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i4i NIHR & OLS Real World Evidence Supporting Information for Applicants

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Published: 12 January 2024

Version: 1.0 January 2024

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Introduction

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme, in collaboration with the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), invites applications for a funding call aimed at generating evidence in real world settings for those products that have been recommended for early use in the NHS through the NICE Early Value Assessment (EVA) process.  

The Programme aims to make the UK a leading testbed for late-stage innovations, to allow them to generate the real world evidence required to both achieve full NICE guidance, and to enable and accelerate uptake within the NHS, resulting in faster benefits for patients and service users.

Key information

Scope: Generation of real world evidence required by the NICE EVA programme (in line with NICE EVA recommendations and Evidence Generation Plans) to achieve a full NICE evaluation and to generate real world evidence required by commissioners to encourage increased uptake and use of technologies within the NHS and social care settings and activities to capture learnings for generalisable guidance for innovators.

Product eligibility: Technologies approved for early use in the NHS through NICE Early Value Assessment (EVA). All the products on this list are eligible to apply subject to the publication of their NICE guidance by the Call close.

Exit point: Real world evidence generated to support a NICE evaluation and widespread NHS adoption and generation of generalisable knowledge on real world evidence and implementation best practices.

Applicant eligibility: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), large corporate ventures, NHS or Third Sector Service Providers, charitable organisations or Community Interest Companies, and local government bodies which are legal entities and based within the UK.

Collaborative requirements: Consortia of analytical partner (lead applicant), technology partner (EVA product provider) and at least one NHS adopting site/service.

Funding level: No maximum. 

Project duration: Up to 36 months.

Scope

The aim of the call is to address the evidence gap required for the widespread adoption of technologies that have received a recommendation for early use in the NHS from NICE EVA, as well as develop guidance to support innovators to generate quality real world evidence that NICE and commissioners require for adoption and roll-out. The programme is open to all products with a recommendation for early use in the NHS from NICE EVA, but we particularly encourage submissions aligned with the Life Sciences Vision and its Healthcare Missions.

The areas in the scope of this funding include:  

  • The generation of real world evidence required by the NICE EVA programme for a product, or products under a topic, to achieve a full NICE evaluation, in line with NICE EVA recommendations and Evidence Generation Plans
  • The generation of real world evidence required by commissioners to encourage increased uptake and use of technologies within the NHS (in addition to NICE evaluation requirements). 
  • Activities to capture learnings for generalisable guidance for innovators. 

The call is open to consortia consisting of:

  • An analytical partner (lead applicant) – which will lead and coordinate the generation of evidence required (must be a UK legal entity).
  • The technology partner(s) – which will provide the EVA products for which evidence must be generated
  • Adopting site(s) – which will give access to sites, or services, for testing of the products.

Projects may last up to 3 years, and SMEs and NHS organisations may receive up to 100% of the requested funding, with no requirement for matched funding for commercial organisations. Higher Education Institutions are entitled to up to 80% of the full economic costs (please refer to the Finance guidance for more details). Large enterprises are expected to provide some in-kind contribution.

There is no upper or lower set limit for the size of these awards. Applicants should request a budget appropriate for the generation of the evidence required by the NICE EVA programme for a product, or products under a topic, to progress towards/achieve a full NICE evaluation, as well as any further evidence generation required by commissioners to encourage increased uptake and use of technologies within the NHS or care settings within the timeframe allowed.

Pre-award support

Prospective applicants are encouraged to attend the launch webinar, which is advertised on the call website, and/or contact i4i RWE to check the eligibility of their proposal. Please note that this is to provide advisory support and it is not a requirement of the application process.

An in-person matchmaking event will be held to provide an opportunity for the analytical partners and the eligible technology providers to discuss potential collaborations. Details of this event will be published on the call website.

A Q&A session providing tips on how to draft a compelling application form and answering any questions prospective applicants might have will be held. Details of this event will be published on the call website.

Who we fund

Applicant eligibility

Applicants are welcome from organisations which are a UK legal entity and include:

  • Higher Education Institutions (HEI), including universities and research institutes.
  • NHS and social care service providers, including Trusts, primary care and community care providers, and tertiary care centres.
  • Commercial organisations including large enterprises and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs with a staff headcount no greater than 250 and an annual turnover no greater than €50 million, including start-up or spin-out companies).
  • Not-for-profit organisations, including charities and Community Interest Companies.

Specialist services or expertise may be brought into the team through consultancy or sub-contract arrangements with appropriate justification. Collaborators and sub-contractors may be based outside of the UK if the required expertise or service cannot be reasonably contracted from within the UK.

The applicants must include a consortium of three different partners:

  • Analytical partner: The analytical partner must act as the lead applicant and will coordinate the project. They could be an academic institution, a Health Innovation Network (HIN; formerly AHSN), HealthTech Research Centre (HRC), Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), or other organisation experienced in real world evidence study design, conduct and analysis. To note the lead organisation must be a UK legal entity.
  • Technology Partner(s): Products provided by technology partners for this funding competition must be recommended for early use in the NHS through NICE EVA and have their guidance published. Digital health technologies must be DTAC compliant by the time of use in the NHS as part of the project. Products must also have a CE mark or equivalent, if and as appropriate, with justifications provided in the application.
  • Adopting Site(s): The adopting sites, or services, must be identified and be part of the application as co-applicants to ensure the delivery of the study. Clinical partners can be based anywhere in the UK. 

Tips for assembling a strong team

  • Project teams must have demonstrable expertise and experience in all areas relevant to delivering the project, which may include real world studies, implementation, patient and public involvement (PPI), project management, intellectual property management, regulatory strategy and health economics.
  • We expect the day-to-day running of projects to be handled by a project manager. While it is acceptable for the lead applicant to act as the project manager, for larger consortia in particular we strongly advise the inclusion of a dedicated project manager on a part-time basis.
  • In addition to the three consortia partners, there should be a named person with appropriate skills and experience who is responsible for leading the PPI element within the project. This role should be an adequately costed and resourced team member who is able to manage the PPI plans and related activities.
  • The application must demonstrate how different partners work together (or propose to work together if they have not done so previously), and identify other major collaborations important for the project. 
  • State clearly the particular contribution that each of the applicants will make towards the project and provide an explanation of the role of key collaborators and subcontractors involved in the project, as well as any patient and public leads (not previously listed as co-applicants.
  • Any in-kind contributions must be clearly detailed.

What we fund

Funding is available for activities to support the generation of real world evidence following NICE EVA recommendations, as well as any additional real world evidence required by commissioners to encourage increased uptake and use of technologies within the NHS. Funding will also support the other key component of this award, to derive generalisable knowledge and develop broader category-wide guidance on real-world evidence and implementation best practices including effectively leveraging existing infrastructure.

This can include, but is not limited to, funding for:

  • Activities associated with the design and delivery of evaluations for innovations in real world settings 
  • Small changes to a technology that might be needed for its optimisation during the lifetime of the project, for example any adaptations deemed required for end user acceptance as part of the evaluation (but not requiring any further regulatory approvals)
  • Training associated with the implementation of the new technology, including the development of training resources, usage guidelines and other materials
  • Implementation research costs, including design of implementation strategy and management of studies associated with this, clinical pathway analysis, sustainability evaluation and data analysis
  • Implementation cost analysis
  • Market analysis and development of a business case for adoption
  • Project management and stakeholder engagement activities
  • Activities associated with data collection, analysis, management and governance (including infrastructure to support this)
  • Patient and public involvement and end user engagement
  • Activities associated with the dissemination of outputs
  • Activities associated with developing product agnostic generalisable guidance on generating evidence for NICE and commissioners.

What we will not fund:

Technologies that have NOT been recommended for early use in the NHS through NICE EVA and have negative or research-only recommendations from NICE are excluded from this call. Technologies that have their NICE EVA draft approval but their guidance has not been published by NICE by the Call deadline are also excluded.

Tips for preparing a strong application

Applicants are encouraged to consider the following aspects, which address the assessment criteria of the programme, when preparing a project proposal:

Health economic case and potential impact on the NHS, patients, and service users

The proposed project must be highly relevant to the needs and healthcare priorities of the NHS and/or social care system. Delivery against Life Sciences Vision commitments should be highlighted. A clear case has to be made on how the proposed technology and planned project might influence practice. 

We expect the projects to be supported by a strong health economic case from the outset, and the results generated to contribute to it and build a more compelling case for adoption.  

Strength of the project team and management arrangements (particularly the consortia - analytical partner, technology partner(s), and adopting sites/services)

Arrangements for managing the project must be adequate and the roles of team members must be clearly described. Project teams are expected to have included expertise in all areas relevant to progress the proposed technology towards widespread adoption. 

The application should explain how the consortium will work together and how they are best placed to address the evidence gap of the product(s). This includes the track record of the analytical lead in real-world evidence design, conduct, and analysis, and impact on health and care research. 

Applicants should describe how the chosen location(s) and type(s) of sites are suited to address the evidence gap of their product(s), considering patients' demographics and how they compare to the adopting site(s) ensuring equality, diversity, and inclusion of participants. 

Quality of the project plan and risk mitigation strategy

The quality of the project plan, including the technological content and risk mitigation strategy, is integral to any application for funding. 

The proposed project plan should align with NICE EVA recommendations and the evidence generation plan. It should also include a plan for any additional real world evidence generation to promote widespread adoption. It must describe how the work planned will address some, or all, of the identified needs for one or multiple products within the duration of the project and justify the approach taken.  

The applicants must clearly describe how the generalisable learnings on real world evidence and implementation best practices will be captured and presented to improve the quality of real world evidence generation and understanding of what commissioners want to see to encourage increased uptake. This should also include plans to assess how the consortia brought together to undertake the real world evidence generation, and their constituent parts, operate most effectively to ensure progress towards widespread adoption.

Project aims and objectives must be realistic in terms of time and resources requested. It is vital that there is as much detail as possible provided on project design and methodology. The project plan must adequately address aims and objectives, with a clear description of work packages, deliverables, and milestones, and identify the main technical and regulatory barriers. Key risks to the successful completion of the project should be clearly described, and appropriate steps to mitigate these risks must be proposed, such as delays to the supply of services/products from subcontractors or, where a clinical trial is involved, clear recruitment timelines must be proposed. If ethical approval for any part of the project is required, the timelines must be clearly indicated.

 

The project design should be targeted to the context where it will be delivered, taking into account appropriate patient cohorts, stakeholders, end users, and the clinical or care pathway that will be disrupted. Studies can focus on a single health or social care provider, but it would be ideal if the impact on the wider system could be demonstrated to provide confidence in generalisability for widespread adoption. It is expected that proposals describe real world testing methods rather than a purely academic approach, and patients should have input from the outset. The study should be designed taking into account how the technology fits into the clinical or care pathway. Plans for data and information governance should be in place.

NHS implementation, spread and adoption strategy and commercialisation plans

It is expected that the work under this funding will enable tangible progress of product(s) towards adoption by the end of the project. Applicants should describe their implementation/adoption pathways and how they will make clear progress along this.

It is important to ensure continued progress towards widespread adoption after this project is sustainable, therefore the applicants must propose a plan for further adoption and commercialisation, describing how the product(s) is/are currently being commercialised. 

An overview of how the selected product(s) can be further adopted and commissioned, with particular reference to the below areas:  

  • The further steps required for adoption after the project, including additional funding required 
  • The barriers to further adoption and commissioning 
  • The expected timescales for regional and national spread  
  • Existing community engagement and partnerships and the additional key stakeholders required to engage with to support a sustainable spread of the innovation in care pathways (current or redesigned) 

For each product, the intellectual property (IP) should also be described.

Value for money

All requested costs must be sufficiently justified and essential for the proposed work; however, it is expected that all applications aim at achieving real impact, so the requested amount should allow for effective development and evaluation of the technology. Taking into account the expected benefits of the proposed work and the level of funding requested, the proposal must provide value for money. Any funds requested for NHS support and treatment costs must be appropriately identified and justified.

Patient and public involvement (PPI) and engagement of end users

The NIHR expects active involvement of patients and the public in the projects it supports. It is anticipated that most NIHR i4i & OLS RWE projects will have a significant PPI component, which must be clearly and fully described. Applicants should identify the relevant patient or user groups for their application and engage with those groups at an early stage. A plain English summary is required to make the contents of applications and the implications of projects clear to members of the public.

The proposal should describe a stakeholder engagement plan, including end users, NICE, commissioners, collaborators, and possible contributors (such as NIHR Infrastructure, HINs (formerly AHSNs), policy makers, etc), detailing how they will input into strategic decisions.

It should also be considered whether people with unmet needs, who have historically been under-served by health and care research in the planning stage, have been engaged in the proposals. For further details please refer to the NIHR INCLUDE Guidance.

Application process

Applications should be submitted to the Research Management System (RMS) before 1pm on the advertised closing date. We encourage early registration on the RMS as the system requires registration and validation of all co-applicant accounts. 

Applications are treated as confidential and all steps are taken to ensure confidentiality is maintained. If funded, the plain English Summary, Chief Investigator/Co-Investigator(s) names, award amount, start date and end date will be published on the NIHR funding and awards page. In line with the Department of Health and Social Care policy, i4i will publish summary minutes of committee meetings. Please refer to our Confidentiality Guidance for further details.

This call operates a one stage application process. Assessment of applications at the shortlisting stage is made by a pool of experts, which comprises academic, clinical, methodological and commercial expertise (the membership of the Funding Committee will be available here). Applications are scored against the following assessment criteria:

  • Health economic case and potential impact on the NHS, patients and service-users
  • Strength of the project team and management arrangements (particularly the consortia - analytical partner, technology partner(s), and adopting sites/services)
  • Quality of the project plan and risk mitigation strategy
  • NHS implementation, spread and adoption strategy and commercialisation plans
  • Value for money
  • Patient and public involvement (PPI) and engagement of end users

All shortlisted applications are subject to independent peer and public review. Applicants will receive anonymised  peer reviewer comments and will have the opportunity to respond during an interview held by the Funding Committee. The interview takes the form of a short presentation followed by a question and answer session. The application form, peer reviews, presentation, and the applicant’s responses to questions are all taken into consideration by the Committee in reaching their funding decision.

The terms and conditions under which the award will be made are set out in the NIHR standard research contract and are non-negotiable. The contract will be concluded between the host organisation and the Department of Health and Social Care, which will be managed by the NIHR.

Post-award process

Once your application has been recommended for funding, we will provide feedback as agreed with the Committee and undertake appropriate due diligence. Successful applicants are expected to start their project on 1 October 2024, subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence and a fully executed contract. The Department of Health and Social Care reserves the right to withdraw the funding offer at any time up to six months after the funding notification.

In addition to any changes to the work plan that may be requested by the Committee, further information may be requested, for example, on project finances, the project plan, project management, intellectual property and commercialisation. Funded applicants may be required to engage with members of the Committee or an independent advisor for the revision of the project plan or any other project elements.

NIHR i4i will oversee the management and progress of funded projects based on the deliverables and milestones agreed in the contract. An i4i programme manager will be assigned to your project and will use regular progress reports, email communication, phone calls and site visits (when possible) to evaluate progress and the achievement of deliverables and milestones.

Payments will normally be made quarterly in arrears (at the end of March, June, September and December), and you will be required to provide an annual statement of expenditure. Universities and NHS organisations will be paid as agreed in the payment schedule. Commercial organisations are required to issue invoices at the end of each payment interval; any deviation from the scheduled payment in the contract must be thoroughly explained. Any funding not spent at the end of each financial year may be recovered by the Department of Health and Social Care or set off against any future payments. In such situations, a new payment schedule will be issued. 

When a scheduled payment is linked to a funding stage gate, the project team must clearly demonstrate that the contractually defined milestone has been achieved before any payment will be released. If a milestone is not achieved, payments may be withheld until the milestone has been achieved or an appropriate contingency plan has been agreed.

Privacy and data protection

The Research Management System (RMS) is hosted by Pulsant and managed by the NIHR Coordinating Centre (NIHRCC). The Data Controller for the website is the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The Data Processor is the NIHRCC, based at LGC. 

The purpose for which personal information is collected through the RMS is to deliver the work of the NIHRCC in relation to the operation of research programmes, faculty and infrastructure workstreams. Data will not be used for any other purpose without the consent of the supplier.

Use of the registration and application facility on the RMS is entirely voluntary and the personal information stored will be used solely by the NIHRCC, its subcontractors and partners in order to respond to your enquiries and send information relevant to its work.

To prevent unauthorised access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, the NIHRCC has put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information it collects online. The information you provide will be held securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Department of Health and Social Care, National Institute for Health and Care Research (DHSC NIHR) is the Data Controller. Your personal details provided on registration will not be disclosed to third parties. Details that are provided on research application forms must necessarily be shared in confidence with third party individuals involved in making funding decisions.

Your information may also be shared with other DHSC NIHR bodies for the purposes of statistical analysis and other DHSC NIHR management purposes, including targeted communications with selected groups of researchers. In addition, information collected is used by the NIHRCC, its subcontractors and partner organisations:

  • To administer the grant application process
  • To identify peer reviewers for grant applications
  • To notify users about funding opportunities by email
  • To notify relevant users about application deadlines by email
  • To notify users of any issues of service interruptions, holiday closures and other situations affecting the operation of the RMS.

If we change our privacy policy, for example, in response to changes in legislation, we will post details of any changes on our website. This will help ensure that you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we share it with other parties. In some circumstances, explicit consent to continue the use of the Services may be required. Otherwise, your consent to changes will be implied by your continued use of the Services. If you do not consent to the changes, then you must terminate your agreement as set out in section 12 of the Research Management System Terms and Conditions.

Equality and diversity monitoring information

NIHR is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in research and asks applicants to provide Equality and Diversity Monitoring Information (age, sex, ethnicity and race, and disability).  By answering these Equality and Diversity Monitoring Information questions, you will help us to better understand the different groups of people that apply to us for funding and their experiences of the funding process – particularly the groups protected by UK equality legislation.  Although it is mandatory to answer these questions, it is possible to select “prefer not to say” as a response.  However, the more information you provide, the more effective our monitoring will be. This information will not be used to make decisions about funding.

Support and infrastructure for your application

Support with research design and forging partnerships is available to all prospective applicants through the NIHR research support services and wider, detailed below. All prospective applicants are encouraged to engage with these services at the earliest opportunity.

  • Health Innovation Networks (formerly Academic Health Science Network (AHSNs))support developing real-world evaluation, roll-out and adoption
  • InSites Programme - help with finding NHS collaboration sites among the NHS InSites peer network.

* Please note that the RSS service is only available to applicants based in England. Applicants with a project partner based in England are able to access the service, but if you are based in the UK but outside of England, and are not partnered with an organisation based in England you may wish to explore the below services. The NIHR Business Development Team is available to all UK-based applicants and you may wish to contact them in seeking a partner based in England.

Once awarded, the Data for R&D Team within NHS England’s Transformation Directorate will be able to provide signposting to relevant NHS data and organisations who will be able to support awardees in generating evidence.

Submissions to more than one NIHR programme

NIHR will not accept the same or substantially similar applications to more than one NIHR programme. If two similar applications are submitted, once the overlap is identified, the application that is most advanced through the funding process will continue and the second will not be taken further.

Similar applications will only be considered by two programmes concurrently if:

  • The aims and research proposals are substantially different
  • If successful, NIHR would be prepared to fund both proposals
  • The successful delivery of one project is not dependent on the other.

Public involvement

NIHR has issued guidance for researchers about involving patients and the public in research. 

Information and resources to assist you can be found on the NIHR website, including: Briefing notes for researchers on how to involve patients/service users, carers and the public, including definition of involvement engagement and participation; and Payments Guidance for researchers and professionals with information on budgeting for involvement.

There are a number of organisations that may be able to provide useful resources, advice and support on patient and public involvement in research:

The Research Support Service (RSS) provides advice and support to researchers developing research proposals for submission to the NIHR and other national funding organisations for health and social care research.

Learning For Involvement provides a wealth of training programmes and resources for public involvement in research. 

For best practice in PPI please see UK Standards for Public Involvement. 

Ethics/Regulatory approvals

Guidance on the application process for ethical and other approvals can be found on the HRA website. Please note that if your study is led from England or Wales and involves NHS sites you should apply for HRA and HCRW approval. If your project is led from Northern Ireland or Scotland and involves NHS/HSC sites you should apply through the appropriate NHS/HSC permission process for that lead nation. Studies with sites in Northern Ireland or Scotland are supported through existing UK-wide compatibility systems where each country accepts relevant centralised assurances from national coordinating functions to avoid duplication. Guidance is available on IRAS.

If you are using patient information from an existing database, you should check whether the patients have given their consent for their data to be included in that database for research purposes, or if not whether the database is exempt under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006.  Where exemptions are not already in place, approval to use confidential patient information without consent must be requested from the HRA which makes decisions with advice from the Confidentiality Advisory Group. (CAG). 

NOTE: The programme is interested in taking advantage of the growing utility of routine data (such as HES, GP records etc.), and would like investigators, where appropriate, to ask study participants to consent to long term follow up (e.g. beyond the outcomes to be collected in the funded trial) using routinely collected data, and appropriate linkage to allow this data to be best used.

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 Carbon Reduction Guidelines. 

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. Further information can be found in the Transparency agenda.

Appendix: Guidance on completing the application form

To submit an application, you must complete all the relevant sections of the online form available within the NIHRCC Research Management System (NIHRCC RMS). 

The ‘System Help’ document found on the NIHRCC RMS’s web pages provides extensive step by step instructions on how to make use of the NIHRCC RMS.

Registration

Only registered users of the NIHRCC RMS can apply. Applicants new to using the NIHRCC RMS should register as a new user. Once logged into your account the RMS home page is the starting point for creating applications, accessing co-applications and updating contact information and professional details. 

Please ensure co-applicant accounts are created and validated on the RMS in good time before the submission deadline.

Managing my details

Lead applicants and co-applicants can manage their basic contact information and curriculum vitae (CV) through the ‘Manage my Details’ link on their RMS home page. Lead and co-applicant contact information and CV details are integrated by the RMS into the relevant fields during the application process.

Creating an application

The lead applicant must initially create a new application. Clear instructions on how to start a new application can be found in the System Help’. The research team can collaborate with the lead applicant to edit the content of the application by being invited to be a co-applicant through the co-applicant section of the application form. 

The lead applicant can use the search tool to find co-applicants and then invite them to join the application. The RMS will automatically dispatch an email inviting the co-applicant to confirm their participation in the application. Co-applicants can then decide whether to accept the invitation and consent to the application being submitted jointly in their name. They will need to log into the RMS and follow the links to ‘Confirm their involvement on the co-application summary page. Once confirmed, the co-applicant will be granted access to edit the online application form.

All co-applicants must Confirm’ their invitation to participate in the application electronically on the co-application summary page in advance of the submission deadline.

Completing an application

From the application summary page, the application can be edited by clicking on the ‘Edit button. The different sections of the application form can then be accessed via the list of hyperlinked buttons on the left-hand side of the RMS webpage. You can move from page to page either by using the Previousand Next buttons or using the list on the left-hand side of the web page.

Most questions are associated with contextual help buttons and clicking on them will open up pop-up windows containing brief guidance notes that supplement the published guidance for applicants. It is strongly advised that applicants refer to the published guidance first and then use contextual help as they complete and review each question. Contextual help is not designed to replace guidance. Mandatory questions are flagged with a red dot.

The system will prevent your co-applicants from accessing your application at the same time as you. This stops applicants and co-applicants from inadvertently making changes to the same part of the application at the same time and overwriting each other’s work.

Remember to save your work

You will be prompted to save your work if you leave the browser in application editing mode. We recommend you save your work regularly to minimise the risk posed by any local computer or internet problems. You can save and return to the application form as often as you like prior to submission.

Exiting and returning to work on your form

Should you wish to exit your form, you can return at any time; simply log in using your username and password and select ‘My Applications’ from the menu. You will then be presented with a list of all the applications you are currently involved with as well as providing details as to their stage in the submission process.

Validation and submission of the form

The lead applicant can review the progress of their application at any time by selecting the View/Printoption on the application summary page to generate the application as a PDF File.

When the application form has been completed, the lead applicant must use the Validate form tool within the online application form. The validation step is a check run by the RMS to assess whether all the mandatory questions contain information. It will provide a list of links to any parts of the form where corrections or additional content are needed. 

Once the application has been validated successfully and no further corrections are needed, the lead applicant can submit the application by clicking on the ‘Submit button on the lower right-hand side of the application summary page.

Following submission

A programme specific reference number will be assigned to the application once it has been submitted. After the relevant competition round closes, the application will automatically enter the process of being considered for funding.