NIHR Global Health Research Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration Pilot Round 1 (2019) Guidance Notes
On behalf of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NIHR Academy is launching the NIHR Global Health Research Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (NIHR GHR SPARC) Pilot (Round 1 2019).
NIHR is committed to supporting world-class global health research through its Global Health Research (GHR) Programmes that aim to deliver direct and primary benefits to patients and the public in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Currently the NIHR GHR Programmes include the NIHR GHR Units and Groups and awards funded under the Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) Calls.
Significant investment in training and academic research capacity strengthening is being delivered through the NIHR GHR Programmes. The purpose of this NIHR GHR SPARC pilot scheme (‘NIHR GHR SPARC’) is to add value and build upon this investment by engaging early career researchers who are undertaking training and to enable them to benefit from being part of something larger than their own local research environment. The NIHR wishes to further strengthen capability by creating training opportunities to develop appropriate research skills that individuals will need to succeed in their research training and future careers.
The NIHR GHR SPARC will therefore allow GHR NIHR Academy members based in the NIHR GHR programmes and supported by NIHR as well as those individuals undertaking formal training as part of the NIHR GHR Programme who are not funded directly by the NIHR, but by an official partner institution, to spend time in other parts of the NIHR (including UK and overseas partner institutions) to network, train in a specific skill/technique or collaborate with other relevant researchers/ specialists.
The scheme is designed to optimise and enhance the individuals’ research training experience as well as their networks, CVs and career opportunities. In doing so the scheme aims to foster cross-NIHR GHR working and enables applicants to benefit from being part of something larger than their own local research environment for the benefit of the individual and their career. It is expected that the scheme will contribute to enhancing the NIHR GHR Programmes outcomes in achieving direct and primary benefit for patients and populations in LMICs.
Expected outcomes include the development of new skills/techniques as well as collaborations, publications, presentations and posters.
These guidance notes are intended to help completion of an application for the NIHR GHR SPARC Pilot, Round 1 (2019).
NB: For the purposes of this application form the term NIHR GHR Programme Training Lead refers to the NIHR Global Health Research Training Leads from the NIHR GHR Units and Groups and includes training leads and people responsible for coordinating training in the awards funded under the NIHR RIGHT calls.
The term NIHR GHR Programmes refers to the NIHR Global Health Research Units, the NIHR Global Health Research Groups and the awards funded under the NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) calls.
The contractor and accountable body for the award will be the UK based institution contracted to lead (‘the UK lead institution’).
The eligibility criteria for the NIHR GHR SPARC are as follows:
The NIHR GHR SPARC is open to all GHR NIHR Academy Members in the NIHR Global Health Research Units, and Groups, and individuals funded by the NIHR RIGHT awards who meet the following criteria:
- Undertaking a formal training/career development award, which should meet all of the following criteria:
- be competitive
- include a training plan
- have a defined end point (such as an application for further funding).
- Receive at least 25% funding from the NIHR* for salary/stipend over the lifetime of the individual’s award.
*For NIHR Global Health Research Programmes funding can be from NIHR or from an official co-funding partner. An official co-funding partner would be those institutions named as partners in the NIHR GHR Programme’s original application and/or most recent annual report as appropriate.
- Hosted in a setting with a remit for research capacity development, i.e. the NIHR GHR Programmes.
- be in a position to complete the award between 1 May 2020 and 31 March 2021.
- have continued support from their Home Employing Institution (the institution at which the applicant is registered) for the duration of their studies (this will be the Home Employing Institution that administers their current award).
- have the support of the Host Institution (the institution they will visit for the duration of their NIHR GHR SPARC award)
- have the support of the UK lead institution of the NIHR GHR Programme that the applicant is part of.
Official Development Assistance (ODA)
The NIHR GHR SPARC is funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) and as such an individual applying for this award must be able to demonstrate how the award will directly and primarily benefit patients and the public in countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee List of ODA Recipients (OECD DAC List).
In order to be eligible to receive ODA funding, applications must demonstrate how they meet ODA compliance criteria and outline:
- Which country or countries on the DAC list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit?
- How the application is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries?
- How the outcomes of the training activity will benefit the health and welfare of a country or countries on the DAC list?
Where researchers wish to work with middle-income countries on the OECD DAC list the application should demonstrate how the placement will benefit the health and welfare of less advantaged people in those countries and how its outcomes could have wider applicability to other low-income countries.
The candidate should also demonstrate in the application that the NIHR GHR SPARC award will support training that is not available in their Home Employing Institution.
Scope of Award
The NIHR GHR SPARC allows eligible individuals within the NIHR GHR Programmes to spend a short period of time (e.g. 2-6 months) training in another part of the NIHR. The length of the placement is flexible but needs to be justified in relation to the impact and benefit to the applicant’s training. The award must be taken up and completed within the timeframe of the applicant’s current study. Awards can start on the 1st of the month starting from 1 May 2020 to 1 February 2021.
The placement period can be broken up (e.g. two two-month placements) where beneficial to the applicant but in all cases must be completed by 31 March 2021 and the financial report must be submitted by 30 April 2021. Awardees will remain registered at their Home Employing Institution (where they are registered for their formal Masters, PhD or post-doctoral training programme) and the ‘host’ institution (the institution where the placement will take place) will provide supervision and training in collaboration with the home supervision team.
The following types of activities could be supported:
- moving to other parts of the NIHR with similar specialisms to their Home Employing Institution
- seeking placements in a specific NIHR institution that offers training experiences not available at their Home Employing Institution (including cross-discipline training, such as regulatory aspects, trials etc.)
The placements, however, are not limited to these types of activities.
Applicants are encouraged to consider the list of NIHR GHR Programmes including the UK lead institution and partner institutions within these. Additionally, applicants may arrange to spend their placement in a part of the wider NIHR (e.g. NIHR Infrastructure or NIHR Schools) which do not constitute part of the NIHR GHR Programmes. Applicants could undertake their placement LMIC to LMIC, UK to UK, LMIC to UK and UK to LMIC, providing that the proposed Host Institution is part of the NIHR GHR Programmes or wider NIHR. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how this opportunity would enhance their studies and their CV and how it meets ODA eligibility requirements.
Applicants may find the following documents helpful:
- NIHR GHR SPARC PILOT – Where Can I Go? and NIHR SPARC – Where Can I Go? These pages detail the types of activities taking place within the NIHR GHR Programmes and NIHR Infrastructure (NB: this is not an exhaustive list, and does not detail all NIHR opportunities). All applicants must liaise with their named NIHR GHR Programme Training Lead listed here prior to developing an application).
- SPARC – Advice from Previous Awardees. This document includes advice from awardees of the domestic SPARC scheme that may be helpful in planning a placement.
- SPARC – Case Studies. The home and host institutions, placements, outputs and impacts of some previous domestic SPARC awards are described.
- NIHR Global Health webpage which explains more about NIHR and ODA
Scope of Funding
The placement programme should provide training/research/mentoring or other experiences that are not currently available in your home training environment. This may include being part of a research study that enhances your own work, collaborating with a new team of researchers who specialise in your field or working in a different field where you have career aspirations. The placement, however, is not limited to these types of activities.
The placement will be funded by awards of up to £10,000 per individual through a centrally run competition. The award is to cover the incidental expenses (accommodation, visa, travel, food and other reasonable expenses) of working from another institution for a short period of time (e.g. 2-6 months).
The NIHR contracted GHR Unit, Group or RIGHT Award will be the contract and accountable body for the award and will administer the award. The NIHR contracted GHR Unit, Group or RIGHT Award may need to transfer funds upfront to the applicant’s Home Employing Institution to enable the placement to take place and this cost will be reimbursed by NIHR upon receipt of a suitable invoice based on actuals up to the limit of the amount awarded.
Travel and subsistence rates should be in accordance with the rates approved by the UK lead institution or if not available should be classified as ‘economy/standard class’. Prices should be provided in Pounds Sterling (GBP). No support for salary/stipend/fees will be provided by NIHR under this award. Research costs, open access fees, conference fees, and supervisory fees will also not be covered by this award.
A letter of contract for the SPARC award will be put in place with the UK based institution contracted to lead (‘the UK lead institution’) the NIHR GHR Programme that the applicants’ home employing institution is partnered with (for UK applicants the 'home employing' and 'UK lead' may be the same institution).
The UK lead institution may need to transfer funds to the applicant’s employing institution to enable the placement to take place. NIHR will reimburse the UK lead institution after a final invoice is provided. The NIHR contracted GHR Programmes will:
- within 2 months of the completion of the placement or by the 30 April 2021 (whichever is soonest) submit an invoice to the NIHR Academy for incidental expenses incurred during the placement, up to the limit of the amount awarded.
- confirm sight and approval of all supporting documentation (i.e. receipts) for expenses incurred and that the costs incurred are as described in the Award application and approved by the Selection Committee. The NIHR Academy reserves the right to request copies of supporting documentation.
- the UK lead institution that the funds are reimbursed to after satisfying the criteria above will take responsibility for ensuring the institution that has borne the cost will be repaid and will inform NIHR Academy as to how much of the funding is disbursed to LMICs.
Successful applicants will:
- notify the NIHR Academy when the placement has come to an end
- submit a written report within 2 months of the completion of the placement or by the 31 May 2021 (whichever is soonest), in a form provided by the NIHR Academy, detailing the placement, achievements, outputs and impact. This will also need to outline any underspends and the reasons for this.
- work with the UK lead institution to submit receipts and financial report to the NIHR Academy. This will be due two months after placement is complete or before 30 April 2021.
- participate in the NIHR evaluation which is due six months after the placement is complete (to measure longer term outcomes not immediately apparent at the end of the placement)
NIHR GHR Branding
Application and Selection Process
- Applicants are responsible for liaising with their NIHR GHR Programme Training Lead (see NIHR GHR Programme Training Leads) and potential Host Institution and agreeing the scope of the placement prior to submitting an application.
- The NIHR GHR Programme Training Lead should liaise with the Director (or Principal Investigator for the RIGHT Award) of the NIHR contracted UK NIHR GHR programme that will administer the contract to ensure their support
- The application form is available from the NIHR GHR SPARC webpage at https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding/nihr-global-health-research-short-placement-award-for-research-collaboration-pilot/23253.
- To submit the application, the NIHR GHR Programme Training Lead representing the Global Health Research Unit, Group or the RIGHT programme must email a completed application form, signed off by the Director of the NIHR GHR Unit or Group or the RIGHT Award Principal Investigator, and the applicant's CV to email@example.com. Both documents should be suitably protected to meet UK personal data protection standards.
- The applicant’s CV should detail their qualifications, awards, publications and experience (3 pages max).
- The deadline for submission is 1pm (GMT) on Friday 7 February 2020.
- Any changes to the formatting of text within the application form may impact the rest of the form and what is visible to the NIHR GHR SPARC PILOT Selection Committee when reviewing the application. Such issues usually resolve when the form is saved and re-opened, but the applicant needs to ensure that all required text is visible in an electronic and printed copy of this application form prior to submission.
- Incomplete, faxed, posted or late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.
- The NIHR Academy is responsible for the selection process and subsequent management of the award.
- Applications will be reviewed by an expert Selection Committee, and scored during a NIHR GHR SPARC PILOT Selection Committee meeting in March 2020.
- The NIHR GHR SPARC Pilot Selection Committee, via the NIHR Academy, will make recommendations for funding to the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC).
- The NIHR Academy expect to be able to notify applicants of the outcome of their application week commencing 20 April 2020.
We will acknowledge receipt of your application within a week of the closing date. Applicants should not phone or email the NIHR Academy with enquiries prior to receiving this email.
- the extent to which the placement will provide a high-quality and stimulating research training experience
- the potential for the applicant to enhance their current research studies
- the provision of academic supervision and support in both the Home Employing and the Host institutions
- the extent to which the placement will support the professional and personal development of the applicant
- the impact the placement will have on the applicant’s career development and trajectory
- the extent to which the proposed training is not available in their Home Employing Institution
- Which country or countries on the DAC list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit?
- How the application 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?
- Where researchers wish to work with middle-income countries on the OECD DAC list the application should demonstrate how the research will benefit the health and welfare of less advantaged people in those countries and how their findings could have wider applicability to other low-income countries.
NIHR Privacy Notice
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 Hospitals NHS 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:
This notice is under constant review and will be updated and / or revised based on that review as appropriate.
Statement of Acknowledgement
|Competition launch||Monday 9 December 2019|
|Deadline for applications (10 weeks)||1pm (GMT) Friday 7 February 2020|
|Applicants informed of outcome and contracting commences||Week commencing 20 April 2020|
|Placements to take place||Between 1 May 2020 and 31 March 2021|
|Financial statement||Due two months after placement is complete or before 30 April 2021|
|Report||Due two months after placement is complete or by 31 May 2021|
|Evaluation report||Due six months after the placement is complete|
Completing the application form
Please also include the NIHR GHR Programme. This should be the UK lead institution that holds the NIHR GHR Programme contract and will be the institution that will administer the NIHR GHR SPARC contract.
Section A – Applicant Details
Please enter your full name, including title, job title, highest level of qualification and current level of study and the start and end dates of your current award.
Professional background. For doctors and dentists, please enter the UK GMC/GDC recognised specialty. For all other applicants, please enter your discipline or professional background from the drop down menu. This is for NIHR data collection purposes, and has no wider use.
A2 and A3. Applicant Home Employing Institution Details
Please give details of your Home Employing Institution (the institution where you are registered for your current study), and include the name and contact details of your Primary Supervisor. Please also provide a correspondence address and contact details if they are different to those you have already provided. Note: your Home Employing Institution must be an official partner of or the UK Lead Institution of an NIHR GHR Programmes (the NIHR Global Health Research Units, the NIHR Global Health Research Groups and the awards funded under the Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) Calls). Please refer to the ‘Eligibility’ section above for more information.
Section B – Applicant Experience
Section C – Proposed Placement: Host Institution Supervisor Contact Details
Section D – Proposed Placement: Plans
D1. Proposed Placement: Plans
Please provide a clear outline of the plan for your proposed placement. Include a justification of the length of placement (including split period placement where relevant) and the order of activities planned and explain why it is important for your career at this stage. It is also important to explain why you have chosen the particular NIHR host that you wish to work with during the placement (for example, due to particular experts, expertise, equipment or teams). Please also explain the relevance of your placement in relation to Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligibility
The training placement period can be broken up to allow flexibility but must be completed by 31 March 2021. (400 words max).
D2. Benefits and Impact
Please outline the likely benefits and impact of the placement on your research, training and career, and how you will know whether it has been a successful placement from a personal perspective.
i.e. how the funded activities are expected to directly benefit and contribute to a chain of results that lead to impacts on local health and welfare in the ODA-eligible country or countries (400 words max)
This section must provide a clear breakdown and full justification of all funds requested, including a total. Please note the award is for a maximum of £10,000.
- Funding is provided to cover the incidental expenses (accommodation, travel, visa, food and other reasonable expenses) of working from another institution for a short period of time. Travel and subsistence rates should be in accordance with the rates approved by the UK lead institution.
- Research costs, open access fees, conference fees, and supervisory fees will not be covered by this award.
- Costs should be based on current UK GBP prices.
- All applicants are expected to seek appropriate input from the Home Employing and UK lead institution into the finance section of the application form.
- Within 2 months of the completion of the award, or by 30 April 2021 (whichever is soonest), the UK lead institution will be expected to submit an invoice to the NIHR Academy. The invoice will be checked in line with the proposed placement plans and justification of funds requested, and when approved, the NIHR Academy will reimburse the UK lead institution.
- The NIHR Academy reserves the right to request copies of supporting documentation.
- (300 words max.)
D4. Statement on Official Development Assistance (ODA) compliance and safeguarding
NB this section is to be completed by the proposed host institution and host supervisor
Please outline how you as the Host Institution and Host Supervisor
- will support the applicant during this placement,
- what steps you will take to ensure that the placement will stay aligned with the ODA compliance objectives set out in sections Di, Dii, and Diii
- how you will ensure that you comply with the following Department for International Development (DFID) safeguarding standards and guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/safeguarding-against-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse-and-sexual-harassment-seah-in-the-aid-sector and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dfid-enhanced-due-diligence-safeguarding-for-external-partners
(300 words max.)
Section E – Declarations and Signatures
E2. Home Employing Institution – Primary Supervisor
E3. Host Institution – Proposed Host Supervisor for the placement
Section F – NIHR GHR Programme Training Lead - Statement of Support
- their approval of the application
- that they have liaised with the Director (or Principal Investigator for the RIGHT Award) of the NIHR contracted UK NIHR GHR programme that will administer the contract to ensure support.
- the willingness of the Home Employing Institution to support the applicant (if successful) during the placement
- that they will remain in regular contact with the applicant to ensure their welfare as part of their due diligence obligations under the DFID aid safeguarding standards
- their commitment to providing the support necessary to make the award a success
- their approval of the costs sought
Section G – Monitoring Information
Equal Opportunities and Diversity
NIHR and DHSC have a duty as a public body to promote equality of opportunity. All applicants will be contacted shortly after the closure date by NIHR Equality Monitoring.
Monitoring ensures that all applications to NIHR Programmes are treated equally in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and disability.
The NIHR Equality information you share with the monitoring system:
- will be stored separately from your application,
- only be used for the purpose of monitoring equal opportunities,
- be kept securely and in confidence.
Section H – NIHR GHR Programme Director/RIGHT Award Principal Investigator Statement of Support
- That the applicant’s identity has been verified
- That the placement will benefit the applicant and the overall ODA objectives of their NIHR GHR Programme.
- That the NIHR contracted GHR Programme agrees to be the accountable body and the contract holder for the award, and agree to the financial arrangements to allow the placement to take place,
- Their acceptance of the financial, safeguarding and reporting terms and conditions associated with a NIHR GHR SPARC award.
If you have any queries about the NIHR GHR SPARC please contact us at:
Address: NIHR Academy, 21 Queen Street , Leeds, LS1 2TW
Telephone: 0113 532 8430
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting ‘NIHR GHR SPARC’ in the subject heading.