboarding, any disclosure and barring service checks and training). The costs of recruiting and training new staff to work on the project are eligible costs to claim, but unless the host organisation is able to fund this “at risk” before the project has been approved, you would have to wait until after the project is approved, then contracted (approximately March/April 2023) to receive the money. Alternatively, you could recruit once the project has been contracted.

You can include the costs for the time that your paid staff would spend working on the project, as part of the application. To work out staff costs, you need to take into account not only any pay they receive (including pension contributions, National Insurance and any other benefits), but also an apportioned amount of your overall costs for running your group and organisation (known as “full cost recovery”). You can read more about full cost recovery here.

You can include what it costs you to manage and support your volunteers, and you will also need to budget for involving members of your community or the public in your work. NIHR has some guidance on how to cost for involvement.

Section 4: Preparing and submitting the application

4.1 Details about what to include in the application form

The PDG scheme operates an online single stage application process, where one application form has to be completed and goes straight to the next funding committee meeting for review and a funding decision. The application form is completed and submitted on our online Research Management System.

You can download a word version of NIHR’s standard application form and use it to draft your proposal in advance of the call opening in July. When it comes to completing the online application form (which will be available via the PDG web page once the call has opened in July), the content you have drafted in the word version can be copied and pasted into it. We also suggest that anyone in your organisation who would like to be a named applicant, and to help edit and check the online application, sets up an account on the Research Management System, so they are all set when the call opens in July.

The online form contains a number of sections that are briefly outlined below. Full details on the requirements for each of the sections can be found in the published guidance documents linked from the PDG webpage. The host organisation will be responsible for the application form, and, together with the research team, can provide the expertise on filling it out, but the content will be created together by the partners.

Application form sections

  1. Application Summary Information - Some general information including application title, host organisation, duration. You are also asked to confirm which PDG stream you are applying to and (assuming the PDG application is successful) the estimated date of an intended follow-on Programme Grant application. The date is an estimate and is not set in stone.

  2. CV for Lead and Co-applicants (the named leads of the project) - General CV information will be drawn automatically from the ‘My CV’ section of the Lead/Co-Applicant’s account. Any public co-applicants are not obliged to complete a standard CV but are required to provide a summary of their experience into the application in a separate text box.

  3. Research Background of Lead and Co-applicants - Applicants are asked to identify relevant publications or research grants from their CV to support the application. Any public co-applicants are not obliged to complete this section.

  4. Development Work Team - The role and time commitment of each co-applicant should be provided.

  5. Scientific Abstract - Applicants are asked to provide a scientific summary of their proposed research

  6. Plain English Summary - Applicants are asked to provide a plain English summary of their proposed research

  7. Detailed Development Work Plan - This section comprises a number of sub-sections. Details are needed on the following:

    background and rationale for the application, aims and objectives, the PDG work plan, future work plans/what next, the research timetable, project management, ethical considerations, why the team is best qualified to undertake the work, criteria for success and possible barriers to successful delivery of the work
  8. Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) - Applicants are asked to explain the role of patient and public involvement and engagement in the intended project, and how they have been involved in the application so far

  9. Detailed Budget - Here the budget for the application needs to be detailed under a number of different sections (e.g., salary costs, costs for reimbursing people supporting public partnerships etc.).

  10. Management and Governance - Applicants are asked to complete some simple questions around whether clinical trial authorisation is required, whether the application requires ethical approval and if yes, whether ethical approval has already been obtained.

  11. Uploads - Applicants can upload additional documents to support the application (e.g., logic models, flow diagrams, pictures, charts, letters of support, papers in press etc.).

4.2 Submitting the application

The final application needs to be submitted by 21 September 2022 1pm (13:00), using the online one stage form described in section 4.1 above.

It is recommended that the host organisation submits the application several days in advance of the deadline, to allow for any last minute technical glitches that you might encounter.

4.3 Key dates for this call

Applicant webinar 21 June 2022
Call open 27 July 2022
Call close 21 September 2022
Notification of outcome Mid-December

Section 5: How Funding Decisions Are Made

5.1 The role of the committee

Applications submitted to the call will be reviewed by a committee comprising a Chair, Programme Director, a mixture of applied health research experts and public contributors. Given the PPIE/community engagement focus of the call, we intend to have more public contributors than applied health research experts on the committee.

5.2 Selection criteria

Each application will be assessed against selection criteria, including:

  • novelty of the approach
  • likelihood to positively influence future research
  • plans to ensure mutual benefit between researchers and communities
  • reach into under-served communities
  • plans for appropriate and proportionate evaluation
  • strength of the partnership
  • plans for the partnership to be sustained

Applications that meet the selection criteria are typically recommended for funding. Funding recommendations will then be sent to the DHSC for approval. Once approved, all applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application; we anticipate this will be around mid-December 2022.

Section 6: What happens after the funding decision?

6.1 Our project has been approved - what now?

If your partnership application is recommended for funding:

  • you will be provided with committee feedback in your notification letter. You will also be provided with feedback about any problems with the budget etc.
  • the host organisation will be expected to provide a response to the committee feedback, with any financial and intellectual property concerns identified
  • the response to committee feedback will be reviewed by the chair and Programme Director, and if necessary, members of the funding committee
  • if satisfactory, the host organisation and key contacts in your team will be notified and a contract issued to start negotiation
  • this part of the process typically takes between 2 to 4 months
  • once the signed contract is in place the host organisation will finalise agreements with you and you will be able to start the work. The host organisation will make arrangements for paying your share of the costs
  • we anticipate that the partnership work you have described in the proposal will be able to start around April 2023

6.2 Our project has not been approved - what now?

If your application is unsuccessful

  • your notification letter will include committee feedback outlining the reasons why - your team can ask for further clarification about the feedback if anything is unclear
  • your team can also discuss the feedback with the Research Design Service (RDS) who may be able to help you improve the application based on the feedback provided
  • the PDG scheme does not prevent applicants from reapplying, as this is a special scheme that is only being run once a year, the next opportunity to apply will be in 2023
  • You will be able to opt into communications about the grants to learn more and to help you consider any future application - there may be opportunities to speak to successful applicants to get hints and tips for a future application too

Section 7: Further information and support

If you are new to working in research or with researchers, we appreciate that there is a lot of information to take in.

If you would like to learn more about public partnerships, you may find these resources useful:

And remember, if you are stuck or don’t understand something, please contact us directly.