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Global Advanced Fellowship Round 1 - Application Form Guidance


Published: 11 April 2024

Version: April 2024

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Before reading these application form guidance notes, please read the Global Advanced Fellowship Round 1 Guidance notes. Additional information can also be found in the Global Health Research Core Guidance.

Before you can start an application you will be required to register on the ARAMIS system. You will be asked to supply a valid email address and to complete some basic information. Once this has been submitted you will receive an email confirming your registration and a temporary password. You should follow the instructions in the email to log onto the system.

Once signed into the system you will be able to update various details including your CV (in ‘manage my details’) and apply for any open applications. To start an application you will need to go to ‘My Applications’ and select ‘New Application’. You should then select the level of fellowship you wish to apply for from the list provided.

After answering all the eligibility questions you will be able to start completing the online form. Please make sure you read all available guidance text including this document as well as any online instructions thoroughly whilst you are completing the form.

Please note that all of the steps described here need to take place before the deadline of 1:00 pm BST on 11 July 2024. No exceptions will be made.

Section 1: Application Summary Information

1.1 Host Organisation

Please give details of the organisation who will be the contractor if the award is funded. A example of the NIHR GHR research contract is provided on our website.

Please note that we expect the Awardee’s proposed host organisation (substantive employer) to act as the contractor. The contractor is expected to:

Respond to quarterly financial reconciliation exercises, provide the final financial reconciliation statement for the award and to provide ad hoc requests for financial information during the lifetime of the award.

Respond to any queries relating to Intellectual Property, commercialisation and benefit realisation.

LMIC host organisations are required to have an England-based process agent to receive on its behalf service of process in any proceedings brought in the jurisdiction of England. Associated costs can be included in the budget as a direct cost.

If the name of your host organisation does not appear in the pre-populated list please email It can take up to three working days to add an organisation so this should be done as early as possible to avoid any delays in the application process.

1.2 Partner Organisation (where applicable)

Please give details of the main partner organisation who will be supporting this application (for which a signatory will be required). Partner organisation(s) in the LMIC you are working in are required for applicants based in UK institutions

If the name of your main partner organisation does not appear in the pre-populated list please email It can take up to three working days to add an organisation.

1.3 Other Partner Organisations

You can also list other relevant partner organisations but a signatory is only required for the main partner organisation.

1.4 Global Advanced Fellowship application type

You are asked to indicate which of the following uses of a Global Advanced Fellowship best describes your application:

  • You have recently completed or soon to be awarded a PhD but are not established as an independent researcher (noting that your thesis must have been submitted at the time of application).
  • You are already established as an independent researcher but are not yet recognised as an international leader in your field.
  • You are looking to transition into applied health or social care research from a basic science or non-health/care research background.
  • You are seeking to re-establish a research career following a significant career break.

If your application doesn’t align with one of these descriptions, please contact the NIHR who will be happy to discuss your proposed application with you.

This information will be used to determine which sub-committee will review your application.

1.5 Research Title

The programme title should state clearly and concisely the proposed research. Any abbreviations should be spelled out in full.

1.6 Research Type

Select the appropriate research type. If you are not sure which category to select, choose the closest match to your project as this can be adjusted later. View NIHR definitions of terms.

1.7 Proposed Start Date

Awards can start on the 1st of the month between April and October 2025. This should be from the 1st of the month regardless of whether this is a working day or not. Please be realistic about your possible start date taking account of the necessary contracting, and staff recruitment prior to starting your project.

1.8 Award Duration

Awards can be undertaken for 2, 3, 4 or 5 years. Awards can only be undertaken with the working time equivalent (WTE) options given.

Please select the duration of award between 2 and 5 years full time equivalent. Please select whether you wish to hold the Fellowship on a full-time basis, or part-time basis at 50% WTE or above.

Awards cannot be undertaken for less than 2 years (24 months) at 100% WTE, or longer than five years (60 months) at any WTE.

The duration of the award in months will be automatically calculated based on your chosen duration and WTE. The options available for the duration based on duration and WTE are shown in Annex A.

Please note that if you select a fellowship length and WTE that results in an award duration over 60 months, you will not be able to proceed with your application form. This figure is also used to determine the correct number of years that is needed within the Detailed Budget page.

For non-clinical applicants the Fellowship does not include or pay for any activities other than the research and research-related training proposed in a successful application. All other activities must be undertaken outside the percentage time declared as the basis of the Fellowship.

For clinical/practice applicants applying for a Global Advanced Fellowship, up to 40% of time can be allocated to clinical/practice for service and/or training. You should indicate in the Training and Development section of the application if you are requesting time for clinical sessions to be covered by the award.

Section 2: Applicant CV

Please note some of the responses to these questions are automatically pulled through from information you have entered in the ‘Manage My Details’ or ‘Research Outputs’ page in ARAMIS.

The ‘Publication Record’ section of the form is automatically populated from publications added into the ‘My Research Outputs’ page of your ARAMIS account.

2.1 Degrees and Professional Qualifications

Please give the full details of any completed higher degree(s) and, where relevant, the full details of any higher degree(s) you are currently undertaking.

2.2 Present and previous positions

When entering details of your current and previous positions please indicate at what percentage (WTE) in each post you were undertaking research. For example, if you were a Clinical Lecturer and undertook research for 2.5 days a week and clinical/practice work for 2.5 days per week; please enter 50% for that position. If you have worked part time at 60%, and undertook research for half of that time, please enter 30% for that position.

2.3 Research grants held

Details of all grants obtained in the last five years should be provided, including personal research training awards or fellowships, plus any additional previous grants relevant to this application. Please indicate clearly any co-Awardees and provide brief details of the nature and full extent of your involvement (e.g. project design, project management, day to day running, data collection, data analysis, writing papers for publication.).

In the ‘Role in Research Grant’ box for each entry include the registration number and name of the registry and the DOI of the main related publication. Where the study is still ongoing or final results have not yet been published, please provide an estimated publication date. This is inline with the NIHR policy on clinical trial registration and disclosure of results. These details relate to the applicant only.

It is recognised that the outputs in terms of grants and publications will vary depending on your experience, profession and level of award being applied for. Linking to and using the response to the ‘Applicant Research Background’ section you should highlight the impact of outputs listed under research grants and make the case for why your experience and outputs make you suitable for the fellowship being applied for.

Please note that your research grant record must be completed within the application form and not via the CV section on ARAMIS.

2.4 Publication record

This section of the form is automatically populated from publications added into the ‘My Research Outputs’ page of your ARAMIS account. To update, please ‘save and close’ your application, return to the ‘home’ screen and select ‘Research Outputs’ from the left-hand menu.

When publications have been added, your name can be edited to show in bold within application forms via the ‘Assign Grant Contacts’ option.

To ensure publications display correctly, with all of the required information, applicants are strongly advised to use the ‘import’ function and import their publications from Europe PMC.

Do not include abstracts, conference proceedings or articles in preparation. If relevant, details of these may be included in the ‘Applicant Research Background’ section. Details of articles which are in press and have been accepted as final by the publisher may be included. Depending on professional background and expertise, applicants are not necessarily expected to have an extensive list of publications.

Only publications relevant to your application should be included.

2.5 Relevant Prizes, Awards and Other Academic Distinctions

Please provide details of any awards or distinctions that would be relevant to your application including details of what the award was for.

2.6 ORCiD

The NIHR is an ORCID member and encourages all researchers to obtain this persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. You must include an ORCID iD in your application. Without it, your application will not be validated and you will not be able to submit. View more information on ORCID, including how to register.

Section 3: Applicant Research Background

3.1 Professional background

Select the one option which best describes your professional group. This will determine whether further options appear below for your profession or speciality.

3.2 Describe your research career to date - 1000 word limit

Please use this question to describe your research experience and career to date and how this makes you suitable for this award, and to undertake the research being proposed. The following items should be included, however please note that this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Research you have led or made a significant contribution to (making clear what your role was), the research methods you have experience of, and the impact and outputs of the research you have been involved in (linking to details given in your CV)
  • Any other relevant experience such as supervisory, management, teaching, public engagement and involvement, or leadership experience
  • Other skills and experience which highlights your suitability for the Global Advanced fellowship, and which demonstrates your potential as a future health or social care research leader.

Please do not duplicate any information that will be included within the Detailed Research Plan section. Please do not include any web links, as they will be disregarded by the Funding Committee.

The option to upload one document for this section is only for the inclusion of charts, diagrams, tables and images that relate to the text in this section. Any other information/documents uploaded here will be removed. The document must be in either Word or PDF format. Please do not leave this section blank on the online system in order to upload a document with text and images combined, as this will be removed and your application will be deemed incomplete.

Impact of Fellowship

Please describe the impact this Fellowship will have on your career, noting that a Fellowship should provide you with a step change in your career path. You should also provide justification for the resources and length of funding you have requested in the context of the impact this will provide.

3.3 Title of PhD or postgraduate medical research degree

Please provide the title of the relevant PhD or postgraduate medical research degree; this must have been submitted at the time of application.

3.4 Date of award/submission of PhD or postgraduate medical research degree

You are asked to confirm whether the PhD or postgraduate medical research degree has already been awarded at the time of application. If yes, you will be asked to provide the date of award.

If no, you will be asked to provide the date of submission. Please note that your thesis must have been submitted at the time of application. You will also be asked to provide the details of your supervisor (in the Participants and Signatories section) who will be asked to confirm submission and that you are expected to be awarded your PhD by the time of interview (January 2025).

3.5 Has this application been previously submitted to this or any other funding body? 500 word limit

Select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to indicate whether this or a similar application has previously been submitted to this or any other funding body. This includes previous submissions for an NIHR research training award, even if the proposed research has changed.

If you select ‘Yes’, you will be asked to provide details including the title of any previous submission(s), the funding body and scheme, the outcome and the date this is due if a decision is pending.

If the application was unsuccessful please indicate why and detail how this application differs from previous submission(s) and how any feedback received has been used to inform this application.

3.6 Contextual Factors - 500 word limit

Detail any contextual or mitigating factors the Funding Committee should be aware of. This could include:

  • Career breaks due to parental leave, or periods of illness.
  • Reduced time spent undertaking research due to a disability or caring responsibilities. This could include any physical or mental difficulty that may have impacted your research career. These are situations that have a significant impact on your ability to undertake research.
  • Reduced opportunities to career support e.g. mentorship, and limited opportunities to undertake prior research and training,
  • Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your research career.

Please also use this section to detail any other factors that may have impacted your research career not listed in the examples provided. The impact on your career to date will be specific to your particular circumstances but could include such impacts as limited opportunities to obtain grant funding, or fewer publications. In general terms, contextual factors should be significant, and relevant.

NIHR acknowledges that you may be reluctant, or uncomfortable disclosing relevant information that is sensitive. However, you should bear in mind that we are unable to take into account factors that you do not disclose. Please be assured that information provided by you is sensitive and will be treated confidentially and in line with General Data and Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Section 4: Plain English Summary of Research - 600 word limit

A plain English summary is a clear explanation of your research. Many reviewers use this summary to inform their review of your funding application. The reviewers will include those who do not have specialist knowledge of your field of research.

A good quality plain English summary providing an easy to read overview of your whole study will help:

  • Those carrying out the review (reviewers and board and funding committee members) to have a better understanding of your research proposal
  • Inform others about your research such as members of the public, health and social care professionals, policy makers and the media
  • The research funders to publicise the research that they fund.

If it is felt that your plain English summary is not clear and of a good quality then you may be required to amend it prior to final funding approval.

You may wish to involve patients/service users, practitioners, carers and community members to develop a plain English summary. Consider including the following:

  • aim(s) of the research
  • background to the research
  • design and methods used
  • patient and public involvement/community engagement and involvement
  • dissemination

The plain English summary is not the same as a scientific abstract. For further information on writing in plain English take a look at our guidance for Plain English summaries.

Section 5: Scientific Abstract - 500 word limit

The scientific abstract should be a clear and concise scientific summary of the Detailed Research Plan / Methods. You may wish to include the following:

  • Research question
  • Background
  • Aims and objectives
  • Methods
  • Timelines for delivery
  • Anticipated impact and dissemination

It will be for applicants to decide the appropriate elements to be included in the scientific abstract and could include elements outside this list. Applicants may find the guidance on the EQUATOR Network website useful.

Section 6: Detailed Research Plan

6.1 Detailed Research Plan - 5000 word limit

Please ensure the information is accurate, succinct and clearly laid out. Using all of the headings (in the order presented) and guidance below, please use this section to clearly explain your proposed research.

When completing this section please do not include web links, as they will be disregarded by the Funding Committee.

You can upload only one document for this section. This document can contain charts, diagrams, tables and images that relate to the text in this section. The document must be in either Word or PDF format. Please do not leave this section blank on the online system in order to upload a document with text and images combined.

All implementation plans need to be clearly defined and a Gantt chart setting out what will be achieved and when should be included within the uploaded document for this section. Gantt charts should include milestones quarterly for the first twelve months then annually thereafter.

The research programme should have clear patient/service user benefit by the end of the award.

Research Inclusion for study participants

Every person eligible to take part in research should be offered the same opportunity of taking part in that research regardless of:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Geographical location
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Access to health or social care

You should demonstrate how these factors have been considered and addressed in your proposal, including steps taken to ensure the research sample is representative of the population the study is targeted at.

You should complete an Equality Impact Assessment where you can explain who you are planning to recruit to ensure inclusivity of study participants and any exclusions

NIHR is committed to promoting Equality Diversity and Inclusion in research.

Heading 1: What is the problem being addressed?

  • You should provide a clear explanation of:
    • What is the health or care problem that your research addresses?
    • How would your research impact on patients/service users, carers as well as health and care services?
    • How does your research fill a demonstrable evidence gap?

Heading 2: Why is this research important in terms of improving the health and/or wellbeing of the public and/or to patients/service users, carers and health and care services?

  • You should identify:
    • The health and care need(s) your research meets or contributes to
    • The anticipated value or contribution the study will provide.

Heading 3: Review of existing evidence - how does the existing literature support this proposal?

You should explain why this research is needed now, both in terms of time and relevance.

We will only fund primary research where the proposed research is informed by a review of the existing evidence.

Early career Global Advanced Fellowship applicants can propose to undertake a systematic review as part of the fellowship, provided it is well justified.

Heading 4: What is the research question / aims and objectives?

You should summarise the research question/key aims and objectives.

Heading 5: Project Plan

Provide an expert description of the project plan of investigation plus any additional points required to support statements made in the previous sections. You should include any key references required to justify the points made such as the use of particular outcome measures or methods of analysis.

If applicable you should include: study design, justification of sample size, selection and exclusion criteria, methods of data collection and analysis, and justification for your choice of methodology.

Summary of patients/service users/carers/public as research participants

Your study should successfully recruit and retain participants. If your proposed study involves patients/service users/carers/public as research participants, you should use the following points to summarise the participant’s characteristics and what would be expected of the participants throughout the research project lifecycle. The potential burden on study participants can then be understood as well as whether or not the proposed strategies are practical, inclusive and feasible. Please also signpost to where further information on these points can be found in the detailed research plan and application.

Points to cover:

  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria to help ensure that certain groups were not being excluded without justification
  • Recruitment method and consent process to ensure it is practical and fair
  • Type and content of participant information materials
  • Overview of research methods to capture data from participants and their frequency e.g. questionnaires/tests/intervention/focus groups/ interviews
  • Study participant support to consider how drop-out and issues of participation would be handled/helplines/ other access arrangements required
  • Methods for sharing study progress and findings with study participants
  • Payments, rewards and recognition for study participants.
  • Setting/context: Please describe the health or social care service setting or context in which the study will take place (such as the organisation or service type).

Heading 6: Dissemination, Outputs and Anticipated Impact

Here you should describe what the outputs of the research might be, how and who you will talk to and what impact there might be. NIHR understands that the impact of any research may take time to be realised and will likely involve other funders and institutions. In many cases it may be difficult to provide definitive answers or any guarantees. However, addressing the below questions will allow you to describe what you hope or expect the pathway to impact to be, what might prevent impact and who else might be involved.

  • What do you intend to produce from your research?
    • This could include but is not limited to: Conference presentation or other workshop events; Publications (academic or otherwise); Guidelines (clinical, service or otherwise); Other copyright (e.g. questionnaires, training aids, toolkits, manuals, software, etc.); New or improved design of medical devices or instrumentation; New or improved diagnostic; Trial data that could be used to support a CE mark, market authorisation or equivalent; Trial data that could be used to shape or influence a healthcare or social care market or government; Potential new drug or healthcare intervention; Other. Please provide brief details of each of the anticipated outputs.
  • How will you inform and engage patients/service users, carers, relevant health and care system and the wider population about your work?
    • Describe your plans for disseminating this research. If you have not yet made plans, please outline at what stage in your project you intend to start formulating these.
  • How will your outputs enter the health and care system or society as a whole?
    • Describe how any new or improved outputs generate through the proposed research will be recognised, captured, managed and use directly in the health and care service or wider society. This might be through commercial exploitation or other non-commercial routes or means. If the output(s) from your research are likely to be commercial, describe the proposed route to market and by whom, or how you plan on developing this.
  • What are the possible barriers for further research, development, adoption and implementation?
    • Will the proposed research use data, technology, materials or other inventions that are subject to any form of intellectual property protection (e.g. copyright, design rights, patents) or rights owned by another organisation(s)? If yes, provide brief details including how such third party IP will be accessed (e.g. collaboration agreement, drug supply agreement).
    • What are the key current and future barriers to uptake of any likely output or innovation directly in the health and care service, through commercial exploitation or other means, e.g. potential regulatory hurdles?
  • What do you think the impact of your research will be and for whom?
    • In describing the anticipated impact of the expected outputs on the health and care of patients, the public, and on health and care services, please consider; patient, service user or carer benefit; changes in the relevant health and care system service (including efficiency savings); commercial return (which could contribute to economic growth). Indicate the anticipated timescale for the benefits to reach patients, the public and services, providing a quantitative estimate of the scale of these potential benefits, if possible.

Heading 7: Project Management

Please outline the processes that will be put in place to ensure the research described will be well managed. It should be clear the length of time you propose to spend in each partner country and a clear justification for this. This should complement your research timetable upload (see ‘Section 10. Uploads’ below).

Heading 8: Ethics

Please describe any ethical and/or regulatory issues your research project raises and how you intend to address these. Research requiring ethical approval must have the appropriate approvals in place before it can commence. If there are no plans to obtain ethical review, this must be clearly justified. (Note that work outlined in your application/protocol must adhere to the Research Governance Framework).

Further guidance on the approval process is available from the Health Research Authority (HRA). The MRC and the HRA have designed a tool to help you decide whether you need ethical approval.

In addition to seeking independent/institutional ethics committee approval for planned research from your HEI or Research Institute, NIHR Global Advanced Fellows should seek ethical review from an appropriate ethics body in each of the LMICs in which there are study participants. Where an appropriate ethics body does not exist, this should be highlighted clearly in your application or raised separately to the NIHR. Applicants may wish to refer to the MRC guidance on research involving human participants in LMICs when preparing their description of any ethical and/or regulatory issues your research project raises and how you intend to address these.

Heading 9: Success Criteria

Please set out the measurements of success you intend to use and also the key risks to delivering this research and what contingencies you will put in place to deal with them. You should identify appropriate actions that would reduce or eliminate each risk or its impact.

6.2 Provide a statement on the ODA eligibility of the proposal including which countries on the DAC list and the populations within these countries that will primarily benefit from the research. - 500 word limit

The NIHR Global Health Research Programme supports areas of applied health research and training that are under-funded or where there is an unmet need.

The NIHR Global Health Research portfolio is underpinned by three principles which guide development and delivery. They are:

  • Meet eligibility criteria as Official Development Assistance (ODA)
  • Deliver high-quality applied health research, aligned with the Principles of the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR): Impact, Excellence, Effectiveness, Inclusion and Collaboration
  • Strengthen research capability and training through equitable partnerships

Please use this section to demonstrate Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliance criteria. The research must be for the direct and primary benefit of people in ODA-eligible countries. In order to be eligible to receive NIHR Global Health Research funding, applications must demonstrate how they meet ODA compliance criteria and outline:

  • Which country or countries on the OECD DAC list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit
  • How the research plan is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries
  • How the outcomes will promote the health and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list

Please refer to the NIHR Official Development Assistance Guidance for Applicants for more information.

Please ensure that this information is clearly outlined within this section, as this will be used to assist in determining the eligibility of your application.

Where some elements of the research are not undertaken in an ODA-eligible country during the award (including where a country graduates from the DAC list during the lifetime of the award or there is a need for specialist expertise) the application must clearly state the reasons for this with due consideration to the benefit of the research to ODA-eligible countries.

Section 7: Community Engagement and Involvement

NIHR is committed to supporting Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) that empowers communities and fosters co-production of research. Involving communities in LMICs who are affected by the health challenge you are working on will improve the reach, quality and impact of your research. Please read about this commitment by viewing our CEI resources on our community engagement and involvement.

The NIHR expects the research it funds to involve patients, service users, carers and the public and other key stakeholders. You must set out how you will involve these stakeholders.

You must detail all relevant stakeholders to your research proposal. For each stakeholder group, you must detail how each group will benefit from your research, how they will be involved in the proposed research and if appropriate how they were involved in your application.

Your CEI plans will be assessed by the Funding Committee including CEI specialists.

For NIHR Global Advanced Fellowships, there is no standard model for CEI. You will need to detail why you have chosen your approach for your proposed research, who will be involved and why.

More information on CEI can be found in the GHR Core Guidance.

7.1 Please describe how patients/service users and the community have been involved in developing this proposal - 350 word limit

You should describe who has been involved and why this is appropriate, what role(s) they have played and what influence or change has happened as result of their involvement.

Patients and the general public within a given community, especially vulnerable groups who are at the greatest risk, will normally be the key group included in CEI activities. Community stakeholders such as community leaders, opinion leaders, non-governmental organisations and civil society, service commissioners and providers, policy and lawmakers are examples of other stakeholders who can be involved.

There is no standard model for CEI. You should demonstrate that your CEI approach is appropriate and effective in the local context and for their study design.

7.2 Please describe the ways in which patient/service users and the community will be actively engaged and involved in the proposed research, including any training and support provided - 350 words limit

CEI approach, management and support

  • Explain why your approach to community engagement and involvement is appropriate for this proposal. In your description you will need to say who will be involved and why.
  • Please use this opportunity to describe how you plan to manage and coordinate the CEI activities in your project.
  • Describe how you will support and enable patients/service users, carers, the public and members of relevant communities to contribute to your research (e.g. access, payments, training).
  • We would also encourage you to outline plans for the capturing, evaluating and reporting the impact of CEI activities.

A summary of CEI activities

Please provide a summary below of the proposed CEI activities embedded throughout the research project lifecycle. Please clearly signpost to other sections of the Detailed Research Plan where the CEI is described further in relation to the relevant project stage e.g. dissemination, intervention design, data collection, analysis.

Applicants may find the following information and resources helpful:

Applicants may also find it helpful to refer to Mesh, a collaborative open-access web space that provides resources, encourages networking and shares good practice to bridge the gap between the research community and the general public in low-and middle-income countries.

There is also further guidance available in the NIHR Global Health Research core guidance.

7.3 If it is considered not appropriate and meaningful to actively involve patients/service users and the community in your proposal, please justify why - 350 word limit

Please complete/justify this section as necessary, explaining why it is not appropriate and meaningful to actively involve patients/service users and the community in your proposal. 

Section 8: Training and Development and Research Support

8.1 - Proposed training and development programme - 1000 word limit

Please use this section to detail your personal training and development you will undertake as part of the Fellowship. This should cover both the training you may need to undertake the research being proposed but also training designed to support your development as a future health\social care research leader.

Training may include, but is not limited to formal courses, training in specialist skills and research methodologies, placements with other research groups or centres, leadership skills, conference attendance and international research visits.

Training could also include development of education and teaching skills to support overall career development. This could involve formal education qualifications e.g. Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, however given the focus of personal research training fellowships, educational training shouldn't make up the majority of a training programme, with the focus being on research training.

NIHR is particularly keen to encourage award holders to develop new international research collaborations. NIHR understands that not all applicants will be in a position to undertake an international visit. Where this is the case, we encourage applicants to consider alternative approaches to support the development of collaboration and to include these within the application.

It is important that the Training and Development Programme is tailored to your specific needs and complements the research being proposed as part of the Fellowship.

For clinical/practice applicants, please also use this space to indicate if you will be using the award to undertake clinical/practice sessions. Global Advanced Fellowship applicants can request up to 40% be allocated. It should be made clear what percentage of time is being requested and how any clinical time being covered by the Fellowship links to and is complementary to the research being proposed.

It is also possible to undertake a Fellowship less than full time to allow for clinical service/training to take place outside of the Fellowship. In this situation no justification or link to the research is required.

Please also state clearly where you expect to be on your career trajectory after the 5 years of the award and also what commitment the HEI or Research Institute intends to make towards your future career.

Please detail how you intend to support the training and development of your support post (research assistant) throughout the fellowship. In addition, you should outline any plans to support training and development of other researchers (outside of the institutional capacity strengthening plan described elsewhere).Whilst training and development costs for these awards are restricted to the NIHR Global Advanced Fellow and the Support Staff post, the NIHR welcomes any additional contributions from host partnerships to the training and development costs for all Support Staff.

8.2 - Research Support - 250 word limit per justification of each proposed mentor

Please state the name(s) and institution(s) and country of your mentors. You will also be required to justify your choice of mentor and how you intend to work with them. A minimum of 1 and a maximum of 4 entries are required on the form.

Although we acknowledge that formal supervision may not be appropriate for all Global Advanced Fellowship applicants, we believe that all applicants will benefit from research support and mentorship. In this context, the mentoring role will encompass providing you with support throughout the Fellowship in both your research endeavours and your overall career development.

Mentorship is a two-way process that may be challenging for both parties. For this reason, choosing who will provide research support will require a great deal of thought. The individuals who provide research support or mentorship may or may not be based in your host organisation. They should, however, have a clear understanding of the research process, the demands your chosen area of training and development are likely to place on you, and your particular strengths and weaknesses.

At least one of the proposed senior academic mentors should be based in the host institution. They should have a clear understanding of the research process, the demands that the chosen area of research are likely to place on you, and your particular strengths and weaknesses. You may also wish to choose another mentor from another institution, including those in other countries.

At least 50% of the mentors included in your application should be based in LMIC institutions.

Please state why these particular mentors have been chosen and what new perspective/ developments they will bring. Clearly describe how the proposed mentorship will support your overall development and provide an initial assessment of the time that will be allocated to the mentoring process.

The individuals you list here are required to complete the ‘Participants and Signatory’ section of the application form.

Funding for research support is available for travel and subsistence only (for the applicant) and does not support any fees the individuals who provide research support may wish to charge the nominee.

8.3 - Collaborations - 600 word limit

Explain what collaborations you intend to establish to support your research and, if applicable, your training and development programme. This may involve short visiting placements (for example, an International Research Visit), or secondments in new (to the applicant) research environments, for example, clinical trials units or NIHR Global Health Research Projects for collaboration or training purposes.

For the NIHR Global Advanced Fellowships, collaboration with researchers in OECD DAC list countries is essential. You must either be based in or have links with collaborators or partners in institutions in countries on the OECD DAC list and the award should plan to strengthen these as well as support training and capacity strengthening/mentorship in these institutions.

It is expected that the principles of equitable partnership will be embedded in the NIHR Global Advanced Fellowship applications across all stages of the research process from research design to dissemination and publication. Partnerships proposed in applications may be based on existing or new collaborative relationships. You should describe your approach to ensuring equity in partnerships, and demonstrate how the partnerships will deliver and sustain research and capacity strengthening goals.

Further guidance on this is available in the NIHR Equitable Partnerships Guide.

8.4 Institutional Capacity Strengthening - 600 word limit

You must include a component of institutional research capacity strengthening (RCS) within the LMIC host or partner organisation in your application. This should be planned in partnership with the organisation.

NIHR recognise that there is no single agreed definition of RCS but highlight the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR) definition of RCS as ‘Enhancing the ability and resources of individuals, institutions, and/or systems to undertake, communicate, and/or use high quality research efficiently, effectively, and sustainably’.

For NIHR Global Health Research Programmes, the objectives and priorities for RCS identified by/with local stakeholders should support or bring sustainable solutions to key national problems within LMICs. Teams should consider and cost activities that will build and help sustain both researcher capacity and support wider finance and research management capacity at institutional level.

Funds up to 5% of the total value of the fellowship can be requested for a range of activities, for example:

  • Training in technical research skills, training and support to facilitate effective Community Engagement and Involvement, and personal development skills, such as, but not limited to, grant writing, writing for publication, communication and influencing skills, time management, team working etc.
  • Other wider institutional capacity strengthening activities such as finance management, research management, data management, legal compliance and assurance training
  • Institutional systems for coaching, mentoring and/or peer-mentorship.

Applicants may find the following resources useful:

8.5 Host Organisation Statement of Support - 1000 word limit

The statement is to be completed by the Lead Signatory of the host organisation and should detail how the organisation is going to support the applicant in partnership to successfully complete their research and the training and development programme. This statement should be tailored specifically to the applicant, their research and training needs, and include how the organisation(s) intend to support the applicant to develop their research career in the long-term.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that each point below is covered in the statement of support. Additionally, you may be required to clarify these points or update the details of the support being offered by the host, at interview.

NIHR sees the responsibility for training the next generation of research leaders as a joint enterprise with host organisations. Therefore, information should also be provided on the organisation’s track record of supporting early career researchers, such as evidence of bridging or other support provided to fellows upon completion of an award.

Please state clearly how the partnership intends to work together to support the applicant and support post appointments, including how they will be supported in terms of infrastructure in the short, medium and long term.

Please include a summary of the research funding track record of your host institution in this section, including your host experience in managing research funds. In addition, the statement should provide evidence of the host organisation’s commitment to creating and maintaining an inclusive and supportive research culture, including evidence of commitment to the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion and research integrity.

Statements may wish to refer to the principles and best practice outlined within relevant Charters and Concordats in these areas, such as the Researcher Development Concordat and Advance HE’s Equality Charters. For UK HEIs, it should be noted that being a signatory to Concordats or holding bronze/silver status from the Equality Charters isn’t a requirement of funding and evidence can be provided through other means. LMIC HEIs or Research Institutes may wish to refer to relevant charters or other relevant institutional, national, or regional initiatives.

This statement will be used as part of the evaluation process and should the Funding Committee deem the support for the applicant to be insufficient, then it is highly unlikely that an award will be made.

8.6 - Partner Organisation Statement of Support - 1000 word limit

To be completed by the signatory from the main partner organisation, only if a partner organisation is included in the application. For applicants based in UK HEIs, an LMIC partner organisation is required as part of the application. For applicants based in LMIC institutions, a partner organisation is optional.

In addition to the statement of support from the host organisation, the main Partner Organisation must provide a separate statement of support and to provide the Funding Committee with a clear confirmation of the partners’ commitment to the applicant.

Section 9: Detailed budget

The budget template will automatically adjust the number of years based on the duration of the award calculated in the Application Summary Information section of your application.

The total budget for the award must not exceed £750,000.

9.1 Justification of Costs

  • Please provide a breakdown of research costs associated with undertaking the research and provide justification for the resources requested. This should include the following costs: staff costs, travel and subsistence, dissemination costs, equipment (including lease versus purchase costs), consumables, CEI, institutional capacity strengthening and any other direct costs.
  • When justifying staff costs you should also provide the % amount of time input of each member of staff and link this to the specific area/work package of the proposed study where this input will be taking place.
  • ou should indicate here how this research will potentially benefit healthcare, social care, or public health in the relevant LMIC(s). For example, where appropriate, describe the likely cost savings or benefits in terms of numbers of patients treated, treatment times, service users or carers supported etc.
  • You should describe the value for money of the conduct of the proposed research.
  • NIHR Fellowships are not project or programme grants; therefore, extensions to the duration of awards to allow for completion of research and/or training and development are not permitted. This doesn't affect suspensions of awards to allow for periods of maternity, paternity, adoption or sickness leave.

9.2 Detailed Budget Breakdown

The finance section should provide a breakdown of costs associated with undertaking the research as described in the proposal.

General Information

  • The information entered in this section should provide an analysis of the total funds requested to undertake the research proposed and should be based on current prices. These costs will be used to assess value for money.
  • The limit for a Global Advanced Fellowship is £750,000; any project over £750,000 will need to be re-profiled to bring it under this figure
  • It is in the best interest to undertake a thorough, realistic and accurate costing. You must provide a clear and full justification for all costs. You must also ensure that you include all costs including those required to secure good research management.
  • Costs must be provided at current prices. An adjustment for inflation will be made annually thereafter at rates set by the UK Department of Health and Social Care. Whilst allowances for incremental increases should be included on the form, nationally or locally agreed pay increases should be excluded.
  • Years should be calculated starting from the anticipated start date of the proposed research. For example, if your research is expected to start on 01 October 2025 then its second year starts 01 October 2026.
  • Further itemisation of costs and methods of calculation may be requested to support the application at a later date.
  • Payments will be made to the contracted organisation only and the contracted organisation will be responsible for passing on any money due to their partner organisation(s).
  • Appropriate sub-contracts must be put in place for any element of the research which is to be paid to another organisation.
  • All applications are expected to have appropriate HEI or Research Institute, commercial and other partner organisation input into the finance section of the application form.
  • There is no need to individually itemise costs where the total is below £1,000.

Further information can be found in Frequently asked questions regarding finances for NIHR Global Advanced Fellowships.

Information for Different Types of Organisation

  • LMIC Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Research Institutes
    • For applications that include contracting or collaborating organisations based in LMICs (as listed on the OECD DAC list), 100% of direct and indirect costs will be funded
    • For any costs that will be allocated to these LMIC institutions, you must select “other” in the “type of cost”
  • UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
    • UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) should determine the Full Economic Cost (FEC) of their research using the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) methodology. For UK HEIs, up to 80% of FEC will be paid, provided that TRAC methodology has been used
    • For any costs that will be allocated to UK HEIs, you should select “HEI” in the “type of cost”
  • Other Partner Organisations
    • For other partner organisations (e.g. charity or NGO) up to 100% of costs will be paid
    • For any costs that will be allocated to these LMIC institutions, you must select “other” in the “type of cost”

9. 3 Direct Costs

These are costs that are specific to the research, which will be charged as the amount actually spent and can be supported by an audit record. They should comprise:

Details of posts and salaries

This section presents an overview of salary costs for the applicant and other support/shared staff contributing to the research, including normal salary increments broken down individually.

The Applicant

Please state your proposed salary point and scale at the start of the Fellowship. Please note immediate promotion to a higher grade as a result of securing an award will not be funded. Please do not include any Clinical Excellence or Discretion/Merit awards or discretionary points. NIHR agrees to fund consultant salaries at a full-time rate equivalent to 10 Programmed Activities per week.

Support staff

Support staff refers to the ‘support post’ you can include as part of your fellowship.

Research support staff (research assistants) can be requested as part of a Global Advanced Fellowship application. This is usually limited to the equivalent of 1 full-time member of research staff for a period of 3 years. Any requests for support staff over this limit will need to be extremely well justified. There is also an expectation that the Host Organisation will match any requests for support staff over and above the usual limit.

Please include all members of staff working on the research by clicking ‘add staff details’ or editing a current one. Where applicants are already receiving salaries funded by NIHR, these should be declared in the application.

The Apprenticeship Levy can be included in the salary costs where relevant.

Please include all members of staff working on the research by clicking ‘add staff details’ or editing a current one. Where applicants are already receiving salaries funded by NIHR, these should be declared in the application. Only the posts described above should be entered as ‘Support Staff’. All proportions of time for other staff should be added as ‘Shared Staff’.

Shared staff

In addition to the support post, the proportions of time for other staff who are contributing to the research should be added as ‘Shared Staff’. ‘Shared Staff’ costs are costs of an institution’s research resources which can be charged to the research on the basis of estimated use, rather than actual costs. These may include: research support, admin, field staff, IT technicians, statisticians, laboratory staff, and costs of pooled staff efforts. HEI indirect costs cannot be claimed on these shared costs. It is expected that no more than 30% of each individual’s time can be claimed as ‘Shared Staff’ costs.

Salary costs

This section specifies the annual costs of the applicant, support staff and other staff contributing to the research. You should now allocate the individual staff member costs to each year of the research, allowing for increments. Use current rates of pay, and build in any known annual increments (again at current rates). You will not be able to claim for pay awards retrospectively, once your research is underway.

Please note the salary figures need to be calculated using the current annual costs, % WTE and number of months. If the research lasts for several years and an individual’s involvement varies over the course, it may be necessary to explain fully in the justification of costs section the % WTE and months per year for an individual staff member.

It is important to double check that the % WTE, total months and yearly costs information are consistent with the information presented in ‘Details of Posts and Salaries’ (‘Details of Posts and Salaries’ should show the full current staff costs independent of % WTE etc., whereas the yearly costs in ‘Salary Costs’ depend on % WTE etc.).

Please ensure that you check the ‘Type of Cost’ box which describes the employing organisation for a member of staff as this impacts on the level of funding provided. Staff employed by a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) are funded at 80% of cost and staff employed by LMIC HEI, research institution, commercial or other partner organisation at up to 100% of cost.

Where staff are based outside of the UK and National Insurance and Superannuation are not applicable, please insert ‘zero’ in these boxes.

Please note that this section also includes ‘Shared Staff Costs’ which is located under directly allocated costs in some other funders’ applications. These are costs of an institution’s research resources which can be charged to the research on the basis of estimated use, rather than actual costs. These may include: IT technicians, laboratory staff, and costs of pooled staff efforts. HEI indirect costs cannot be claimed on these shared costs. It is expected that no more than 20% of each individual’s time can be claimed as shared staff costs.

The NIHR reserves the right to question any costs deemed excessive, and will not fund:

  • Contributions for individuals providing research support (previously referred to as mentors), supervisors and/or other collaborators involved in the research
  • Whole or significant percentages of support posts over and above those permitted by the scheme
  • Technical or research support staff whose costs are funded through institutional indirect costs (HEIs only)

9.2 Travel, Subsistence and Dissemination costs

This section includes journey costs, subsistence and dissemination costs, including conference fees and open access publication costs. Where applicable, you will need to include the travel and subsistence costs of your Project Advisory Group, Steering Committee and/or Data Monitoring & Ethics Committee. Travel and subsistence costs relating to dissemination should also be included here, as should costs relating to international travel. Where applicable, you will need to include the travel and subsistence costs relating to meetings with individuals providing research support. Please note that mentors’ (including supervisors and individuals named as providing research support) expenses will not be funded.

If a cost relates to travel, subsistence or fees for a conference please select ‘conference’. Costs relating to conference attendance will be funded at up to 100% for all employing/host organisation types. Conference costs don’t need to be individually itemised for each conference. The justification box should detail the conferences the costs will cover.

Journey Costs

Enter the total cost of transport for all journeys for destination/purpose. If travel is by car, apply your institution’s mileage rates (however this should not exceed His Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) approved mileage allowance payments, which is 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter).

Travel by the most economic means possible is encouraged. NIHR programmes do not usually fund first class travel.


Subsistence covers accommodation (if necessary) and meals associated with the travel, excluding any alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Per diem payments for subsistence are not permitted.

Conference Fees

There is a limit on the amount that can be spent on conference related costs (including all related travel and subsistence as well as conference fees) depending on the level you are applying for.

Where national or international conference fees are included, a statement naming the conference or purpose of travel and the benefit to the Professorship must also be made; failure to adequately justify your attendance at a conference, will mean the programme will not fund this cost.

NIHR will fund a maximum of £2,000 per year for all conference-related costs for the NIHR Global Advanced Fellow only.

For the Support Post, any travel, subsistence and conference costs must come from the £3,000 training and development allowance.

Dissemination costs (in addition to conference costs)- Open Access Costs

Applicants should no longer include open access costs as part of their application. From the 1st of June 2022, all eligible awards contracts issued across the NIHR Global Health Research Portfolio will have an Open Access Envelope allocated to them on top of the award value, which is ring-fenced for open access costs of peer reviewed research articles that arise directly from the research funded by the award in question. Please see the guidance for Open Access Publication funding for further details.

Other Dissemination Costs

Any large costs should be further detailed with a breakdown of constituent parts or a timescale profile of the costs. Meetings to share best practice, training events and events to disseminate research findings must be run at the lowest possible cost with minimal catering. ‘Conferences’ which are described as such are not eligible for funding.


Essential items of equipment plus maintenance and related costs not included as part of estates should be input in this section. These can be lease or purchase costs. The purchase cost of pieces of equipment, valued up to £5,000 excluding VAT, will be considered.

Pieces of equipment costing more than £5,000 to purchase will usually need to be leased. Where applicants are leasing equipment with a purchase price of more than £5,000, a comparison of leasing verses purchasing costs must be provided in the ‘Justification of Costs’ section.

Items of equipment valued at £250 or more must be itemised separately; however grouping same type equipment is permitted. Costs of computers are normally restricted to a maximum of £650 each excluding VAT and a statement of justification must be included in the relevant ‘Justification of Costs’ section for any purchase above this limit.

Equipment must exclude VAT, but if your organisation is unable to reclaim/recover the VAT on a piece of equipment, you should check the box ‘VAT cannot be reclaimed’.

You will need to seek expert advice from the organisation purchasing the equipment regarding its VAT status. If you check the ‘VAT cannot be reclaimed’ column, VAT at 20% will automatically be calculated into the overall cost of that item.


This section includes non-reusable items specific to the research. Please itemise and describe the requirements fully (e.g. postage, stationery, photocopying). These items should be research specific, not just general office costs which should be covered by indirect costs.

Community Engagement and Involvement

Please note that in the detailed budget section of the application form there is no option to add “Community Engagement and Involvement costs”. Please add Community Engagement and Involvement costs as a “Patient and Public Involvement Cost”.

Please itemise and describe fully the costs associated with CEI. These are likely to include individual travel, out of pocket expenses, payment for time and any relevant training and support costs. Costs related to study participants should not be itemised here.

If voluntary, charity or community groups are supporting the research via activities such as facilitating contact with potential participants, hosting research activities or providing advice, an adequate budget must be included to compensate for their time and resources.

Other Direct Costs

These are costs, not identified elsewhere, that are specifically attributed to the research. For example, costs associated with the use of research facilities, external consultancy costs, computer licensing, recruitment and advertising costs. Please note that for organisations claiming indirect/overhead costs, costs such as recruitment of staff, and general training (e.g. in common IT packages) are costs that should be covered by the indirect costs element of the award being sought and should not appear in this section.

If external consultancy costs are included in this section they must be fully justified in the ‘Justification of Costs’ section. Please specify the hourly rate and the number of hours and note that consultants must not be people who are already employed by the applicant’s institution. If they are, any costs should be entered as direct costs in the ‘Details of Posts and Salaries’ and ‘Annual Costs of Posts’ sections.

Note on Clinical Trial Unit (CTU) costs in Personal Training Awards

Costs claimed should be for the additional support from the CTU for the necessary expertise that the applicant cannot provide themselves. For example, part time support from a trial manager, database manager, and statistician are all costs that could potentially be included. The level of support and input from the CTU will likely vary depending on the level of fellowship and experience of the applicant. For example, doctoral applicants will be expected to be undertaking the majority of the day-to-day tasks involved in running a trial, with oversight from a more senior member of CTU staff (though specialist input in database programming may be needed).

For more senior postdoctoral awards it may be more appropriate for other members of staff to be undertaking some of the day-to-day tasks. This also very much depends on the experience and expertise of the applicant and the applicant’s training needs and should be agreed with the CTU before submitting an application. These costs should all be agreed with the CTU and budgeted for.

Staff costs should be detailed under the ‘other direct costs’ section. Staff costs should include basic salary and on-costs for each member of staff involved and it should be made clear within the justification section what role each member of staff has within the context of the personal award application and the time they will spend on the award. Please note that because NIHR Global Advanced Fellowships are personal awards and not project or programme grants we can’t fund whole or significant portions of posts other than that of the applicant themselves and their support staff member (where applicable).

We would not normally expect the time commitment of any individual costed into the application other than the applicant or member of support staff to exceed 0.3 WTE. In total we wouldn’t normally expect the total WTE of all staff costed into the application to support clinical trial activities to exceed 1 WTE (excluding the applicant and support staff member) for more junior awards (doctoral and early postdoctoral level awards) and 2 WTEs for more senior awards (this includes any shared staff also costed into the application). The level of additional staff input will obviously depend on the type and scope of the trial and the experience of the applicant. Full justification should be provided for all staff costs requested.

Overheads(estates and indirect costs) can be included for CTU staff costed into the application. The justification section should split out the overheads from the salary costs and overheads shouldn’t exceed 40% of the total CTU staff cost.
Any costs must be realistic in order to deliver the trial but must also represent value for money. Applicants can also include non-staff costs for the CTU for example; randomisation service, and licence fees for clinical data management software.

Training and Development

All costs in this section will be funded up to 100% for all organisation types. Please itemise and describe fully the costs associated with training and development. Please provide estimates if exact costs are not available at the time of application. Any travel and subsistence associated with training and development including international research visits should not be included here and should be included in the travel section of the form.

English language training in the context of all studentships is an eligible cost, provided clear justification and a strong value for money argument are given.

Training Programme, short course and workshops

These are costs relating to your training programme.

International Research Visits

Please provide costs for any International research visits that you wish to undertake during the course of the award under ‘Overseas Research visits’. The NIHR will consider international research visits on an individual basis and reserves the right to limit expenditure.

Support Post – Training and Development

NIHR will make a maximum contribution of £3,000 in total (including any identified travel and subsistence) for the duration of this Fellowship towards the cost of training and development for the member of staff in the support post.

While recognising that the NIHR Global Advanced Fellowship primarily represents an investment in an individual, NIHR expects to see consideration of training for those researchers based in LMICs to support capacity building.

Support post – PhD fees

If you include a PhD post as your support post, funds can be requested for student fees for LMIC national students who are registered at an HEI in an ODA-eligible LMIC or high-income country (HIC). In cases where the application includes LMIC student fees at a UK or other HIC institution (often charged at higher rates for international students), it is expected that the applicant will negotiate with the HIC institution for reduced fees for the LMIC candidate to bring them in line with those paid by nationals. The application should show evidence of fees being reduced. NIHR would require justification where only partial or no LMIC student fee reductions have been achieved.

HIC HEI student fees or associated stipend costs are eligible only for ODA-eligible LMIC national students. Student fees or stipends for HIC national students would not be eligible, regardless of the programme and location of study.

Institutional capacity strengthening

Global Advanced Fellowships must include support for Research Capacity Strengthening at the institutional level. This element should be focussed on building long-term, sustainable research capacity in the LMIC institution named in the application (either the host or partner institution).

Up to 5% of the total value of the Global Advanced Fellowship can be utilised for Institutional Research Capacity Strengthening. These activities can be delivered through a range of mechanisms, such as through courses, workshops, exchanges and other relevant training activities.Events to share best practice and training workshops such as sending out colleagues to provide specific training to their counterparts in ODA eligible countries can be requested within this section.

When adding Institutional Capacity Strengthening items to your budget, please specify this in the ‘item description’, providing the activity title and full justification in the ‘Justification of Cost’. You can leave the ‘description’ dropdown blank if they do not fit with the activity you are planning to implement.

Process agents

Applications with an LMIC host are required to have an England-based process agent to receive on its behalf service of process in any proceedings brought in the jurisdiction of England. Associated costs can be included in the budget as a direct cost.

When adding a process agent to your budget, please specify this in the ‘item description’. Leave the ‘description’ dropdown blank.

9.4 Indirect Costs/Overheads

Indirect costs for each organisation included in your application should be charged in proportion to the amount of research staff effort requested in the award.

Please note HEI indirect costs cannot be claimed on shared staff costs. Where staff from more than one HEI are working on the research there may be different indirect/estates charges for each one. Please list each institution on a separate line.

Indirect costs will be charged in proportion to the amount of research staff effort requested on the award. They comprise:

  • General office and basic laboratory consumables
  • Premises costs
  • Library services/learning resources
  • Typing/secretarial
  • Finance, personnel, public relations and departmental services
  • Usage costs of major research facilities
  • Central and distributed computing
  • Charge out rates for shared equipment
  • Cost of capital employed

HEI Indirect Costs

This section applies to UK HEIs only. Proposals from other types of institutions/organisations should leave this section blank.

Indirect costs must be fully justified. UK HEIs are permitted to claim estate and other indirect costs. These costs are calculated on the basis of TRAC methodology.

UK HEI indirect costs are based on the number of full-time equivalent research staff working on the research and the indirect/estates charges set by an institution. The applicant(s) should consult their UK HEI Finance Departments for the appropriate figures to include in the estate charges and other indirect cost sections.

Commercial/Other Partner Organisation Indirect Costs

This section includes LMIC HEIs/Research Institutions. Indirect costs for collaborating institutions based in HICs (other than the UK) cannot be claimed.
Commercial/Other Partner Organisations can claim indirect costs which are the costs of resources used by the research that are shared by other activities. Please seek advice from your finance department about the appropriate cost for this section.

Total Commercial/Other Partner Organisation indirect costs must be fully justified. Commercial/Other Partner Organisations should calculate them, using their own cost rates.

Summary of Costs

  • NIHR programmes currently fund UK HEIs at a maximum of 80% of full economic cost.
  • Please note that whilst these percentages will be used to calculate the maximum grant payable, the programme reserves the right to award a grant for less than this maximum where it is considered appropriate.

Section 10: Uploads

To support your research plan you are able to upload the following documents in the ‘uploads’ section of the form:

  • References - 1 A4 page listing all references cited in the application.
  • Figures/Tables - Up to 2 A4 pages of figures/tables may be included to supplement your research plan.
  • Research Timetable - 1 A4 page detailing specific milestones and deliverables (Gantt Chart).
  • CTU Letter of Support - Where you are working with a CTU please include a supporting letter.
  • Delivery Chain Risk Map (DCRM) - Up to 2 A4 pages describing the overall structure of the partnerships/collaborations, the distribution of ODA funds to partners/collaborators, and the associated downstream risks and accountability for the risks to the end beneficiaries. For more information on the format and content, please see the NIHR DCRM guidance.
  • If your proposal involves recruiting UK participants, a completed Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Tool (SoECAT) is required.

Section 11: Participants and Signatories

A number of participants and signatories are required to be added to your application and, where applicable, to complete sections of it. The flow diagram outlines the actions required of participants, signatories and the applicant.

Image description: Application submission Process Flow Diagram Step 1: Application created, Step 2: Applicant adds participant and signatory details, Signatories and Participants log in and confirm their participation, Signatories and Participants complete sections of the form where applicable, Step 3 Applicant continues entering data completing all the relevant sections of the form, Step 4: applicant presses the submit button, Step 5: Automated emails sent to notify signatories, Step 6 Once all signatories have approved the application it is automatically submitted to the NIHR for consideration (rejection of the application by any individual at step 6 will return the application to Step 3).

11.1 Participants

You are required to supply the names and email addresses (if not already registered on the ARAMIS application system) of the individuals who will be undertaking ‘participant’ roles as part of your application. Everyone named in this section will be acting as a ‘participant’ to your application and will need to agree to be part of this application. Participants are required to review the declaration for the role before confirming participation as part of the one-click ‘confirm’ process.

By confirming participation, participants are acknowledging their involvement and input into this application and agree to be involved in it before it is submitted. You must ensure all participants are happy for your application to be submitted before submitting it on the online system. Details of the individual who will be required to approve your application after submission (the signatory) should be entered in the ‘Participants & Signatory' section. Please note it is often the case that one of the participants named in this section is also named in the ‘Participants and Signatory’ section of the form.

Required participants (as applicable to the application)

  • Primary Supervisor: If you have indicated that your PhD or postgraduate medical research degree has not yet been awarded in the ‘Applicant Research Background’ section, then it is mandatory to include your primary supervisor in the application. Please note that the title of this participant will be ‘Postdoctoral supervisor’. Your supervisor will need to declare that the information supplied in your application regarding thesis submission is correct and that it is anticipated that you will be awarded your PhD/research degree by the time of interview (January 2025).
  • Research Support: This is required for all applications. You must add the names of all the individual(s) you have indicated will be providing Research Support (mentorship) in the ‘Training & Development and Research support’ section. These individuals must confirm that they have read the application and the guidance notes and are willing to act as your mentor for research and career development and agree to abide by the conditions under which an award may be granted.
  • Host Organisation Administrative Authority or Finance Officer: This is required for all applications. The Administrative Authority or Finance Officer for the employing host must confirm that they will ensure the accuracy of the financial details of the application and that the host organisation is prepared to carry out this research at the stated costs and to administer the award if made.

Participants must confirm their participation in your application before you will be able to press the submit button. They will have no further action to take in the submission process. It is recommended that you contact your participants as early as possible to ensure they understand any action they must take before you can submit the application.

11.2 Signatories

You are required to supply the name and email address (if not already registered on the ARAMIS application system) of the individual who will be ‘signing off’ your application. Once their contact details have been entered, the signatory will be invited to log into the system and confirm their participation.

The signatory will be required to agree to the role being asked of them in the application before the application is submitted by the applicant, and then approve the final version of the application after it has been submitted via the online system, i.e., the signatory must have agreed to participate and complete their sections before the applicant is able to press the submit button and send the application for signatory approval. The signatory must approve the application AFTER the applicant has selected the submit option but BEFORE the application submission deadline. Please see the 'Application Submission Process Flow Diagram’ in Annex C further on in these Guidance Notes. The signatory approval will result in the application being submitted to the NIHR. All parties (applicant, participants and signatory) will be notified of this with an automated system generated email.

NIHR will not accept any applications unless fully approved by your signatory prior to the 1pm deadline. No exceptions will be made.

Required participants (as applicable to the application)

  • Host organisation - head of department: You will be required to include the Head of Department from your Host Organisation. The Head of Department from the host organisation (in which this award will be based) must confirm that they support this application and that, if funded, the research and training will be supported and administered in the named organisation and that the applicant for whom they are responsible will undertake this work. As such, the Head of Department will be required to complete questions in the ‘Training & Development and Research Support’ section of the application.
  • Representative of Partner Organisation: If you have included a partner organisation in your application, you will be required to include a Representative of the Partner Organisation. The partner organisation will be required to provide a Partner Organisation statement of support.

Once the application is ready (see list of required steps under the ‘applicant’ heading above), you will be able to ‘Submit’ the application for final sign off by the signatory. At this point, the signatory will be prompted to log back into the system and approve the finalised application. The application will not be submitted to the NIHR for consideration until all the required signatory has approved the final version. When the signatory presses the approve button, the application will be submitted to NIHR.

Section 12: Acknowledge, review and submit

12.1 Conflict Checks

Please declare any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that you may have in undertaking this research, including any relevant, non-personal & commercial interest that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.

12.2 Agreement to terms and conditions

Please click the check box to confirm you agree to the Terms and Conditions of submission as detailed on the application form.

12.3 Validating and submitting the form

You will need to complete all of the mandatory sections of the form and enter under the ‘Participants and Signatory’ section the names and contact details of participants and the signatory. Once all other parties have made their contribution, you will be required to ‘Submit’ the application to the signatory for final sign off before the closing date. Please note that you will need to read and be aware of the roles of participants and the signatory as described in these Guidance Notes.

You will only be able to press the ‘Submit’ button, which will send the application for final sign off by the signatory when:

  • all mandatory sections of the application form are complete
  • all participants have agreed to be part of your application
  • the signatory has agreed to their role
  • the Head of Department has completed the ‘Host Organisation Support Statement

Please note that when completing the application form, you are advised to validate your application as you go. You will find a Validation Summary button in the left-hand menu. This section will detail any points within your application that are either incomplete or incorrect. Failing to validate your answers may result in you being unable to submit your application by the required deadline.

Section 13: Checklist of information to include when submitting a NIHR research application

Applicants should use list below to check that they have included the necessary information prior to submitting their application

  • A good quality Plain English Summary
  • A clear explanation of the problem being addressed
  • A clear demonstration of the need and importance of the research
  • A review of existing literature (primary research)
  • A clear research question / aim(s) and objective
  • A clear project plan summarising the study design and methods
  • Appropriate and relevant involvement of patients/service users, carers and the public
  • A clear, appropriate and relevant plan for dissemination
  • A single A4 page of references (document upload)
  • All mandatory additional information has been uploaded to the online application system.

Section 14: Additional Supporting Information

14.1 Background and Foreground IP

Please note that in relation to intellectual property, the NIHR would like the research team to clarify various key points in the application, namely:

  • That it will have permission to use any background intellectual property for the purposes of the research and, if necessary due to complicated ownership arrangements, complete schedule C of the NIHR research contract with reference to clause 24.1.5 (a) of the NIHR ODA Global Health research contract.
  • The proposed ownership arrangements of the Foreground IP, Arising Know How and Research Data. The parties should consider who is best placed to use, disseminate and/or commercially exploit the relevant intellectual property and/or database to maximise the opportunities to deliver patient benefit. There should be license arrangements with collaborators (usually contained within the Collaboration Agreement signed for a project) for research and teaching purposes and/or in the support of the development, promotion or provision of Health Care or for any other purpose that is not a Commercial Use.

14.2 Joint IP

With respect to joint IP, please note that the NIHR does not recommend joint ownership of Foreground IP, Arising Know How and/or Research Data arrangements preferring that the research team agrees the IP ownership arrangements at the application stage as above. This is because Joint IP (i.e. owning the IP jointly) can lead to delays about how the IP/data is used, disseminated and/or exploited and we want to avoid this potential barrier to delivering patient benefit. Normally, giving collaborators appropriate licensed rights to use Foreground IP, Arising Know How and Research Data is sufficient to avoid the need for joint IP. If specific circumstances for a proposed project mean that joint ownership of Foreground IP, Arising Know How and/or Research Data may be appropriate, please provide a justification in your application.

14.3 Commercial Use

In the event the relevant owner of the IP intends to commercially exploit any Foreground IP, Arising Know How and/or Research Data, then they must seek the NIHR’s prior written consent via and the relevant NIHR programme manager. 

14.4 Plagiarism in NIHR funding applications

NIHR expects all content within applications for funding to be original material of the applicant's own work, with the exception of sections that other participants are required to complete. Whilst we anticipate and expect that applicants will get help and advice from various sources when putting together an application, including on occasion input from those previously awarded funding, care must be taken to ensure this does not lead to plagiarism of either published work or other previous applications. If an allegation of plagiarism is raised against an application this will be investigated in accordance with the NIHR policy on plagiarism, a copy of which is available on request from

14.5 NIHR Privacy Policy

Our purpose for collecting information is to communicate with you about your application and have the necessary information to evaluate you for a grant. The data we collect here is collected in the public interest. Information provided here may be subject to Freedom of Information requests.

The NIHR Academy is part of the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The contracting agent for the NIHR Academy is the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust (LTHT). The DHSC is the Data Controller and LTHT is the Data Processor under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) EC 2016/679. DHSC NIHR respects the privacy of individuals who share their data and processes it in a manner that meets the requirements of GDPR. The DHSC Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at:

The NIHR privacy policy includes further information including ways we may use your data, our contact details and details on your individual rights regarding how your data is used. Your data may be shared across the NIHR, including with other coordinating centres, to allow the application to be managed and for statistical analysis, and with external grant reviewers as part of the process for managing the allocation of a grant. Information collected from you will not be shared outside the EEA without your consent.

This notice is under constant review and will be updated and / or revised based on that review as appropriate.

International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN)

All primary research studies need to be assigned an ISRCTN. View the ISRCTN website. Please note that the remit of this database has been widened to include all primary research projects, even those that are not randomised controlled trials. There is no registration fee for NIHR funded trials.

14.6 NIHR Carbon Reduction Guidelines

Researchers applying for NIHR funding are asked to consider the carbon footprint of their research and take steps to reduce carbon emissions where appropriate. Advice on how to do this can be obtained from the NIHR Carbon Reduction Guidelines.

14.7 Transparency Agenda

In line with the government’s transparency agenda, any contract resulting from this tender may be published in its entirety to the general public.

14.8 Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) support

Applicants thinking of including a clinical trial, feasibility or pilot study as part of their application, or are undertaking research and/or training related to clinical trials are encouraged to consider working with a CTU where appropriate. Further guidance for and applicants is available in the NIHR Clinical Trials Guide for Trainees. This includes guidance on how to go about approaching a suitable CTU to support your application.

14.9 MRC Complex Intervention Guidance

Where appropriate applicants are encouraged to read the MRC complex interventions guidance.

14.10 Ethics / Regulatory Approvals

Research requiring ethical approval must have the appropriate approvals in place, usually in both the LMIC and UK (any other country involved in the research) before it can commence. Applicants should ensure all plans for research follow the UK Policy Framework For Health and Social Care Research, the Concordat to support Research Integrity, and the UK HRA guidance Governance Arrangements for Research Ethics Committees, and that research performed in partner countries is conducted in accordance with regulations and to a standard no less stringent than those applicable in the UK. Applicants should provide their plans for ethical review of the proposed activities in the relevant countries (LMIC/non-LMIC). Applicants should anticipate that securing ethical reviews can be a long process in their work plans. NIHR will seek evidence of positive ethics approvals as part of NIHR's standard contract monitoring. If there are no plans to obtain ethical review, the reasons for this must be provided.

Where the research involves vulnerable individuals or groups (e.g. children under the age of 18 or individuals lacking capacity to consent), applicants should describe how they will manage their involvement in the Ethical Consideration section of their Detailed Research Plan.

Applicants may find it useful to refer to the following online resources:

Section 15: Example of host organisation support for a NIHR Global Advanced Fellowship candidate

Should the Funding Committee consider the host support to be insufficient, then it is highly unlikely that an award will be made.

This example has been based on applications with a UK HEI as a host. We are aware host organisation support may look different for HEIs and Research Institutes in LMICs compared to what is listed in the example below and the selection committee will take this into account when making their assessments.

15.1 Question 1: Please state what additional support will be given to the applicant over the short, medium and long term

Short term (1-3 years)

  • Insert name of new piece of large scale equipment to be used by Fellow + additional computing system for data analysis.
  • Refurbished additional office/analysis space adjacent to new equipment to accommodate staff.
  • Full time clinical research nurse.
  • Additional research management support to co-ordinate meetings and correspondence with co-investigators and oversee regulatory and reporting requirements.
  • 1 PhD studentship.
  • Clinical Governance support to help with study set-up/ethics and sponsorship.
  • IT support to optimise patient management and database development.
  • Research mentoring from high calibre academics within the partnership.
  • Support for training and leadership through personalised development plans enshrining NIHR Global Advanced Fellowship goals.

Medium term (3-5 years)

The partnership will continue with the same level of support outlined in the short-term in addition to:

  • Appointment of a complimentary academic post and support posts, enhancing critical mass and interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Senior Leadership Training to compliment training outlined in the application.

Long term (5+ years)

  • Support to develop Applicant’s research group
  • Support towards career leadership and achievement of leadership positions

15.3 Question 3: Research track record

X institution has a strong track record in research funding, with an active research portfolio of £XM/year from a range of national and international research funders. Funders include NIHR, UKRI, MRC etc. Examples include X, Y and Z. We have strong and effective research management systems that are able to support the award holder with reporting and provide robust financial assurance & transparency. We have an Athena Swan Silver Award and are committed to creating an inclusive research environment and culture.

Institutional research capacity strengthening funding as part of this award will be used to strengthen research management processes by training grant management staff on X, Y and Z, enhancing the LMIC partners capacity to lead and manage research funding long term.

Annex A: Global Advanced Fellowship Duration Options

Below are the available durations available for NIHR Global Advanced Fellowships, based on the selected Whole Time Equivalent (WTE).

Full Time Equivalent (FTE) of GAF in Years

Whole Time Equivalent (WTE)

Award Duration in months

Award Duration in Years