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Global Health Research Units and Groups - Guidance for Funding Committee Applicants

 

Contents

Background information

NIHR are seeking to appoint members to the NIHR Global Health Research Units and NIHR Global Health Research Groups Funding Committees, due to take place 9-11 March and 21-23 September 2021.

The NIHR Global Health Research Units and NIHR Global Health Research Groups form a key part of the NIHR Global Health Research commitment to ODA and provide funding to support not only delivery of research that will improve health outcomes for people living in LMICs, but also strengthens crucial research capability and capacity in resource-poor settings, including training and capacity-building in both academic research and programme support functions. Together these provide a vital and sustainable platform for future research in those countries, Calls for research applications are currently open under two schemes:

NIHR Global Health Research Units are defined as a well-established research partnership or network of universities and research institutes in LMICs and the UK:

  • with an existing track-record of delivering internationally recognised applied global health research addressing unmet health needs in ODA-eligible countries;
  • who wish to consolidate and expand this work, supporting and developing thematic research and capacity strengthening networks, through regional and global hubs;
  • who will deliver a large scale, ambitious programme of applied health research through a range of trials and studies;
  • who are able to leverage the strength of the existing partnership consortium to improve practice and inform policy based on scientific evidence;
  • who will set up and deliver a substantial and sustainable programme of capacity and capability strengthening at individual and institutional level.

NIHR Global Health Research Groups are defined as a partnership of specialist researchers within universities and research institutes in LMICs and the UK:

  • either new to delivering applied health research globally, or expanding to new global partnerships to deliver applied global health research addressing unmet needs in new health areas or geographies in ODA-eligible countries;
  • who, through a planned start-up phase, will develop or expand equitable research partnerships and networks, to undertake LMIC-led needs analysis designed to refine relevant research questions and priorities through engagement with policy makers, evidence users and local communities, as appropriate;
  • who will establish a new programme of applied health research delivered through ambitious, structured plans for e.g. scoping studies, needs analysis, economic analysis, pilot studies and potentially trials;
  • who are able to develop the strength of the partnership to improve practice and inform policy based on scientific evidence;
  • who will set up and deliver a focussed programme of capacity and capability strengthening at individual and institutional level appropriate to the respective goals.

About NIHR Global Health Research Funding Committees

Who makes up the NIHR Global Health Research Funding Committees?

The Committees are made up of individuals with skills and knowledge relevant to a particular funding call. They will bring with them a broad spectrum of experience that will contribute to well-rounded collective decision-making on research need and quality of applications.

Typically each Committee will have an independent Chair, as well as one or more Deputy Chairs, and up to around 20 further members. Broadly, input is provided by two kinds of member:

  • Subject matter/academic members, who have previous experience at a senior level and a significant record in applied health research and publication, usually in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) settings.
  • Community Engagement and Involvement members bring knowledge and experience of how to involve communities in the full spectrum of the research process in LMICs, with an understanding of inclusion of vulnerable and underrepresented community members, and a familiarity with different health research methodologies across a wide range of LMIC settings and with best practice.

How are Funding Committee Members appointed?

A number of Funding Committee members will be appointed via an openly advertised recruitment process. Where particular areas of knowledge, skills or contextual experience in LMIC countries are required to support the work of a particular committee, some Members will be directly approached and appointed by the NIHR Programme.

Membership is open to all with the necessary experience. NIHR embraces diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity. For Global Health Research Funding Committees’, we are particularly interested in recruiting members with experience and expertise from a wide range of geographical locations and contexts, particularly from countries listed on the OECD DAC-list

The names of Funding Committee members will be published on the NIHR website  under the relevant research programme; for example the previous members of the Call 1 and Call 2 Funding Committees.

What do Committee Members do?

The main role of the Funding Committee is to collectively discuss and recommend which applications received to a call for research should be recommended for funding. As a guide, each application will consist of:

- Application form – approximately 25 pages
- Detailed Research Plan
- Letters of Support
- Budget
- Delivery Chain Risk Map
- Project Gantt chart or Project Management Plan
- References

 Plus some further optional uploads.

Prior to a meeting, Committee members will review applications against the advertised call specification and funding criteria, and will critically assess whether proposed research is high quality, scientifically robust, represents good value for money, and is ODA-eligible. Members will also take into account the comments provided through external peer review. Each member will be assigned a sub-set of applications to review in-depth which they will need to present at the meeting, however they will also be required to read all other applications in order to be able to contribute to discussions and vote.

Members are required to hold at least one full day for advance preparation per day of the Committee meeting days attended to undertake in depth reviews for their assigned applications, and to review all other applications.   In addition there can be a need for additional input in advance of the meeting for triage, if a high volume of applications are received. 

After discussion and scoring of applications, the Committee will make their final recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care on which applications should be funded.

After the Committee meeting, members may be asked to review final feedback to applicants and/or applicant’s responses, where necessary, to confirm any conditional funding requirements have been addressed.

During the lifetime of the active awards, members may be approached by NIHR to review and make recommendations to DHSC regarding significant proposed changes and/or extensions to the active awards.

Throughout the review process, all Funding Committee members are required to adhere to the Terms of Reference

When do the Funding Committees meet?

The Funding Committees for NIHR Global Health Research Units Call 2 and NIHR Global Health Research Groups Call 3 will run across three days, with an estimate of 1.5 days being required for each Call.

Meetings are usually held face-to-face in London, UK, but dependent on the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic may be delivered virtually.

Person specification

Subject matter experts/academics

Essential    

  • Professional  knowledge and a significant track record of experience in applied global health research ideally in low- and middle-income countries relevant to the remit of the programme.
  • Relevant global health research, public health and/or global health systems research background
  • Current or recent experience of working in or with global health research sectors.
  • A demonstrated track record of research achievement and leadership.
  • Experience of assimilating a large volume of written information and condensing it into a succinct critical appraisal.
  • Experience of participating in formal meetings clearly conveying views on complex information, and actively contributing to large group discussion.
  • Computer literate, and willing to use a computer-based management information system.
  • Discretion in handling confidential information.

 Desirable

• Previous membership of other major global health funder committees.
• Direct experience in the peer review processes of large scale proposals for national or international global health research funders.

Community Engagement and Involvement specialists

Essential

  • A demonstrated track record of actively working with LMIC communities.
  • Knowledge and experience of how to involve communities in the full spectrum of the research process in LMICs, with an understanding of inclusion of vulnerable and underrepresented community members.
  • Knowledge or experience of global health issues relevant to the remit of the programme.
  • Current or recent experience of working in or with global health research sectors.
  • Familiarity with different health research methodologies across a wide range of LMIC settings.
  • An understanding of best practice in CEI, for example The UNICEF Minimum quality standards and indicators in community engagement)
  • Experience of assimilating a large volume of written information and condensing it into a succinct critical appraisal.
  • Experience of participating in formal meetings, clearly conveying views on complex information, and actively contributing to large group discussion.
  • Computer literate, and willing to use a computer-based management information system.
  • Discretion in handling confidential information.

Desirable

  • Previous experience of working with other major global health funders, ideally through peer review of funding applications, and/or as a member of an advisory or funding committee.

Terms and Conditions

The full Terms and Conditions are described in the Terms of Reference

Duration of role

Membership will be for the duration of the advertised Funding Committeesin 2021 inclusive of all required pre and post-meeting  activities.

Call close November 2020 (phase 1) Funding Committee: 9, 10 & 11 March 2021
Call close May 2021 (phase 2) Funding Committee: 21, 22 & 23 September 2021

Payment

The Chair, Deputy Chairs and Subject Matter Experts/Academic members of the NIHR Global Health Research Funding Committees are not remunerated for undertaking these roles. However, these members can claim reasonable expenses associated with attendance of meetings, such as travel and subsistence.

A separate payment policy exists for public contributors who advise on Community, Engagement and Involvement (CEI) in Global Health Research. It is recognised that CEI experts may be academics or health/social care professionals and as such would not qualify for payment for involvement only expenses. Members of the public who contribute to Global Health research are those with lived experience of the research topic or setting.

Committee members are normally expected to travel standard class by rail and economy class by air. First class travel is not permitted. Staff at NIHR will liaise with members to arrange travel. Full details can be found in the NIHR Global Health Research programme committee member policy on expenses .

For face-to-face meetings, hotel accommodation will be provided by NIHR at the allocated meeting venue.Bookings will be made for members by the NIHR team.

Continued Professional Development (CPD)

In discussion with the relevant professional body, members may be able to claim CPD points. Where appropriate, NETSCC will provide written confirmation of a member’s contribution.

How to apply

1. Review the advert, role description and person specification, and Terms of Reference.
2. Complete the online application form , and equal opportunities monitoring form (optional).
3. In addition to your application form, provide an up to date and relevant curriculum vitae (2-4 pages) and any additional relevant information such as a summary publications list.
4. Submit your application by the close date stated on the website and please provisionally hold the committee dates in your diary.
5. Once your application has been submitted you will receive an on-screen message confirming receipt of your application. If you have any queries regarding your application please contact nihrglobalhealth@nihr.ac.uk in the first instance.
6. Applicants will be notified of the final outcomes within four to six weeks of the advertised closing date.

 

Terms of Reference

Throughout the review process, all Funding Committee members are required to adhere to the Terms of Reference