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NIHR HPSR Application Form Guidance

Contents

NIHR Global Health Policy and Systems Research Programme Commissioned Awards

Guidance for completing an application

The closing date for electronic submission of applications is 1pm GMT on 11 December 2019

How to apply

Applications to the Commissioned Awards will all be via a single stage process. 

It is mandatory for applications to the NIHR Global HPSR Commissioning Awards to have two Joint Lead Applicants (one ODA-eligible country- and one UK-based). The NIHR contract requires the administrative ‘Lead Applicant’ to be from a UK based institution (UK administrative lead).

Joint leadership must be demonstrated through equal sharing of responsibilities. The applications will be assessed against the advertised selection criteria, which includes the equity and strength of partnerships, expertise of Joint Lead Applicants and the Co-Applicant partners and balance of expertise and responsibilities in terms of overall team strengths

The NIHR uses a management information system (MIS) to receive applications. If you do not already have an account, you will be required to register on the system in order to access the application.

Once registered go to your homepage and click ‘Apply for Funding’ and choose Global HPSR Commissioning Awards from the list, click continue, then click apply. You will also be able to access the MIS via the Global Health research pages on the website.

Completing the online application form

Once you have clicked ‘Apply’ you will be taken to the eligibility check page, here you will be asked to confirm that you are from the UK based administering institution and that you are the UK based Joint Lead Applicant. You should answer yes or no and press submit. If you are eligible, you will be able to continue to the main application page. You should check that you are applying to the right funding opportunity and call.

Please note: If you do not yet have an ORCiD you will be asked to create one here.

If you want to see the application form and the questions please refer to the word version of the form available online.

Application summary information

Host organisation

Please give details of the organisation who will be the contractor if the project is funded.

Please note: that we require the UK Joint Lead Applicant’s host organisation (i.e. substantive employer) to act as the contractor/administrative lead if the project is funded. 

Please also bear in mind that:

  • Thought must be given to the most appropriate UK institution to act as the contractor as part of the application process, as changes are unlikely to be agreed once a funding decision has been made.
  • Although the contract will be held by the UK institution for administrative purposes, there must be two Joint Lead Applicants (one ODA eligible country and one UK institution) and clear evidence of an equitable partnership with country partner(s) on the OECD DAC list, and the contractor (UK Joint Lead).
  • Other leading organisations and individuals that form part of your core research team/consortium must be included as Co-Applicants.
  • The contractor is expected to respond to annual financial reconciliation exercises, provide the final financial reconciliation statement for the project and to provide ad hoc requests for financial information during the lifetime of the project. In the unlikely event that a request is made for the contractor to differ from the UK Joint Leads host institution, the suggested contractor must be able to fulfil these expectations and to do so in the usual timeframes.
  • In the same way, the contractor is expected to respond to any queries relating to Intellectual Property, commercialisation and benefit realisation.

If you have any queries, please contact nets-finance@nihr.ac.uk before submitting your application.

Research title (300 characters)

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

Select the appropriate research type. If your proposed project includes any element of primary research, please select ‘Primary Research’. If you are carrying out new analysis of existing data, select ‘Secondary Research’. If you are not sure which category to select, choose the closest match to your project as this can be adjusted later. 

Proposed start date

Note this should be from 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. Expectation is that projects will start by 1 September 2020. 

Research duration (months)

Ensure you include sufficient time to complete all aspects of the research including applications for regulatory approvals (where required) and the final report. You should ensure the duration of the research is no longer than 48 months. 

End date

This field will automatically populate once you have saved the research duration information. 

Research costs

Enter the total costs being requested for your proposal.

Please note: You must complete a separate Global HPSR budget template so please ignore the two cost related questions under this tab.

Lead applicant details/CV

The NIHR systems and the research contract require the UK-based Joint Lead Applicant’ to be from a UK-based institution.

Please complete the UK Joint Lead Applicant’s name, contact details and other requested information.

ORCiD    

Please note: It is NIHR policy that all applicants obtain a free unique ORCiD number and update their MIS user profile to include their ORCiD before the application can be submitted. By clicking the link ‘View ORCiD record’ you will be taken to the ORCiD website where you will need to register or sign in. Once logged in to ORCiD and following acceptance of T&Cs, you will be returned to the MIS and the profile field for your ORCiD number will automatically be populated. You will only have to do this once. This is a mandatory requirement. 

You will also need to provide details on your current publication record and any research grants held, where you are a named applicant.

Please note: Your Joint Lead and co-applicants will also be required to supply this detail within their ‘collaboration task’ within the MIS.

Research team 

In the following sections you will need to individually add the names of your Joint Lead, Co-Applicants and Collaborators. Their roles and equitable contributions to the project should be described in the relevant section ‘3.7 Structure of your research team’.  

Definitions and requirements:

Joint Lead Applicants: It is a requirement to have two Joint Lead Applicants with one being from a ODA eligible country and one from a UK-based institution. Joint Leadership must be demonstrated with plans in place for equal sharing of responsibilities. The applications will be assessed on the equity and strength of partnerships developed between Joint Lead Applicants and their relevant expertise. 

Co-Applicants: You can add up to three Co-Applicants. Co-Applicants are those individuals with responsibility for the day-to-day management and delivery of the project who form your project team/consortia. Co-Applicants are those forming a core part of the project team and are expected to share responsibility for its successful delivery. Please note that once you enter a Co-Applicant’s details they will receive an automated email informing them that this information has been added into our Management Information System (MIS) in conjunction with your application. Therefore, we would expect Co-Applicants to have been consulted before adding their details into the MIS. 

Collaborators: Those who provide specific expertise on particular aspects of the project and would form the basis of your wider research team. They do not share in the responsibility for the delivery of the project. 

Other supporting roles: As a minimum the following (mandatory) UK, based supporting roles are required to be added to an application: 

  1. Administrative Authority or Finance Officer
  2. Head of Department

%FTE: Commitment: This refers to the percentage of your time that will be committed to this project.

ORCiD ID: It is mandatory for all Applicants to register for and ORCID ID and include their ORCID ID on their MIS user profile (please see details above).

Joint lead applicants

Add details of the ODA-eligible Country Joint Lead Applicant as requested. As the UK Joint Lead, you will have started the application, so you DO NOT need to add yourself as a Joint Lead Applicant at this stage. This section of the application is to add the second Joint Lead Applicant.

Once you enter the second Joint Lead Applicant’s details they will receive an automated email informing them that this information has been added into our Management Information System (MIS) in conjunction with your application. Therefore, we would expect you to have consulted with the Joint Lead Applicant before adding their details into the MIS. Please ensure you use the correct email address for your Joint Lead Applicant if they are already registered on MIS.

Please note: you may not find your Joint Lead Applicants affiliated organisation in the current list. If you do not please contact the Global Health team at nihrglobalhealth@nihr.ac.uk who will add this for you.

Permissions: The access rights should be set to ‘Full Edit Access’ if you wish the ODA-eligible Country Joint Lead Applicant to be able to edit the application. 

Justifications for Joint Lead Applicant: 

This section of the form is part of the standard NIHR application process and does not apply to the Global HPSR Commissioned Awards. It has two questions: 

  • Please justify why more than one person would be required to lead this research and how this brings added value to the application
    You do not need to supply an answer to this question as the requirement is for two Joint Lead Applicants so please add N/A in this box.
  • Please summarise the proposed Joint Lead Applicant’s relevant expertise and track record in applied health research, in terms of skills and experience, previous publications, grant funding and impact on health service provision (1500 characters)

You do not need to supply an answer to this question and you should add N/A in this box.

Please note:
The justifications for Joint Lead Applicant section will not be visible in your final application.

Once the Joint Lead Applicant has been added you must press ‘notify’. The following will then happen:

  • The ODA-eligible country Joint Lead Applicant will receive an email from the MIS notifying them they have been invited to participate in the GHPSR application.
  • The Joint Lead will be required to log into the MIS and click on the ‘Accept GHPSR Application Participation (Joint Lead Applicant)’ task. To do this, they must agree to the carbon reduction guidelines and choose ‘agree to participate’ from the drop down menu.
  • The Joint Lead Applicant must then press submit.
  • Once the Joint Lead Applicant has ‘agreed to participate’ they will be given two tasks:
    • Collaborate on GHPSR Application (Joint Lead Applicant). This task requires completion and submission before the application can be submitted. You should ensure the Joint Lead Application is aware of this requirement.
    • Global HPSR Application. This task gives the Joint Lead Applicant access to the application content and provided you have given ‘Full Edit Access’ they will be able to edit the application form.

Please note: It will be the responsibility of the UK Joint Lead Applicant to ensure that these tasks are completed in good time. YOU WILL NOT be able to submit your application until both the ‘Accept GHPSR Application Participation (Joint Lead Applicant)’ and the ‘Collaborate on GHPSR Application (Joint Lead Applicant)’ tasks have been completed and submitted. Your application will be rejected if these sections are not completed correctly.

Co-applicants

 Add details of all Co-Applicants and their specific role and country location for the project. For this Award, you will able to add up to three Co-Applicants, which will form your partnership/consortium.

 The number of Co-Applicants is calculated automatically. 

Permissions: The access rights should be set to ‘Full Edit Access’ if you wish the Co-Applicants to be able to edit the application. 

Once the Co-Applicants have been added you must press ‘notify’. The following will then happen:

  • The Co-Applicant will receive an email from the MIS notifying them they have been invited to participate in the GHPSR application.
  • The Co-Applicant will be required to log into the MIS and click on the ‘Accept GHPSR Application Participation (Co-Applicant)’ task. To do this, they must agree to the carbon reduction guidelines and choose ‘agree to participate’ from the drop down menu.
  • The Co-Applicant must then press submit.
  • Once the Co-Applicant has ‘agreed to participate’ they will be given two tasks:
    • Collaborate on GHPSR Application (Co-Applicant). This task requires completion and submission before the application can be submitted. You should ensure the Co-Application is aware of this requirement.
    • Global HPSR Application. This task gives the Co-Applicant access to the application content and provided you have given ‘Full Edit Access’ they will be able to edit the application form.

Please note: It will be the responsibility of the UK Joint Lead Applicant to ensure that these tasks are completed in good time. YOU WILL NOT be able to submit your application until both the ‘Accept GHPSR Application Participation’ and the ‘Collaborate on GHPSR Application’ tasks have been completed and submitted. Your application will be rejected if this section is not completed correctly. 

Do not include Collaborators in this section, they should be mentioned (if necessary) in the other supporting roles section of the online application form in MIS.

Other supporting roles and collaborators 

As a minimum, the following (mandatory) UK administrating institution supporting roles are required to be added to an application, only one of each type should be included:      

  • Administrative Authority or Finance Officer
  • Head of Department
    Please note:
    If, as UK Joint Lead Applicant, you are also signing as Head of Department, you should not complete this signatory task until you are ready to submit your application form. Once the UK administrative Lead Applicant completes the Head of Department signatory task, various fields within the application form will become non-editable.

    Please note: Only the UK based Administrative Authority or Finance Officer and Head of Department are required to sign off the application, as they will be managing the contract. The ODA-eligible country Joint Lead must have, at a minimum, a Head of Department signatory. Others can be added if required; however, you must ensure they are in a position to access the MIS to complete their tasks. If possible, you should include a signatory from your ODA-eligible country.

Collaborators: You should add your Collaborators in this section. For the Global HPSR Commissioned Awards this is where you will add your wider research team. To add a Collaborator choose the ‘Collaborator GHR’ from the drop down menu next to role, then add the required information. This should be repeated for each Collaborator. Please note your Collaborators will have to complete their tasks if your application is funded so you should ensure their involvement in the application has been discussed and their agreement gained prior to them being added as a Collaborator.

Sponsor: Please indicate the study sponsor, if required. The Host Institution is often the employer of the UK Joint Lead Investigator and the Sponsor for health and care studies and trials approved for funding by NIHR. 

The sponsor has responsibility for ensuring that a trial is run to the highest standards and meets all applicable regulatory and research governance requirements. This responsibility is accepted by the Host Institution when it signs the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) contract. The Host Institution should ensure that there are systems in place to manage sponsorship requirements. The NIHR, the funder and managing agent for contracts on behalf of the DHSC, must be informed of the name of the Sponsor(s) of any study/trial and the arrangements for independent oversight. Through collaboration agreements between Co Applicants and Collaborators, the sponsor will ensure the flow down of the relevant DHSC contractual terms and where any local sponsorship is required outside the UK, that this complies with local regulations and standards at least equivalent to those in the UK. 

Permissions: The access rights should be set to ‘Full Edit Access’ if you wish the supporting roles to be able to edit the application. 

Once the supporting roles, excluding Collaborators, have been added you must press ‘notify’. The following will then happen:

  • The supporting role will receive an email from the MIS notifying them they have been invited to participate in the GHPSR application.
  • The supporting role will be required to log into the MIS and click on the ‘Accept GHPSR Application Participation’ task. To do this, they must agree to the carbon reduction guidelines and choose ‘agree to participate’ from the drop down menu.
  • The supporting role must then press submit.
  • Once the supporting role has ‘agreed to participate’ they will be given access to the application via the following task:
    • Global HPSR Application. This task gives access to the application content and provided you have given ‘Full Edit Access’ they will be able to edit the application form.

Please note: It will be the responsibility of the UK Joint Lead Applicant to ensure that these tasks are completed in good time. YOU WILL NOT be able to submit your application until the ‘Accept GHPSR Application Participation’ tasks have been completed and submitted. Your application will be rejected if this section is not completed correctly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Should your application be funded your Collaborators will be required to complete the following tasks so we would expect you to have discussed and agreed their involvement in the application before they are added.

  • The Collaborator, will be required to log into the MIS and click on the ‘Accept GHPSR Application Participation’ task. To do this, they must agree to the carbon reduction guidelines and choose ‘agree to participate’ from the drop down menu.
  • The supporting role must then press submit.
  • Once the Collaborator has ‘agreed to participate’ they will be given two tasks:
    • Collaborate on GHPSR Application (Collaborator). This task requires completion and submission before the application can be submitted. You should ensure the Collaborator is aware of this requirement.
    • Global HPSR Application. This task gives the Collaborator access to the application content.

Electronic signatures

Each person nominated to a supporting role will be required to tick a check box indicating that they have read and understood the terms on which they have been nominated for this proposal and accept this role. Ticking this box constitutes an electronic signature of the supporting role with regard to this application.

Once the application form is completed and prior to submission, the UK Administrative Joint Lead Applicant is also required to tick a check box to indicate that they have read and understood the terms on which they have been nominated as Joint Lead Applicant (UK administrative lead) for this proposal along with the associated documentation and therefore accept this role.

No original (wet ink) signatures are required for this application.

Signatory statements

Please ensure that the required signatories (above) are aware of the statements of responsibility that they are agreeing to by making an electronic signature.

History of the application

Previous submission

Select ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ from the drop-down box to indicate whether this or a similar application has previously been submitted to this or any other funding body. 

Applications submitted to NETS Programmes

Previous applications submitted by the UK lead to all NETS managed programmes in the last 36 months will be listed in this section. You should indicate against each one whether the previous applications are relevant to the current application (the Check All/Clear All options allow you to mark all applications or clear all applications). For any applications that are relevant click Edit to enter details of differences between the current application and this previous one and to enter the reasons if it was unsuccessful.

Other funders/applications in progress

Provide a high-level summary of any relevant/related applications submitted to any previous NIHR Global Health Research Programme Calls, or any other similar applications in progress with other funders. Please indicate how they involve the Joint Leads or any Co-Applicants for the application. 

We are keen to know if the application has been submitted elsewhere and you must be as open about this as possible. This includes, but is not limited to, any facts that, should come to light at a future date, would embarrass either the programme or the individual who withheld the fact (e.g. if a member of the team holds a patent or has a financial interest within the research area). 

Failure to disclose accurately or fully will be considered by the programme as academic misconduct and treated accordingly. You should also include in this section information on whether this or a similar application has been submitted to any programme previously, or to any other funder including other NIHR programmes. You should name and provide dates and outcomes of these. Please indicate whether you hold or have ever held an NIHR programme contract, which has been terminated prior to completion, extended in time or in terms of funding.

Scientific abstract (3500 characters)

The scientific abstract should be a clear, concise scientific summary of the research plans, with a word limit of 3500 characters (one side of A4 maximum). 

The following is a list of potential elements / headings that might be included depending on the focus of the proposed research. It will be for researchers to decide what should be included in the scientific abstract and could include elements outside this list. Applicants may find the guidance on the EQUATOR Network website useful.

  • The Priority Area(s) being applied for and the proposed research question
  • Background to the planned research, why it is needed now, and where it will take place
  • Aims and objectives
  • Methods
  • Anticipated pathway to impact and plans for dissemination

Plain English summary (3500 characters)

A plain English summary is a clear explanation of your research plans. It is not the same as a scientific abstract - please do not cut and paste this or other sections of your application form to create the plain English summary.

Many reviewers use this summary to inform their review of your funding application. They include clinicians and researchers who do not have specialist knowledge of your field as well as members of the public. If your application for funding is successful, the summary will be used on National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and other websites. 

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 assessment committee members) to have a better understanding of your research proposal.
  • inform others about your research such as members of the public, health professionals, policy makers and the media.
  • the research funders to publicise the research that they fund.

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

When writing your summary consider including the following information where appropriate:

  • Aim(s) of the research
  • Background to the research
  • Design and methods used
  • Community Engagement and Involvement
  • Dissemination

It is helpful to involve patients / carers / communities or members of the public in developing a plain English summary.

Further guidance on writing in plain English is available online

For further support and advice on writing a plain English summary, please contact your local Research Design Service (where applicable).

Project details

Priority area/s to be addressed, research questions and key aims and objectives (2500 characters)

Explain which Priority Area (integrating health care systems; quality of care; health workforce management; planning and improving data quality) you are planning to research and why the planned research is in remit and meets the aims of this call. 

Please state your research questions and summarise the key aims and objectives or your proposed research and the potential to impact on health policy and systems and improve health outcomes. 

ODA compliance (2500 characters) 

Please provide an statement that demonstrates how the proposal meets key ODA funding requirements. It must answer the following questions in order: 

  • which country(s) on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit;
  • how the application is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries; and
  • how the outcomes will promote the health and welfare of people in the country or countries on the DAC list.
  • Where partner countries are listed as middle-income on the DAC list (for example China, India, Brazil), the application should demonstrate how the research will benefit the health and welfare of the poorest and/or most vulnerable groups of people in those countries and how their findings could have wider applicability to other low-income countries
  • Please consider whether the ODA-eligible country/ies you intend work in/with are due to graduate in the next review of the DAC-list in 2020 and would therefore no longer be eligible for ODA funding.

Research design and methods (10000 characters)

Outline the design of your planned research including the methods. Please ensure your methods are clearly connected to the research questions, aims and objectives outlined in 3.1. 

Detailed information on the research design should include (where appropriate) descriptions of the following:

  • Design and theoretical/conceptual framework: Please provide a brief statement on the type of study design to be used, and the theoretical framing, concepts and models to be used.
  • Target populations: Please describe for all projects your approach and rationale for selecting research sites and subjects.
  • Setting/context: Please describe the health systems setting or context in which the study will take place.
  • Data collection: Please describe the data you plan to collect. Depending upon your study design and methodology, you may need to explain what data collection instruments or measures you plan to use, and whether you will be using instruments already developed and tested elsewhere or instruments which you will develop as part of this project. For example, where cost or outcome data is to be collected, you need to make clear and justify your approach to defining and measuring the costs or outcomes in question. You should make clear the link between the data collected and the research questions outlined earlier.
  • Data analysis: Please describe how you plan to analyse the data you have collected. Depending upon your study design and methodology, you may need to explain what quantitative statistical methods you plan to employ, your methods for qualitative data analysis, and your approach to combining data from multiple methods or sources.
  • Proposed timelines: Please give high level timelines for delivery of the research plans (to be described in detail in section 3.10).

Why this research is needed now (3500 characters) 

Use this section to explain how the chosen research plan is informed by:

  • a review of the local context
  • a review of the existing research literature and health system(s)
  • an ODA-eligible country-led needs analysis with evidence of appropriate engagement activities with relevant stakeholders such as policy makers, evidence users and local communities

Include a brief literature review of existing research and health systems need, outlining what is already known in the area and the evidence gap this research will fill. 

Indicate the necessity for the research proposed in terms of time and relevance 

Explain how the research proposed will add to the body of knowledge with reference to current global health policy and systems research needs to support health systems strengthening in low resource settings.

 Overlaps with existing research

All proposals recommended for funding which involve a clinical trial will be checked by NIHR for potential overlaps using WHO trials before the communication of a funding decision. Consequently, a funding recommendation may not be taken forward if a major overlap is identified at this stage. It is therefore important that Applicants should highlight any potential overlaps prior to consideration of by the funding committee. 

Pathways to impact (4000 characters) 

The purpose of this section is to describe the planned outputs of the research, including how proposed research will generate sustainable advances in and strengthening of health system capacity and capability in ODA-eligible countries. 

Your application should include a clear and implementable strategy for research uptake and dissemination. This should outline how the funded activities are expected to contribute to a chain of results that lead to the intended scale up of impacts into policy and practice. To include consideration of:

  • how and when relevant stakeholders (policy makers, practitioners, public) will be engaged (from research design, implementation, analysis, to reporting and dissemination),
  • underlying assumptions/risks,
  • any external factors (social, political, economic, environmental, technological, legal, demographic, cultural context, other funders' activities) which may (either positively or negatively) influence the success of the project in achieving these impacts,
  • the sustainability of impacts (e.g. how will cost effectiveness be assessed, is there an appropriate exit strategy involving effective transfer of ownership). 

A draft Pathways to impact or Theory of Change framework must be included in your application as an upload

Structure of the research team (7000 characters) 

Use this section to describe how the proposed core research team/partnership consortium (of two Joint Lead Investigators/Applicants and up to three additional Co-Applicants) is structured, and provide the rationale for bringing the team together and describe the contributions of each member. 

Please fully describe your approach to, and plans to create and sustain equitable partnerships within your programme/research team.

Provide a brief description of other Collaborators involved in the research, indicating the contribution they will make. You should also describe how, through the structure of your research team, you have considered diversity and inclusion. 

Please describe whether the relationships are new or pre-existing. In addition, please give details of the supervision/mentoring arrangements for any junior staff involved. 

Community engagement and involvement (3500 characters) 

Use this section to map out and describe the involvement of key stakeholders in the community. Applicants must ensure that patients and the general public within a given community, especially vulnerable groups who are most affected, are empowered to contribute to the research and decision making on potential solutions to identified issues. Describe how all community stakeholders will be involved with informing the design, methods and research outcomes, as well as any activities around managing, monitoring, evaluating and disseminating the findings of the research and any impact evaluation activities. 

Describe any influence or change that has happened as a result of their engagement and involvement in development of this application.    

Teams should demonstrate how they will engage and involve communities throughout the research, utilising the draft UNICEF Minimum Standards for Community Engagement (2019) which encourage: 

  • Participation
  • Empowerment and ownership
  • Inclusion
  • Two way communication
  • Adaptability and localisation 
  • Building on local capacity 

Describe relevant interdisciplinary expertise that will facilitate partner and stakeholder coordination and integration of community engagement and involvement throughout the research cycle. 

Include details of who will be responsible for the co-production of the CEI strategy and plans for training and support to facilitate effective CEI. 

Training and capacity building (6000 characters) 

Please include your plans for developing institutional and individual research capacity and capability in this section. This could include a range of activities incorporating full or partial funding for formal training posts (PhD, MSc), in-country training, workshops, exchanges and learning by doing, supporting development of regional and cross ODA-eligible country training hubs, as well as other wider institutional capacity-building activities such as finance, project management, data management. 

Please also use this section to describe any plans for activities such as coaching, buddying and mentorship. 

Projects supported for funding will be expected to have a named Training Lead to co-ordinate activities across the funded project, and act as the liaison point on training with the NIHR Academy. 

Project management and governance (3500 characters) 

Please outline the practical arrangements for managing the research. 

Within this section, you also will need to describe your proposed governance structure including an external Advisory Group with proposed membership. This group should as a minimum have an independent Chair, be gender balanced, and have a range of members and key stakeholders from the partner countries, the UK and beyond where appropriate.  The Advisory Group should advise on strategy and progress and oversee project risks. 

A Delivery Chain Map must be included with your application as an upload to show the overall structure of the partnerships and the distribution of funds. See Annex 1 for an example of a Delivery Chain Map. 

Project timetable (2500 characters) 

Please provide a concise written summary of a high-level project timetable showing the scheduling of key stages in the project and their expected durations. 

Please provide the timing of key milestones throughout the project including the production of outputs. The key milestones and projected timetable will be an important aspect of the monitoring framework during the life of the project. 

Please ensure your timings are realistic and take sufficient account of activities (e.g. due diligence; development of Collaboration Agreements with partners, recruitment, time allowed for securing ethics/governance approval, for undertaking data collection and analysis, and for reporting and writing up) which may take longer as the number of partners increase. 

A more detailed Gantt chant or work plan must be supplied as an upload. 

Justification of costs (3500 characters)

Please refer to your budget template when completing this section. 

  • Please provide a breakdown of how costs included in your application provide value for money. Justification for all resources requested should be provided.
     
  • Please ensure you describe clearly how the costs outlined in your application will support the Global HPSR Commissioned Award requirements for improving whole health systems and health services in the relevant ODA-eligible countries through development of successful equitable partnerships; research capacity building within countries, regions and areas which are under-funded and under-researched; and via positive engagement with key stakeholders in the countries and regions concerned to identify local priorities and to implement and use the research findings.
     
  • Please ensure that it is clear as to how exactly the costs have been calculated and allocated. For example, for consumables please ensure you provide further information as to the price, type and numbers of items that will be purchased. 

Risk management and assurance (4000 characters) 

Describe any known or anticipated difficulties which may be faced in delivering your research in the ODA-eligible country. These may be difficulties you will face yourself, or challenges faced by those in the implementing context (e.g., ODA-eligible country researchers or clinicians). Be specific: outline the problems specifically associated with your study plans - do not describe general ODA, aid or development challenges. Remember to include any critical dependencies - especially around specific authorisations, permissions or licences that are critical to the delivery of your research in the ODA-eligible country setting. 

In particular please cover plans for: 

  • Financial assurance, ODA compliance, monitoring and auditing of expenditure in the ODA-eligible countries
    Describe arrangements for due diligence, the allocation and transfer of funds to ODA-eligible country partners from the UK host institution and the financial processes, controls and audit measures in place to monitor and ensure appropriate use of funds, including any specific subcontracting arrangements for compliance auditing. You will be required to provide a map of all partners in the delivery chain as an upload.
  • Fraud, bribery and corruption 
    Describe arrangements or governance mechanisms in place to prevent fraud, bribery and corruption and to ensure compliance.
  • Safeguarding  
    Describe the arrangements for safeguarding of study participants and staff. If your Research group is funded by the NIHR, you will be expected to take all appropriate measures to prevent actual, attempted or threatened sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment by your employees or any other persons engaged and controlled by the group to perform any activities within your Research Contract and adopt robust procedures for the reporting of suspected misconduct, illegal acts or failures to investigate.

A draft Risk Register and a Delivery Chain Map should be submitted as an upload. 

Regulatory compliance (3500 characters) 

Outline the required activities required for responsible conduct of the proposed research. You may find it useful to refer to the following online resources:

Ethics and governance 

If applicable (e.g. research involving human participants), describe plans for ethical review of the proposed activities in the UK and/or ODA-eligible countries)

If the research involves vulnerable individuals or groups (e.g. children, individuals lacking capacity to consent or those suffering from stigmatising conditions in their community), then please describe how you will manage their involvement.

Data protection and information governance 

Describe ethics or governance considerations in relation to the project including use and storage of sensitive data.

Uploads

Please note that the funding committee will not consider any additional, non-requested documents during its review.

Required upload 1: Budget for requested costs

Please upload your completed budget spreadsheet (Excel template is available in MIS). You should refer to the separate finance guidance when completing your spreadsheet. 

Required upload 2: Lead applicants’ CVs

Please provide a maximum of a 2-page CV for each of the Joint Lead Applicants (ODA-eligible country and UK), this should include the top 10 most relevant publications.

Required upload 3: Letters of support

You should use this upload type to provide evidence of support from both the Joint Lead institutions. This should be in the form of a letter (one per institution) and it must give clear agreement of the institutions intention to participate in the study and their agreement to give access to core staff, supply space, facilities and the time required for the person to carry out the work activities outlined in the application. 

If you have included Co-Applicants in your application, they will also require a letter of support from their institutions, which must give clear agreement of the institutions intention to participate in the study and their agreement to supply space, facilities and the time required for the person to carry out the work activities outlined in the application. 

Required upload 4: Delivery chain map

Please provide a Word or PDF of the delivery chain map for your research programme. Delivery chain mapping is a process that identifies and captures, usually in visual form, the names of all partners involved in delivering a specific good, service or change, ideally down to the end beneficiary, and should include the fund flow.

Please see Annex 1 for an example of a Delivery chain map

Required upload 5: Risk register

You should include a detailed risk management matrix. The risk management matrix should show the potential risks, impact and steps to mitigate those risks. A mutually agreed risk register and schedule of milestones and deliverables will be critical tools in informing our approach to monitoring.

Examples of risks you could address include, governance, operational, financial and external risks

Required upload 6: Gantt chart or project management plan

The Gantt chart or project management plan should make it clear to readers how your plans will be delivered over the duration of the project, with responsibilities, milestones and key deliverables clearly set out. 

Required upload 7: Draft pathway to impact or theory of change

You should include a clearly outlined pathways to impact or theory of change; this can be a draft but should outline how the funded activities are expected to contribute to a chain of results that lead to the intended scale up of impacts on policy and practice. 

See section 3.5 for full guidance. 

Optional upload: 

Optional upload 8: references 

Please list all references cited in the application, using either the Vancouver or Harvard referencing conventions. This will be limited to 2 pages. 

Acknowledgment and conflict(s) 

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

Potential conflicts of interest exist when a relevant or secondary interest which if not declared may lead to a perception of bias, embarrass, or put the credibility of NIHR, the programme or the individual at risk. 

Potential conflicts of interest:

Personal financial: This includes where an Applicant, their partner or close family member, have a financial or commercial interest in the research through other employment, honoraria, contracts, academic collaborations where income has been personally received or attributed, consultancies, directorships, shares.

Personal non-financial: This includes where an Applicant, their partner or close family member have a non-financial or unremunerated involvement with organisations, such as directorships of companies or organisations honorary contracts, unpaid academic collaborations, memberships, charities, Trustees, membership of political or pressure groups.

Non-personal financial: This includes funding to a department or research institute and not to an individual.

Other interests: Other interests not mentioned above, but which you consider could be perceived to lead to a conflict of interest. 

Agreement to the terms and conditions
Please tick to state that you agree with the acceptance statement and the terms and conditions

Review and submit  

Once the validation status of your application contains no red crosses, you will be able to submit. You will not see a submit button until that time.

Contact us

For enquiries about this call, please e-mail us at nihrglobalhealth@nihr.ac.uk, or call +44 (0)23 8059 1859. 

Postal address: NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, University of Southampton, Alpha House, Enterprise Road, Southampton, SO16 7NS.

Annex 1

Link to an example of delivery chain map

Why is it important to understand delivery chains?

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) works with multiple partner agencies, Coordinating Centres, multilateral agencies, NGOs and the private sector to help deliver programmes, often through complex delivery chains in challenging environments. By better understanding the delivery chains the Department can: 

  • Establish a comprehensive view of all partners receiving DHSC/NIHR funding.
  • Develop and strengthen future supplier bases.
  • Understand a delivery partner’s role in achieving programme outcome(s) and opportunities for potential scale up.
  • Capture and manage risks that could affect programme outcomes.
  • Ensure risks are being managed by those best placed to do so.
  • Strengthen programme management capacity and programme delivery.
  • Respond quickly and efficiently to requests for information about funding to specific organisations, in a time of increased scrutiny.