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Operating principles for NIHR Incubators


08 July 2019


2.0 May 2021


NIHR Incubators support and advocate academic research careers in priority areas. NIHR Incubator status is of significant value and so the following principles apply:

  • Each incubator will have a properly constituted operational group which will be approved by the NIHR Academy. This group will be responsible for the delivery of the incubator activity.

  • Each incubator needs to have a clear operating plan with project milestones. The plan and milestones will be developed within the incubator leadership group and approved by the NIHR Academy. 

  • There will be a light touch review with each incubator reporting at the end of the NIHR Academy year (April to March) on the activities of the previous year and the plans for the next year. Planning should include an assessment of the ongoing need for the incubator. Feedback on the reports will come from the NIHR Academy.
  • The NIHR Academy will provide advice and guidance up to a 3 year period, including incubator set up, data from the mapping of current NIHR Academy members within the topic area, hosting support for the incubator communications and badging (including the website) and resource to support Incubator member meetings (subject to specific request). The NIHR Academy will help with the identification of potential academic partners and contributors, including for the incubator member meetings. The NIHR Academy will not be responsible for the day to day running of the incubator. 

  • Career development activity which takes place in the context of an NIHR Incubator will be subject to the operating principles of the NIHR. Any career development activity within professional areas that does not conform to the principles must be done outwith the NIHR Incubator. 
  • Additional personal award support requests (at pre-doctoral or doctoral level) and cost incurring development activity will be subject to NIHR competitive processes. 

  • It is anticipated that successful incubators will eventually remove the need for the incubator moving forward. It is also anticipated that not all incubators will be successful. A process will therefore be put in place to close incubators where appropriate.