The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is launching the first round of the Team Science Award. The Team Science Award aims to bring together individuals to form teams to address a research challenge from different disciplinary perspectives. The award recognises the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to tackle complex current and emerging health and care challenges. The award is designed to be different from traditional “investigator-led” awards and aims to recognise the contribution of every member of the research team.
This document provides full details of the competition, describes the means by which applications should be submitted and details how they will be assessed.
The NIHR works in partnership to fund, enable and deliver world-leading health and social care research through partnership with patients, service users, carers and other stakeholders in different communities.
Across the NIHR we are passionate about people and developing careers in research. NIHR develops and coordinates academic training, career development and research capacity development through the NIHR Academy’s awards and programmes.
We play a pivotal role in attracting, training and supporting the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future and complement additional NIHR investment in world-class research facilities and a skilled research workforce. NIHR aims to develop a highly-skilled research workforce capable of advancing the best research which improves health and care, and benefits society and the economy.
NIHR Team Science
The Team Science Award is a development award of up to £100k per team, designed to support research teams to collaborate on a future application to other research programmes, expand their research network, and develop research capacity in the Multiple Long-Term Conditions (MLTC) field.
The NIHR Team Science Programme has two distinct parts:
NIHR Team Science Camp
As part of the programme, you are invited to express interest to attend a funded, facilitated 3-day Team Science Camp on September 26th - 28th 2023.
At the Team Science Camp, you will be coached in the principles of Team Science and supported to develop multi-disciplinary teams, who will then be eligible to apply for an award to provide funding and support for the team to develop further.
NIHR Team Science Award
The Team Science Award is a development award of up to £100k per team, designed to support research teams to collaborate on a future application to other research programmes, expand their research network, and develop research capacity in the MLTC field.
Examples of how this funding could be used include:
- Supporting pilot research
- Training and development for the research team
- Establishing new collaborations
The success of Team Science is dependent on engagement with and inclusion of people from a variety of backgrounds, career stages and disciplines.
Definition of Team Science
Team Science for this programme refers to the collaborative and interdisciplinary approach where researchers from diverse disciplines, institutions, and sectors work together to address complex health and care challenges.
Principles of Team Science
For the purposes of this programme, Team Science encompasses the following principles:
Collaboration: Collaboration is at the core of Team Science. It emphasises the value of working together in research teams, fostering a culture of cooperation, mutual respect, and shared goals.
Interdisciplinarity: Team Science values the integration of knowledge, methods, and perspectives from different disciplines. It recognises that complex health and care issues often require insights from various fields such as medicine, biology, psychology, sociology, engineering, and data science.
Equity and Inclusion: Team Science promotes equity and inclusion by valuing and respecting the diverse voices, backgrounds, and experiences of team members. It aims to create inclusive research environments that encourage participation from individuals of different cultures and career stages, and with different protected characteristics and identities. Team Science recognises the unique contribution of every member of the team.
Open Communication and Trust: Effective communication and trust are critical for Team Science. It emphasises transparent and open sharing of ideas, data, and findings within the team and with external stakeholders.
Capacity Building: Team Science promotes a culture of continuous learning, professional development, and capacity building. It encourages researchers to acquire new skills, expand their knowledge base, and embrace interdisciplinary ways of working. Team Science also emphasises mentoring, leadership development, nurturing the growth of individual researchers, and the sustainability of collaborative research.
Round 1 Theme - Multiple Long-Term Conditions (MLTC)
Round 1 will focus on multiple long-term conditions (MLTC).
For the purpose of this award, 'multiple long-term conditions’ or ‘multimorbidity’ refer to the existence of two or more long-term conditions in a single individual. The NIHR is using the definition set out in the 2018 Academy of Medical Sciences policy report, ‘Multimorbidity: A priority for global health research’, which is:
The co-existence of two or more chronic conditions, each one of which is either:
- A physical non-communicable disease of long duration, such as a cardiovascular disease or cancer.
- A mental health condition of long duration, such as a mood disorder or dementia.
- An infectious disease of long duration, such as HIV or hepatitis C.
Best Research for Best Health: The Next Chapter recognises the need to work with urgency and in fundamentally different ways if we are to deliver transformative change in MLTC research. In order to improve the lives of people with multiple long-term conditions through research we need to build capacity by providing and promoting opportunities and encouraging researchers to move between, and collaborate across, multiple disciplines and disease areas. This strategy calls for a ‘team science’ approach across health, social care and public health.
Further to this, the Cross-funder multimorbidity research framework recognises the need to support interdisciplinary and ‘team science’ approaches to multimorbidity research. Activities that underpin this include:
- Providing support for building teams, collaborations and networks.
- Involving social sciences, engineering, data science, economics and environmental sciences in multimorbidity research and priority setting.
- Providing training and support for researchers from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds focusing on skills and networking for multimorbidity research.
- Creating and enabling career pathways that would complement and support multimorbidity research.
- Ensuring relevant cross-disciplinary involvement in the review and assessment of research proposals.
NIHR has also defined a strategic framework for MLTC research which can be found here.
Strategic Priorities for MLTC Research
Models of Care
This encompasses polypharmacy/medication management, physical, mental health and social care, for those with complex health and care needs including the impact on carers.
This aligns with the following priorities outlined in the NIHR Strategic Framework for MLTC Research: Identifies the problems and outcomes that matter most to patients and carers and how they would like to see services configured to meet their needs; Delivers research that enables the health and social care system to take a patient-centred, whole person approach to the treatment and care for people with MLTC, including quality of life and well-being
Interventions & Prevention
This is focussed on bringing together expertise in both experimental and applied research. Learning from the implementation of interventions will help identify future research questions around the translational circle.
This aligns with the following priority outlined in the NIHR Strategic Framework for MLTC Research: Supports design and delivery of interventions to prevent patients progressing from one long-term condition to MLTC.
Methodologies and Cross-cutting themes
This incorporates how to conduct research for people with MLTC and develop outcome frameworks, skillsets required include using data both for identifying people for studies and epidemiological work using routine data.
This aligns with the following priority outlined in the NIHR Strategic Framework for MLTC Research: Ensure research and trials do not unjustifiably exclude patients with MLTC; facilitate better monitoring of research with a MLTC component; and encourage collection of appropriate and consistent outcomes measures relevant to MLTC.
The key aims of the NIHR Team Science Programme are to:
- Recognise the contributions of all members of a research team.
- Embed a positive and inclusive research culture within health and care research.
- Value diverse perspectives and promote interdisciplinary research.
- Build research capacity by developing teamwork skills, interdisciplinary competencies and providing opportunities to apply for further funding.
Team Science Camp 2023
Date: 26th-28th September
Time: Registration opens 11am, 26th September - Camp ends 13:30, 28th September
Location: De Vere Cranage Estate, Byley Lane, Cranage, Crewe, CW4 8EW
The NIHR Team Science Camp aims to bring together researchers with an interest in multiple long-term conditions (MLTC) from a variety of disciplines and with a wide range of experiences to tackle complex current and emerging health and care challenges.
Attendees will be asked to complete a ‘Strengths Profile’ in advance of the event. The aim of this is to encourage individuals to explore their skills and strengths. This is an inclusive approach to understand, appreciate, and celebrate differences in everyone who attends the camp. At the event, attendees will be supported to understand how their skills contribute to the wider skillset of the team, to communicate effectively within teams, to build a shared vision and to understand team roles and responsibilities. The aim of the event is to build interdisciplinary teams – by the end of the Team Science Camp, you will be part of a Team and have had the option to change teams should you wish to do so. All teams will include a Patient and Public member.
- Be hosted by an English or a participating devolved nation HEI, NHS body, social care organisation or other provider of health and/or care services.
- Be able to attend a funded 3-day ‘Team Science Camp’ on 26-28 September 2023.
- Demonstrate curiosity for improving the lives of people with MLTC through research.
- Alignment of interest in research with MLTC, including through one of the three highlighted priority areas.
- Demonstrate interest in Team Science.
Application Procedure and Selection Process
- The NIHR Academy (via firstname.lastname@example.org) can advise on eligibility and remit enquiries, and answer queries you may have when completing the application form. All applications must be submitted in English.
- All applications will undergo an initial screen for eligibility and compatibility with the NIHR remit.
- Expressions of interest will be reviewed by the NIHR who will then select individuals to attend the camp.
- Once confirmed, the decisions will then be communicated to applicants. You will be informed of the outcome when all required processes are complete.
- The selection process and subsequent management of the Team Science programme will be overseen by the NIHR.
Programme Key Dates
Team Science Camp - September 2023
Expressions of interest open
Expressions of interest close
Camp attendees finalised
Team Science Camp 2023
30 June 2023
25 August 2023
1 September 2023
26-28 September 2023
Registering, Completing and Submitting the Application
All applications must be completed and submitted using the online application system.
Before you can start an application you will be required to register on the system. You will be asked to supply a valid email address and to complete some basic information. Once this has been submitted you will receive an email confirming your registration and a temporary password. You should follow the instructions in the email to log onto the system.
Completing and Submitting
Once signed into the system you will be able to update various details including your CV (in ‘manage my details’) and apply for any open applications. To start an application you will need to go to ‘My Applications’ and select ‘New Application’.
You should then select NIHR Team Science Camp 2023 from the list provided.
After answering the eligibility questions you will be able to start completing the online form. Please make sure you read all available guidance text including this document as well as any online instructions thoroughly whilst you are completing the form. You can at any stage download a PDF version of the application which can be useful for sharing applications with others. We will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers in the application process. If you have any access or communication needs, or require any support throughout the application process, please contact us (Phone: 0113 532 8411, Email: email@example.com).
Completing the Application Form Guidance
Please provide an introduction to you as a researcher (200 words):
- This should include your discipline(s) and/or research focus and will be used as a profile to be shared with other Team Science Camp attendees.
Tell us more about your interest in MLTC research (250 words):
- This should include the area(s) of MLTC research you are interested in and include any alignment to the Strategic Priorities for MLTC Research outlined in the guidance notes.
From your experience, why do you think a ‘Team Science’ approach will benefit MLTC research? (250 words):
- You should include any personal qualities or experience you feel you will bring to the Team Science Camp.
Why do you want to attend the Team Science Camp? (250 words):
- This is an opportunity to reflect on your personal development and career aspirations and how they might be supported by the Team Science Camp. You may wish to indicate those disciplines and perspectives you feel would complement your own and why.
Additional Supporting Information
We expect the active involvement of patients/service users, carers and the public in the research and activities it supports. NIHR recognises that the nature and extent of active involvement is likely to vary depending on context. The term involvement refers to an active partnership between patients/service users, carers and members of the public and researchers in the research process. Further information will follow around the involvement of public contributors in the camp.
Further information and resources on applying for funding is available. This includes a detailed definition of public involvement in research, briefing notes for researchers on how to involve the public and payment guidance. The NIHR Research Design Service provide advice on developing research applications including on public involvement and the James Lind Alliance has a step-by-step guide on involvement in research identification and priority setting.
Plagiarism in NIHR funding applications
We expect all content within applications for funding to be original material of the applicant's own work, with the exception of sections that other participants are required to complete. Whilst we anticipate and expect that applicants will get help and advice from various sources when putting together an application, including on occasion input from those previously awarded funding, care must be taken to ensure this does not lead to plagiarism of either published work or other previous applications. If an allegation of plagiarism is raised against an application this will be investigated in accordance with the NIHR’s policy on plagiarism, a copy of which is available on request from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our purpose for collecting information is to communicate with you about your application and have the necessary information to evaluate you for a grant. The data we collect here is collected in the public interest. Information provided here may be subject to Freedom of Information requests.
The NIHR Academy is part of the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The contracting agent for the NIHR Academy is Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust (LTHT). The DHSC is the Data Controller and LTHT is the Data Processor under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) EC 2016/679. DHSC and NIHR respect the privacy of individuals who share their data and process it in a manner that meets the requirements of GDPR. The DHSC Data Protection Officer can be contacted by email at email@example.com)
This notice is under constant review and will be updated and / or revised based on that review as appropriate.
Existing data resources
The UK Data Service provides a unified point of access to an extensive range of high quality social and economic data, including UK census data, government funded surveys, longitudinal studies, international macro-data, qualitative data and business micro-data.
In line with the government’s transparency agenda, any contract resulting from this tender
may be published in its entirety to the general public. View further information on the
Freedom of Information Act
The NIHR manages the NIHR Team Science Programme (2023) on behalf of the DHSC. As such the findings of researchers funded by the programme are incorporated in to the Department of Health and Social Care Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion
We are committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in research. We have updated our diversity monitoring questions so that we now ask for information related to all 9 protected characteristics from the Equality Act 2010, and socio-economic background. Collecting this information is important so that we can identify under-representation across different groups. This allows us to plan targeted interventions to remove barriers, so that people from all groups can work with us. You can read more about our previous findings in our Diversity Data report. 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.
The NIHR is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture, as outlined in our Research Inclusion strategy 2022-2027. We want everyone to realise their full potential and make a positive contribution. We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and communities. We are committed to having leadership and teams that are made up of diverse skills and experiences. To find out more, visit our equality, diversity and inclusion page.
We will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to remove barriers in the application process. If you have any access or communication needs, or require any support throughout the application process, please contact us (Phone: 0113 532 8411, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). If appointed, we will also work with you to identify adjustments to carry out the role.
Guidance and Advice
Please read these Guidance Notes carefully. If you require any further information, advice or guidance please contact the NIHR Personal Awards Team:
Phone: 0113 532 8410 Email: email@example.com