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Patient Safety Research Collaborations - Application Guidance

Published

10 November 2021

Version

1.0 - November 2021

Contents

Introduction

The mission of the NIHR is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We deliver against our mission through six core work- streams:

  1. We fund high quality, timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
  2. We invest in world-class expertise, facilities and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
  3. We partner with patients, service users, carers and communities, improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research
  4. We attract, train and support the best researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges
  5. We collaborate with other public funders, charities and industry to help shape a cohesive and globally competitive research system
  6. We fund applied global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low and middle income countries

The NIHR’s sustained investment in people, facilities and technology has transformed the health and care system’s ability to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services. This infrastructure supports research funded by NIHR and by our partners.

The NIHR is launching a new, open competition to designate and fund NIHR Patient Safety Research Collaborations (PSRCs) in England. NIHR PSRCs will undertake high quality translational, applied and health services research on patient safety that addresses strategic patient safety challenges within the health and care system. The aim is to develop, validate and test innovations, approaches and interventions that have the potential to lead to improvements in patient safety and the safety of health and care services. This NIHR PSRC competition represents an evolution from the current NIHR Patient Safety Translational Research Centre scheme, which was established in 2012, aimed at increasing its responsiveness to the needs of the health and care system and increasing its ability to work across areas with the greatest need for improvement in patient safety.

This document sets out the process for the competition and invites NHS and university partnerships (that is, any Higher Education Institution) to submit an application. The process will consist of two parts; a summary of each is provided below.

  1. NHS/university partnerships in England able to demonstrate excellence in patient safety research are invited to submit an application addressing one or more strategic patient safety challenges (specified later in this Application Guidance) and with Themes of work defined by the applicant under each of the chosen strategic patient safety challenges. An Independent Selection Committee will review the applications received and make recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on designation and the level of funding, subject to approval of a business plan.
  2. Successful NHS/university partnerships will be invited to submit a business plan outlining the work programme for the first two years of the award The business plans will undergo peer review to inform an Oversight Group. The Oversight Group will approve the business plan before contracting can commence.

Aims of the Scheme

The scheme provides NIHR PSRC funding for NHS/university partnerships in England that demonstrate internationally competitive excellence across a portfolio of patient safety research.

The aim of the NIHR PSRC scheme is to:

  • catalyse activity to develop, validate and test innovations, approaches and interventions with the potential to lead to improvements in patient safety and the safety of health and care services;
  • increase the country’s capacity and capability to conduct and translate high quality patient safety research; and
  • contribute to addressing health inequalities, improving health outcomes in the health and care sector and for broader economic gain, including through collaborations with

The NIHR will designate PSRCs and provide funding in order to:

  • create an environment where innovative patient safety solutions or interventions can readily be developed and evaluated; the foremost talent can be developed, attracted and retained; and world-leading outputs can be developed;
  • support and develop a critical mass of people and infrastructure focused on delivering high-quality patient safety research for the benefit of patients and the public, the health and care system and for broader economic gain; and
  • develop broad, innovative collaborative research partnerships of health and care organisations, universities, local authorities, and other relevant partners, along with patients and the public, to bring a range of expertise, disciplines and perspectives to address the key patient safety needs and challenges across a range of services, settings, pathways for patient groups and service

NIHR PSRC designation will be awarded to NHS/university partnerships that demonstrate internationally competitive excellence across a portfolio of patient safety research. Successful partnerships will demonstrate existing critical mass relevant to the proposed Themes, with a significant number of research leaders and a range of underpinning facilities.

Selection Criteria

An Independent Selection Committee will be established to review applications and make recommendations for designation as PSRCs and funding to DHSC on the basis of the following selection criteria:

  • the strength of the strategic plan; including a clear demonstration of patient and public involvement and plans to deliver improvements in research culture;
  • existing research capacity and capability, and plans for increasing capability including through the provision of training which supports diverse career paths and promotes equality, diversity and inclusion;
  • the quality and breadth of patient safety research and proven ability to develop, validate and test innovations, approaches and interventions to deliver benefits for patients and the public, the health and care system, and for broader economic gain;
  • the strength of the strategic partnerships and collaborations and a demonstrable track record of collaborative working with other partners, including other NHS organisations, health and care organisations, universities, local authorities, charities, industry and other NIHR-funded research infrastructure;
  • the contribution of the research portfolio to the safety of patients and service users, including a demonstration that research is following patient need and reflects the diversity of the population (including support for research activities being conducted in areas with the greatest need of improvement in patient safety in collaboration with local investigators); and
  • value for money.

The overarching NIHR principles of transparency and contestability relating to NIHR funding competitions will be applied.

Eligibility

All NHS organisations in England, in partnership with a lead university, are eligible to apply.

Applications are invited from any NHS/university partnerships that have both existing research excellence and a substantial portfolio of internationally competitive patient safety translational, applied and health services research.

NIHR PSRC designation and funding will be awarded to a single lead NHS organisation working in partnership with the lead university. The partnership may identify additional NHS organisations and/or universities as formal delivery partners with specified roles in its application and which would form part of the designated PSRC.

Multiple Submissions

Each NHS/university partnership may submit one application. While only one lead NHS/university partnership is permitted, the same NHS organisation or university could be involved in other unique collaborations in order to strengthen and build research capacity across the country.

Universities acting as the academic partner in one NIHR PSRC application may partner with a different NHS organisation to submit a separate application for NIHR PSRC designation.

This is providing the university can demonstrate existing partnerships with that NHS organisation. Each application must be unique and must not include any research activity linked to an application for a different NIHR PSRC designation.

Likewise, NHS organisations acting as the lead NHS partner in one NIHR PSRC application may partner with a different university to submit a separate application for designation, providing that they can demonstrate an existing partnership with that university. Each application must be unique, and must not include any research activity linked to an application for a different NIHR PSRC designation

Where NHS/university partnerships are proposing to collaborate with other organisations, with the intention of passing funding to them, this collaboration must not include any research activity already being used to support an application for another NIHR PSRC. Each application must be unique and may not include any research activity linked to an application for a different NIHR PSRC designation.

Scope of the Scheme

The NIHR PSRC scheme provides infrastructure funding to undertake and support translational, applied and health services research on patient safety. The programme of patient safety research undertaken or supported by an NIHR PSRC should drive the development, validation and testing of innovations, approaches and interventions of relevance to patient safety to address the strategic patient safety challenge areas highlighted (see Strategic Patient Safety Challenges and Themes section). This may include pilot studies to demonstrate proof-of-concept, or the validity of new innovations/approaches, health services research and applied research (which may include larger-scale testing and evaluation to generate generalisable/transferable research findings). Audits of practice and service evaluations are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

The purpose of NIHR PSRC funding is to meet research infrastructure costs incurred in carrying out a programme of patient research to address identified patient safety challenges to respond to needs of the health and care system. This includes the funding of staff and core research facilities. The expectation is that NIHR PSRCs will leverage additional funding to underpin a significant portfolio of work supported by other research funders (e.g. Research Councils, charities, industry or other NIHR funding streams).

The NIHR PSRC award may be used to meet the research costs of translational, applied and health services research of relevance to patient safety. However, early translational and experimental medicine research is not eligible for funding under this scheme. It is recognised that research leaders will often be working across basic, translational and applied research and that translation is an iterative rather than a linear process, often requiring further exploratory research. Alternative funding sources should be used to undertake the aspects of the research that will pull basic research which could be of relevance to patient safety into early translational research.

NHS/university partnerships will be expected to have transparent processes in place to manage, monitor and oversee the use of NIHR PSRC funding, and provide assurance to NIHR that decisions about the use of this funding have been through appropriate scrutiny. The NIHR will require visibility of all studies where the majority of funding (>50%) is met directly from the NIHR PSRC award. Additional scrutiny will be required where the total value of the NIHR PSRC contribution to a single majority funded study exceeds £50,000.

NIHR PSRCs will be expected to consider ‘research following patient need’ and the research undertaken should reflect the Strategic Patient Safety Challenges outlined below and be focused on delivering impact in areas, services and communities with the greatest need for improvement in patient safety. To support translation into practice, NHS/university partnerships are encouraged when developing their plans to consider the eventual setting where new interventions, innovations, approaches will be delivered and to consider a wide range of services (including primary, secondary, tertiary, mental health and social care), settings, pathways, patients and service users. A key emphasis underpinning all research themes will be the reduction in inequalities in the safety of healthcare.

The NIHR wishes to encourage collaboration with organisations that will bring a range of expertise, disciplines and perspectives in order to address the key patient safety challenges across a range of services, settings, pathways and patient groups. This should bring additional strength and depth to the proposed Themes to strengthen and build research capacity across the country, particularly in areas where patient safety needs are greatest. NHS/university partnerships are therefore strongly encouraged to collaborate with other health and care organisations, local authorities, other universities and other relevant organisations and may pass funding to them via an appropriate mechanism, such as a subcontract.

The patient safety research undertaken by NIHR PSRC may cover any stage in the patient care pathway and the efficiency and sustainability of patient safety initiatives, which may include disinvestment in existing services/approaches. NIHR PSRC will need to incorporate multidisciplinary teams including health economics alongside other academic disciplines, for example social sciences, behavioural sciences and the humanities.

As part of the NIHR research infrastructure, NIHR PSRCs will be expected to adapt and respond to emerging innovations/developments and patient safety challenges and be able to evolve their work plan within approved Themes. Designated and funded NIHR PSRCs will therefore be expected to collaborate with relevant partners to develop and evolve their plans throughout the contractual period. The expectation is that forward-looking two-year business plans will be updated on an annual basis throughout the contractual period and reviewed annually by an Oversight Group.

Strategic Patient Safety Challenges and Themes

Each application should address one or more of the following strategic patient safety challenges and set out the Themes of work defined by the applicants under each of the chosen strategic patient safety challenges:

  • Improving patient safety intelligence and understanding of patient safety challenges;
  • Improving organisational patient safety culture and practice;
  • Patient safety behaviours;
  • Effective patient safety practices;
  • The patient safety impacts of alternative service delivery models;
  • Ergonomics, design and human factors; and
  • Clinical risk scores (validation, implementation and outcomes).

Annex 1 contains an outline description of each strategic patient safety challenge.

NHS/university partnerships which are designated as NIHR PSRCs that address the same strategic patient safety challenge will be encouraged to cooperate to produce complementary business plans for consideration by an Oversight Group.

NIHR PSRC Network

As part of this new, open competition NIHR will be seeking to provide additional infrastructure funding to establish an NIHR PSRC Network. The purpose of the Network will be to provide a platform for strategic coordination and a focal point for collaboration between the designated NIHR PSRCs. The Network will be expected to facilitate national links between the NIHR PSRCs and their key partners, including Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), the Patient Safety Improvement Programmes, NHS England/Improvement, other national partners, charities, industry and other NIHR-funded infrastructure.

NIHR will provide up to £150,000 per annum to meet the infrastructure costs for hosting the NIHR PSRC Network. NHS/university partnerships applying for NIHR PSRC designation will be asked to indicate in their applications if they wish to be considered as the host organisation for the NIHR PSRC Network. Further details on the process to designate the host organisation will be provided following confirmation of NIHR PSRC designation and funding.

Funding

A total of up to £25 million is available for this round of NIHR PSRC funding. Information on eligible costs is provided at Annex 2:

  • Funding will be awarded for a five-year period (starting 1 April 2023).
  • Each NHS/university partnership is permitted to apply for up to £7 million over the five year period, and the amount of funding allocated to each NIHR PSRC will be determined by the scale, number of Themes addressed, and the nature and quality of the research activity to be conducted by the NHS/university partnership.
  • The number of NIHR PSRCs to be designated has not been predetermined. The number of awards will reflect the quality of the applications, the number of research themes addressed and the need to provide appropriate funding to deliver the supported work plans.

Note: No capital funding (for tangible fixed assets such as buildings and equipment costing over £5,000) will be available for NIHR PSRCs through this funding competition. Applications should only include research that can be undertaken with the existing or planned facilities which already have confirmed funding.

Application Requirements

Directors/Theme Leads

Applicants will be expected to provide a named Director and named Theme Leads for each of its proposed Themes. It is permissible for NHS/university partnerships to nominate two individuals to hold joint leadership of the proposed NIHR PSRC as co-Directors. Each individual must hold a contract (or honorary contract) with the host organisation.

Likewise, in some cases it may be appropriate to nominate two individuals to take joint leadership of a Theme as Theme co-Leads.

Developing academic research capacity and training

NIHR PSRCs will have a remit for academic capacity development and training across the full career spectrum, from predoctoral to post-doctoral, that supports greater equity of opportunities for all. While the focus should be on developing our early career researchers, consideration should be given to all stages of the academic career pathway, in particular, post-doctoral skills and training as well as future career development. Training and support should be in line with the principles and best practice set out within the Researcher Development Concordat.

Partnerships are expected to demonstrate how they align with the national offer from the NIHR Academy, including in areas of need for research capacity development.

Designated NIHR PSRCs will be expected to appoint a named Academic Career Development Lead who will participate in and contribute to the NIHR Academic Career Development Forum. They will work in partnership with NIHR Academy to share best practice and encourage excellence in career development and training. Individuals whose academic career development is being supported through NIHR PSRC funding will also benefit from NIHR Academy membership.

Research Culture and equality, inclusion and diversity

NIHR PSRCs will be world-leading centres of internationally competitive research and, as such, NIHR expects NIHR PSRC Directors and theme leaders to be advocates of best practice and driving change to improve the culture of research. NHS/university partnerships will be expected to demonstrate how the NIHR PSRC will support this agenda.

The NIHR PSRC scheme aims to support and advance equality of opportunities for persons with relevant protected characteristics including; age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. NHS/university partnerships applying for NIHR PSRC designation and funding will be required to demonstrate throughout their application how the protected characteristics have been considered and addressed, including steps taken to ensure the programme does not perpetuate or exacerbate inequalities and, where appropriate, will seek to mitigate risks that could affect any of the protected characteristics. We expect NHS/university partnerships to demonstrate how they are supporting greater equity of opportunities through capacity building and training offered (see above) and wish to encourage applicants to consider the diversity of representation in their leadership and governance structures. This will be considered as part of the overall assessment process.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a fully developed Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity strategy within 6 months from the contract start date. The NIHR INCLUDE project has issued guidance on improving inclusion of under-served groups in clinical research that applicants may wish to consider.

While not a requirement for NIHR PSRC designation and funding, NHS/university partnerships may wish to refer to the principles and best practice outlined within relevant Charters and Concordats in these areas, such as the Researcher Development Concordat and Advance HE’s Equality Charters.

Patient and public involvement engagement and participation

NIHR PSRCs will be expected to incorporate Patient and Public Involvement, Engagement and Participation in the development of their proposals and in both governance and individual research activities.

NHS/university partnerships should consider how their plans will contribute to delivering impact on health and care. This is a key requirement for the NIHR. The aim is to develop a partnership working with the relevant communities which has a positive and meaningful influence on the relevance, shape and impact of the research undertaken. Successful applicants will be required to submit a fully developed strategy within 6 months from the contract start date.

NIHR PSRCs should consider how their plans will respond to current challenges and opportunities for involvement, engagement and participation including; reflecting the diversity of the population (particularly those from underserved communities), fostering community-led approaches to research (sharing best practice), developing new methods and approaches, and demonstrating the impact of this agenda on improving health and care research. NIHR PSRCs are also encouraged to align their plans, as well as work collaboratively with other patient/public and community involvement, engagement and participation efforts in their region (and where appropriate nationally) and ensure that, overall, sufficient resources, staff time and senior leadership are provided to support these activities.

NHS/university partnerships should consider how their plans will incorporate the six UK Standards for Public Involvement in research. The standards provide a framework for reflecting on and improving the purpose, quality and consistency of public involvement in research. They describe the building blocks for good practice and provide a baseline of expectations.

Please note that patient and public involvement, engagement and participation in research are distinct but often interrelated activities. Please use NIHR definitions of ‘involvement’, ‘engagement’ and ‘participation’ to differentiate between these areas.

Additional Points

NIHR position on the sharing of research data

The NIHR strongly supports the sharing of data in the most appropriate way, to help deliver research that maximises benefits to patients and the wider public, the health and care system and which contributes to economic growth in the UK. To enable research data to be discoverable and effectively re-used by the scientific community, researchers are required to take the actions outlined with the NIHR policy on sharing of research data.

Health Data Research UK (HDRUK) FAIR Principles

NIHR expects that data, resulting from research activity funded by the NIHR PSRC award will conform to FAIR Principles as set out by HDRUK within a reasonable period following initial data analysis and publication.

NIHR Open Access Policy

NIHR PSRCs will be required to comply with the expectations in NIHR's Open Access policy, and identify funding for open access as part of the application.

Data Exclusivity Deals

The NIHR operates an open and transparent research system and would not expect to award funding to a host NHS organisation that has signed data exclusivity deals that either limit or restrict the use of data held by the NIHR PSRC to individuals, organisations or companies. The NIHR would expect to be notified of any approaches for data exclusivity deals immediately. NHS/university partnerships are expected to adhere to the principles outlined in the Creating the right framework to realise the benefits of health data guidance  when taking decisions about entering into data agreements.

UK Health Data Research Alliance

The UK Health Data Research Alliance is an independent alliance of leading healthcare and research organisations united to establish best practice for the ethical use of UK health data for research at scale. Any NHS Organisation hosting an NIHR PSRC, not already a member, will be expected to join the Alliance and have an agreement in place within the first 12 months of the contract start date.

NIHR PSRC support in national public health emergencies

Emergency situations can arise (nationally and globally) which require research, research expertise and resources at short notice. In the event of a national public health emergency, such as a pandemic, NIHR PSRCs will be expected to pivot the resources towards national efforts to support urgent public health priorities and national prioritised research studies at the request of, and under the direction of, DHSC.

The Competition Process and Timetable

An Independent Selection Committee will make recommendations to DHSC on NIHR PSRC designation and level of funding for NHS/university partnerships based on the information provided in the application and whether, in their judgement, the selection criteria have been met. It is expected that an application must meet all the selection criteria in order to be designated and funded as an NIHR PSRC and invited to submit a Business Plan.

Business Plan Submission

Successful applicants will be invited to develop business plans and bid to host the NIHR PSRC Network. The business plan will set out, in detail, the proposed work plan of the PSRC for the first two years of the contract. It is expected that the business plans will be developed in collaboration with key stakeholders. The business plans will be peer reviewed to inform an Oversight Group. The Oversight Group will approve the business plan before contracting can commence.

During the peer review process, scientific experts will consider the strength of the scientific approach and these assessments will be made available to the Oversight Group. The Oversight Group will consider these peer reviews alongside the potential of the proposed business plan to address the strategic patient safety challenges and evidence of collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including public and patient involvement in design and governance of the research.

Detailed information on the business planning process and the requirements for hosting the National Network will be made available to successful applicants.

Date

Step

10 November 2021

Publish invitation to submit an application

30 November 2021

Webinar briefing for potential applicants

09 February 2022

Closing date for receipt of applications

April/May 2022

Independent Selection Committee meeting

08 June 2022

DHSC confirm selected NIHR PSRCs and Invitation to submit business plan

31 August 2022

Closing date for receipt of business plans

September 2022

Two-year Business Plans sent for Peer Review

November 2022

Oversight Group meeting

December 2022

 NIHR confirms approval for Business Plans

01 April 2023

Funding for selected NIHR PSRCs commences

Application

Selection Criteria for Applications

Applicants are asked to complete and submit an electronic application. Some of the fields are prepopulated to allow selection from drop-down lists. The following information will be requested:

1. Director(s) of the Proposed NIHR PSRC

Please provide the name(s) of the proposed Director(s).

2. Please provide details of the host NHS organisation

Please select the name of the host NHS organisation from the drop-down menu.

3. Please provide details of the university partner organisation

Please select the name of the partner university from the drop-down menu.

4. Please provide details of any other partners

Please list any additional partner organisations that will be formally associated with the NIHR PSRC and the proposed theme(s) they will contribute to. Formal agreement from these partners will be sought at the Business Planning stage.

5. Summary

Please select which strategic patient safety challenge(s) the proposed NIHR PSRC will address.

In plain English, briefly outline the scientific rationale/context for the areas covered by the proposed NIHR PSRC; and outline the vision and goals of the proposed NIHR PSRC. This summary may be made publicly available. Please avoid using jargon and explain any technical terms included. (500 words)

6.  Leadership and Governance

6.1 Please describe the leadership and expertise demonstrated by the proposed Director(s) and their proposed contribution to the NIHR PSRC, this should include:

(500 words)

  • evidence of their track record of leadership within a research This should cover examples from national and international levels where relevant;
  • evidence that they are at the forefront of their research fields;
  • evidence of their ability to facilitate translation of research into benefits for patient safety in the health and care system;
  • experience in leading national or international collaborations/facilities/institutes;
  • evidence of championing the agenda around improving research culture including equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI);
  • evidence of commitment to developing research capacity and capability within the health and care system, including supporting early career researchers to become future leaders

 6.2 Please describe the management and governance arrangements for the proposed NIHR PSRC, please include:

(1000 words)

  • The arrangements for joint working between the NHS and university partner, and the arrangements with any additional organisations that will formally contribute to the NIHR PSRC. Please provide evidence of previous effective partnership working between the lead NHS organisation and the lead university partner;
  • An explanation of how the proposed Director(s) and the proposed Theme Leads fit into these arrangements, including how responsibilities will be managed where there are joint appointments to roles;
  • Please describe how the NIHR PSRC proposes to prioritise and deprioritise research within the Theme(s) to deliver a programme of work with the highest potential to translate into outcomes likely to benefit patient safety and respond to emerging innovations/developments and patient safety challenges;
  • The proposed NIHR PSRC’s governance arrangements and processes for managing the use of the funding within Themes to support translational, applied and health services research on patient safety particularly where the majority of the research costs (>50%) are met by the NIHR PSRC award;
  • Please outline the NIHR PSRCs governance arrangements for overseeing: training and capacity building; management and exploitation of intellectual property; and communication/dissemination of NIHR PSRC activities;
  • An organogram showing the proposed governance arrangements (including any external governance body(ies)) for the proposed NIHR PSRC;
  • Please confirm that the proposed Director (or where relevant co-Directors) of the NIHR PSRC will have responsibility for, and authority over, the NIHR funding if awarded.

 6.3 Please indicate whether the host NHS organisation is currently a member of the UK Health Data Research Alliance (UKHDRA).

(Yes/No)

7. Network

Please indicate whether the proposed NIHR PSRC would be interested in being considered as the host organisation for the NIHR PSRC Network.

(Yes/No)

8. Strategic Plan

8.1 Please provide the proposed NIHR PSRC overall strategy for supporting translational, applied and health services research on patient safety that addresses the chosen strategic patient safety challenge(s):

(2000 words, table excluded from word count)

  • the vision and aims of the NIHR PSRC and the relevance of these to patient safety;
  • the theme(s), questions or problems that the NIHR PSRC is aiming to tackle and how the infrastructure provided by the NIHR PSRC will support these. This should include a description of how the research portfolio will contribute to patient safety, with demonstration that research is following patient need and reflects areas, services and diversity of the communities with the greatest need for improvement in patient safety;
  • the proposed NIHR PSRC’s operational plan, including mechanisms for tracking the progress of the PSRC in respect to key activities, for example training, strategic partnership development, as well as overall progress of the portfolio of translational, applied and health services research on patient safety;
  • provide a brief outline of the Theme(s), which describes how they are brought together into a coherent If applying for more than one Theme, please demonstrate how each Theme will work with the other Themes to enhance the proposed NIHR PSRC, and how each links to the overall objectives stated above. (One supporting diagram may be uploaded);
  • a brief outline of how the expertise of any additional partners will strengthen the delivery of the NIHR PSRCs overall objectives;
  • a summary of the NHS/university partnerships current and proposed strategic partnerships, including with health and care organisations, local authorities, universities and other relevant partners, industry, research charities and with other NIHR-funded infrastructure. (One supporting diagram may be uploaded);
  • Please complete a table that sets out overarching SMART objectives that will be used to track the progress of the proposed NIHR PSRC. Please include details of how the proposed NIHR PSRC will monitor and determine successful completion of each objective:
  • short term (1-2 years);
  • medium term (2-3 years); and
  • long term (4-5 years).

(TABLE – excluded from word count)

8.2 Case studies: Up to three case studies which highlight previous successes in translating research findings that have led to improvements in patient safety in health and care services. The information presented should be understandable to both lay and expert members of the committee, written in plain English, without use of jargon. Any technical terms should be explained. (400 words per case study and no more than three may be submitted.)

(1200 words)

9. NIHR PSRC Theme Details

For each Theme:

9.1 Please provide:

  • the name of the Theme;
  • an indication of which strategic patient safety challenge it will seek to address (drop- down menu);
  • the name of the proposed Theme Lead and Theme co-lead where applicable;
  • key contributing researchers who will add quality and depth to the proposed Theme [Name and expertise/experience]; (300 words)
  • Lead and co-lead details for each theme including organisation and ORCID number will be pulled through from the 'Manage my Details' section of their portal account, which should be updated prior to submission.

 9.2 Please highlight:

  • the strategic rationale for the Theme, how it will address the strategic patient safety challenge, and the key research hypotheses the Theme will aim to address;
  • the expertise in undertaking patient safety research in this area. This should demonstrate the track record in developing, validating and testing new innovations, approaches and interventions to deliver benefits for patients and the public, the health and care system, and for broader economic gain;
  • demonstrate how the areas to be addressed and/or the approaches to be taken will lead to improvements in patient safety and the safety of health and care services. Please outline how you anticipate the likely research outputs will have potential for further translation to deliver benefits for patient safety within the health and care system;
  • the relevance of the expected outputs to patient safety. This should demonstrate how the research will follow patient need and reflect the diversity of the population (including support for research activities being conducted in delivering impact in areas, services and communities with the greatest need for improvement in patient safety in collaboration with local investigators);
  • how the proposed researchers will take account of the eventual setting where new interventions, innovations, or approaches will be delivered; and taking account of relevant services, settings, pathways, patients and service users;
  • how the NIHR PSRC award will enable the NHS/university partnership to build on its existing capacity and critical mass as knowledge and approaches in the area evolve in order to ensure the theme remains responsive over the course of the award.

(1200 words)

9.3 Case studies: Please include up to 3 case studies (these should be max 400 words or an A4 infographic each) that illustrate the partnership's expertise in high quality translational, applied and health services research on patient safety of relevance to the Theme. Case studies should be understandable to both lay and expert members of the Committee and written in plain English, without use of Any technical terms should be explained. Please provide references for up to 3 primary publications per case study.

(1200 words) (upload file)

9.4 Partnerships/collaborations required to support the Theme(s)

Please provide details of how any proposed additional partners as listed in section 4, organisations will contribute to the Theme. This should include details of:

  • the additional expertise they will bring to the Theme;
  • roles that they will contribute to the Theme;
  • examples of previous successful research collaborations between the additional partner(s), universities or NHS organisations, and the NHS and/or university partners.

(300 words)

10. Approach to Collaborative Working

10.1 Please outline the strength of the existing strategic partnerships between the NHS and university partnership and other collaborating NHS/university partners highlighted in the application who will form part of the proposed NIHR PSRC. (600 words)

10.2 Please describe the approach and strategy of the proposed NIHR PSRC for working collaboratively with other universities, local authorities, other health and care organisations and other relevant organisations with responsibilities and/or expertise in a wide range of health and care services (including primary, secondary, tertiary, mental health and social care providers).

10.3 Please describe the approach and strategy of the proposed NIHR PSRC for working with industry, charities and other (non-NIHR) public funders of Please provide examples of key strategic partnerships already in place that are directly relevant to the proposed Theme(s). (600 words)

10.4 Please outline the approach and strategy to support the proposed NIHR PSRC’s commitment to collaborative working across NIHR and with other parts of the NIHR infrastructure. This should outline how the proposed NIHR PSRCs will work with other parts of the NIHR infrastructure (including Local Clinical Research Networks, NIHR Biomedical Research Centres, NIHR Applied Research Collaborations and NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives) to strengthen regional partnerships and ensure NIHR infrastructures are appropriately joined up to maximise opportunities for driving the translation of research into benefits for patients and the public, the health and care system and for broader economic gain. (600 words)

11. Patient and Public Involvement, Engagement and Participation

Please describe the partnership's approach to and future plans for Patient and Public Involvement, Engagement and Participation (PPIE) in research. This section should consist of a summary of:

  • The proposed NIHR PSRC’s strategic objectives for Patient and Public Involvement, Engagement and Participation including the approach that will be taken to equality, diversity and inclusion and the need to reach underserved communities;
  • The programme(s) of activity to deliver the strategic objectives including involvement and engagement across the Theme(s);
  • An outline of the resources that the proposed NIHR PSRC intends to commit to delivering the programme of activities, highlighting the role(s) and FTE that will be committed to enable delivery of the PPIE strategy. Please consider what resources you will put in place to support novel involvement and engagement mechanisms such as community engagement, digital engagement or other models that broaden reach;
  • The relevant strategic and operational partnerships and collaborations at the local, regional and national level;
  • The processes for assessing and evidencing the impact of the proposed NIHR PSRCs PPIE approach - and for capturing and sharing the wider learning that is generated - across the full spectrum of research delivery/dissemination;
  • The leadership mechanisms that ensure progress in delivering the plans feeds into the management and governance processes of the proposed NIHR.

(1000 words)

12. Research Capacity Development

Please describe the partnership’s approach and future plans for Research Capacity Development. Please provide:

  • The proposed strategy and objectives for delivering academic capacity development and training within the proposed NIHR This should include consideration of the whole of the academic career pathway (including post-doctoral training and future career development), pathways to impact of all proposed activities, and personal and professional development opportunities, such as access to mentorship and leadership programmes;
  • Evidence of strengths that the NHS/university partnership brings to delivering successful research capacity building;
  • Demonstration of commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in capacity building and to improving research training culture;
  • The proposed organisational oversight and responsibility for the delivery of the academic career development strategy, including the role of Academic Career Development Lead (and/or co-Leads if appropriate) and where they will fit within the strategic and operational governance structures of the proposed NIHR PSRC;
  • Demonstration of how the NIHR PSRC’s approach to Research Capacity Development is complementary to the national offer provided by the NIHR Academy.

(1000 words)

13. Financial Plan and Justification of Resources

The financial plan provides a financial summary for the proposed NIHR PSRC as a whole and should be provided by applicants using the excel spreadsheet which is available for download from the Research Management System. Applicants will need to complete three main sections:

  • the ‘PSRC Details’ tab;
  • the cost category sections (tabs 1 - 11); and
  • the ‘Financial Plan & Justification’ tab.

The summary tabs on the financial plan will auto populate depending on the information added to cost category sections (tabs 1-11). These summary tabs include summaries of all costs, direct and indirect and NHS support costs, staff by type, staff by role, by organisation costs, costs by Theme(s) and costs by Strategic Patient Safety Challenge Area(s). Applicants should refer to the specific guidance provided within the form.

13.1  Financial plan

Applicants will need to complete a detailed financial plan for each Theme. This will require a detailed breakdown of costs for staff posts and salaries, travel, subsistence, conference, equipment, consumables, PPIE, dissemination, costs associated with open access publishing, NHS support costs, other direct costs and indirect costs.

NHS/university partnerships applying for more than one Theme will need to present the combined cost of core functions and facilities (e.g. Director’s salary, management costs) which underpin the Theme(s). Please note that ‘Core’ is not a Theme; this is prescribed purely for finance purposes. The costs of core functions and facilities should not be spread across multiple Themes.

13.2  Summary of Finances and Justification of Resources

Please provide a description of how these resources will be deployed to support the work of the proposed NIHR PSRC, including:

  • justification for the resources requested, including the level of resource required for core costs if there is more than one Theme;
  • Please state the resources that you anticipate will be required to be allocated in order to manage and administer the proposed NIHR PSRC;
  • Please state the resources that you anticipate will be allocated to (i) PPIE and (ii) Research Capacity Development activities;
  • Please outline how the funding provided will build on DHSC/NIHR investment via other funding schemes (including other NIHR Infrastructure) to deliver value for money.

(500 words)

13.3 Please provide a statement outlining what areas would be prioritised in the event of the final award being decreased by:

  • -10%, or
  • -50%.

(300 words)

Other authorising roles - signatories (electronic)

These approvals are required to ensure that the costs submitted are agreed by the Host NHS organisation and partner university as an accurate estimate of the cost of undertaking the proposed research. These approvals must be in electronic form and can only be completed by the selected contacts below via the Research Management System. Failure to complete these approvals will result in the application failing validation at submission.

The proposed NIHR PSRC Director must add the following supporting roles from the host organisation to the application:

  • Chief Finance Officer of the Host NHS organisation
  • Authorised signatory for the Host NHS organisation
  • Authorised signatory for the lead partner university

On assigning these contacts an email will be sent to each by the system requesting they approve the application and confirm the content by checking the boxes on this tab. Once these contacts have approved the application it will be possible to submit.

No original or ‘wet ink’ signatures are required for this application.

Administrative contact details

Please provide the details of an individual as a secondary point of contact for any queries relating to the application, should it be supported. NOTE: This person does not need to be a co-applicant.

Research office contact details

Please provide the contact details and job title of a person in the R&D office so that the NIHR is able to notify them of the outcome of this application including any associated feedback.

NOTE: This person does not need to be included as a co-applicant.

Acknowledgement, review and submit COI declaration

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

(300 words)

Annex 1: Outline descriptions of the Strategic Patient Safety Challenges

Strategic patient safety challenge

Description

Improving patient safety intelligence and understanding of patient safety challenges

Understanding the scale and nature of problems with an emphasis on systemic sources such as case record review/patient surveys/clinical databases and all types of harm in particular setting(s), or affecting a patient group, to help ensure patient safety improvement programmes focus on areas of greatest needs and tackle the actual problems, not the ‘problems as imagined’.

Research to inform the development of innovative approaches to measuring and monitoring patient safety and how they are understood and used in practice.

Improving organisational patient safety culture and practice

Could include:

  • Role of governance, assurance processes, commissioning processes, management and leadership in creating cultures of safety and improvement, and the organisational factors and systems needed to support
  • Improve understanding of organisational resources, strategies and contexts that encourage and spread positive engagement with safety improvement activities and safe practices.
  • Interventions that improve safety culture and practice at national, system, organisational and department/division level.
  • Drivers of relative investment at national, system and provider level in key areas of
  • Improving understanding of modifiable factors for why implementation of patient safety improvements or innovations may be much more successful in one organisation than in another.
  • Improving/optimising meaningful incident reporting practice, review and response, investigation, etc

Patient safety behaviours

Could include:

  • Increase understanding what are safe behaviours and the modifiable factors for safe/unsafe
  • Interventions to encourage or inhibit
  • Team, individual health and social care staff, patient and family

Effective patient safety practices

New safety innovations (including digital) and their impact on safety (including cost effectiveness) when used in a range of providers.

Understanding the impact on safety (including cost effectiveness) of existing widely used and high cost safety interventions that do not have a clear evidence base, including technological interventions and human interventions at provider, system and national levels.

The patient safety impacts of alternative service delivery models

Learning from service changes, including those made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (such as remote consultations, virtual wards, and digital interfaces with healthcare), including unexpected benefits and unexpected consequences of significant service delivery change on patient safety, including acute care, general practice, community services, care homes, maternity services and mental health services.

 

Ergonomics, design and human factors

Could include:

  • Best practice in design/layout of equipment and facilities to improve patient safety in all healthcare
  • Optimising design of clinical guidance or point of use instructions to improve patient safety
  • Optimising human-centred design of medical equipment, medical devices, ePMA, electronic patient records, healthcare apps, etc. to improve patient
Clinical risk scores (validation, implementation and outcomes)

Validation of sensitivity/specificity of deterioration risk scores used to support patient safety, which perform differently once widely introduced.

Introduction of deterioration risk scores/tools and their impact on safety.

The validity, design and impact on safety (including cost effectiveness) of other patient safety related risk scores/risk assessment tools (e.g. for venous thromboembolism, pressure ulcers, suicide)

Annex 2: Eligible Costs

The purpose of the funding is to meet the NHS research infrastructure costs incurred by the NIHR PSRC in carrying out an approved programme of translational, applied and health services research on patient safety. Our expectation is that each NIHR PSRC will underpin a portfolio of work supported by other research funders (e.g. UKRI, charities, industry or other NIHR funding Programmes), but they can also directly support a portfolio of original research, which is distinct from that supported by NIHR Research Programmes or other funding bodies.

Funding awards will be made to the designated NHS partner, but it is permissible for funds to flow to the lead university partner or other NHS organisations and universities that are formally part of the NIHR PSRC, via a suitable mechanism such as a subcontract.

The financial plan should provide a breakdown of all the requested, necessary recurrent NHS Research Infrastructure direct costs, reasonable NHS indirect costs and eligible NHS Support Costs and for which funding is being requested.

No new DHSC capital funding will be available for NIHR PSRCs as part of this current funding competition. Therefore, applications should only include research that can be undertaken within existing facilities or planned facilities that the host NHS organisation or lead university partner are investing in alone, or with other external organisations, with confirmed funding.

In all cases, the value for money of the proposal will be an important selection criterion.

Required Reading

Prior to completing the finance section of the application it is important applicants have a good understanding of the Attributing costs of health and social care Research and Development (AcoRD) guidance.

The AcoRD guidance clarifies the distinction between the three categories of costs associated with non-commercial research studies/programmes:

  • Research Costs
  • NHS Support Costs
  • NHS Treatment Costs

We strongly recommend that applicants familiarise themselves with these definitions, and consult:

General Information

  • The financial plan should provide a breakdown of the research infrastructure costs that will be incurred by the NIHR PSRC in carrying out the proposed work plan.
  • It is important to undertake a thorough, realistic and accurate costing. You must provide a clear and full justification for all major resources. You must also ensure that you include all costs, including those required to secure good research management and governance. In all cases, the value for money of the proposal will be an important selection criterion.
  • Further itemisation of costs and methods of calculation may be requested to support the application at a later date. The grand total of all the Theme Costs and core costs should amount to the total funding requested by the NHS/university partnership.
  • Applications should be costed at current (2021/22) prices, based on current salary scales and scale increments. Annual salary increments or other equivalent annual increases should be included in future years but not any other anticipated pay increases (g. nationally agreed pay awards). Do not include estimated uplift(s) for inflation. Should an award be made, annual uplifts may be provided, depending upon the budget available to NIHR.
  • We would expect standard NHS accounting policy and guidance to be followed (as set out in the NHS Finance Manual) in determining the appropriate costs to be charged to this Research Infrastructure Award.
  • The NIHR will not support any costs incurred prior to or following the Research Infrastructure Award.
  • Applications are expected to have appropriate NHS, university, commercial and other partner input into the finance section of the application form.
  • Years should be calculated starting from the anticipated start date of the proposed Award e. 1 April 2023. Once an award has been made, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) will require Host organisations to provide regular financial statements regarding the use of funds provided under the NIHR funding scheme. DHSC reserves the right to send independent auditors to the NHS organisation to confirm the actual use of funds.
  • NHS/university partnerships will need to present the cost of core functions and facilities (g. Director, management, technology platforms, etc.) which underpin the Themes by separating ‘Core costs’ from the Themes in the financial plan. Do not spread core costs across the various Themes.
  • Payments will be made to the contracted organisation only, and the contracted organisation will be responsible for passing on any money due to their Partner(s).
  • Appropriate research project agreement and/or sub-contracts must be put in place for any element of the work programme that is to be paid to another organisation.

Information for Different Types of Organisation

NHS organisations

Up to 100% of direct research and NHS support costs incurred by NHS organisations will be funded, based on costs identified through ‘Attributing the costs of health and social care Research and Development’ (AcoRD).

NIHR PSRC funding can cover legitimate and reasonable NHS indirect costs within the NHS (for example, premises, HR, finance). The NIHR reserves the right to set limits on indirect costs charged.

Universities

NIHR PSRC funding will fund up to 100% of direct research costs for universities. NIHR PSRC funding does not pay indirect costs for universities.

Commercial organisations

For commercial organisations or consultancies, please provide direct costs and commercial indirect costs. Up to 100% of costs may be paid.

Commercial costs need to demonstrate value for money. The NIHR reserves the right to set limits on indirect costs charged.

Other partner organisations

Applications may include direct research costs and indirect costs for research conducted by partner organisations (local authorities, charities, non-governmental organisations, etc.). Up to 100% of costs may be paid.

Other partner organisation costs need to demonstrate value for money. The NIHR reserves the right to set limits on indirect costs charged.

Eligible Costs

Direct Costs

Direct costs are those eligible research infrastructure costs that will be incurred by the NHS/university partnership in carrying out the proposed work programme for the NIHR PSRC. These costs will be charged as the amount that will be spent and could be supported by an audit record.

Direct costs, including:

  • Research staff engaged in translational, applied and health services research on patient safety in the NHS;
  • Research support staff engaged in translational, applied and health services research on patient safety in the NHS; and
  • Research training, leading to a higher degree by research (g. MPhil, MD, PhD) or a Postdoctoral Fellowship, for staff, of all disciplines, engaged in translational, applied and health services research on patient safety in the NHS.

Direct costs are further categorised into the following:

  • Staff Posts and Salaries and Annual Costs of Staff Posts (only staff who are working on translational, applied and health services research on patient safety in the NHS will be supported);
  • Travel, subsistence and conference fees (including visits to scientific conferences, collaborative working visits, etc);
  • Equipment costing less than £5,000 (including equipment maintenance contracts);
  • Consumables;
  • Costs of patient and public involvement, engagement and participation (including training and support, fees and expenses for members of the public);
  • Dissemination costs; and
  • Other Direct Costs including software licences and consultancy fees.

Staff Posts and Salaries and Annual Costs of Staff Posts

The NIHR PSRC award will reimburse the time of staff engaged in translational, applied and health services research on patient safety undertaken within the NIHR PSRC’s work programme. Salaries may be sought for core NIHR PSRC, research, research support or other staff (from all professional groups), and research trainees (e.g. MPhil, MD, PhD students), required to work full or part-time on the NIHR PSRC’s research programme.

In order to support a critical mass of people, the expectation is that any newly established posts created with funding from this scheme will be employed by the NHS. Where justified, where there is agreement, it is permissible for staff to be employed by the university partner or other university collaborators named on the application, provided this does not attract additional employment costs (i.e. the cost of employer's contributions will be met, but the posts will not attract Full Economic Costs in the University).

This section outlines the staff salaries and relevant on-costs (i.e. pay increment dates, geographic weighting, superannuation, national insurance). Salary costs should feed into the ‘Annual Costs of Staff Posts’ section.

All known staff members working on the NIHR PSRC award must be listed and their annual salaries must be stated. Where staff will be recruited as part of the proposed NIHR PSRC, please provide the average annual salary. Use current rates of pay and build in any known annual increments. Nationally or locally agreed pay increases should be excluded.

Please note that annual increments should be based on Agenda for Change pay arrangements as applicable at 1 April 2021.

Once your NIHR PSRC award has started, you will not be able to claim for pay awards retrospectively.

Annual Costs of Staff Posts Applications should be costed at current (2021/22) prices, based on current salary scales and scale increments.

For the research trainees (e.g. MPhil, MD, PhD students) costs include the value of the stipend in the salary. The costs of the tuition fees should be included in the Other Direct Cost section.

Travel, subsistence and conference fees

This section of the financial form includes journey costs, subsistence and conference fees. Where applicable, you will need to include the travel and subsistence costs of your collaborative working visits, and for steering, data monitoring and ethics committees. Travel and subsistence costs relating to dissemination should also be included here.

Journey costs

Enter the total cost of transport for all journeys for destination/purpose. If travel is by car, apply your institution’s mileage rates (however this should not exceed HMRC approved mileage allowance payments, which is 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter). Travel by the most economic means possible is encouraged; NIHR funding schemes do not usually fund first class travel.

Only a reasonable level of international travel will be considered.

Subsistence

Subsistence covers accommodation (if necessary) and meals associated with the travel, excluding any alcoholic beverages.

Conference fees

There are no limits to UK conference attendance. However, international conference fees should be individually stated and fully justified in terms of costs versus the benefit.

Equipment

There is no new Department of Health and Social Care capital funding available through the NIHR PSRC funding scheme. Purchase or lease costs for essential items of equipment plus maintenance and related costs not included as part of estates can be included but only purchase costs of pieces of equipment up to £5,000, excluding VAT, will be considered. Pieces of equipment costing more than £5,000 to purchase will need to be leased.

Items of equipment valued at £250 or more must be itemised separately; however, grouping the same type of equipment is permitted. Costs of computers are normally restricted to a maximum of £1000 each excluding VAT. A statement of justification must be included in the relevant ‘Justification of Costs’ section for any purchase above this limit.

Equipment must exclude VAT, but if the organisation incurring the cost is not VAT registered and cannot claim back VAT on cost items, then it would have to enter the gross value of a cost item (including VAT) on the financial plan. You will need to seek advice from the organisation that the piece of equipment is purchased from regarding its VAT status.

The cost of equipment maintenance contracts should be included in this section.

Consumables

This section includes non-reusable items specific to the NIHR PSRC’s work plan. Please itemise and describe the requirements fully. These items should be research specific, not just general office costs which should be covered by indirect costs.

Patient and public involvement, engagement and participation

Please itemise and describe fully all costs to support the delivery of the NIHR PSRCs patient and public involvement and engagement strategy. This will include:

  • Costs to support novel involvement and engagement mechanisms such as community engagement, digital engagement or other models that broaden reach.
  • Payments to recognise time, skills and expertise contributed by public members: Offering members of the public payment for their time, skill and expertise is considered good practice instructuringandoperatingtheproposedNIHRPSRC. Rates of payment can vary and may be offered at either an hourly or daily rate. The following activities should be considered:
    • Reviewing documents
    • Attending meetings
    • Attending training courses and conferences
    • Outreach and dissemination
  • All out of pocket expenses incurred by public members in supporting the PSRCs PPIE activities. Equal opportunities for involvement are facilitated if expenses are covered. Members of the public should not end up financially worse off for providing a public service. The following expenses should be carefully considered:
    • Travel (public transport, taxi fares, or an agreed private car mileage rate which includes wear and tear).
    • Overnight accommodation
    • Subsistence (food and refreshment whilst on ‘business’ or bought due to having to be at a certain place at a certain time, but no alcohol).
    • Childcare or replacement carer/person providing support
    • Costs of a Personal Carer or Support Worker of the individual’s choice
    • Telephone, internet access, fax costs, stationery and other equipment covering these costs is particularly important for members of the public who work from their own home, and may, therefore, incur considerable costs which may be ‘invisible’ in organisational settings (somewhere in the region of £10 to £20 per day).
    • Conference fees and training courses

NIHR has produced an online cost calculator to help staff supporting research to identify and calculate the costs of public involvement in their research-facing activities. It includes a guide

  • Budgeting for Involvement - with step-by-step practical advice, examples and tips. The Involvement Cost Calculator can then be filled in and downloaded.

Note: Costs of staff posts to support the delivery of the PPIE strategy should be included in the Staff Posts and Salaries and Annual Costs of Staff Posts tabs.

Dissemination Costs (including Open Access)

Any costs associated with publication, presentation or dissemination of findings (except related travel and subsistence or consumables costs) should be included here. This includes any associated with Open Access Publishing. Please review the NIHR Open Access Policy.

Meetings to share best practice, training events and events to disseminate research findings must be run at the lowest possible cost with minimal catering.

Other direct costs

These are costs, not identified elsewhere, that are specifically attributed to the research infrastructure. For example, external consultancy costs, software licensing, PhD tuition fees and advertising costs.

Please note that external consultants must not be people who are already employed by any NHS organisations, equivalent non-NHS settings, or organisations from the independent sector providing NHS services and other universities, who will be conducting research activities via an appropriately justified subcontract. If they are, any costs should be entered as direct costs in the ‘Staff Posts and Salaries’ and ‘Annual Costs of Staff Posts’ sections.

Indirect Costs

NIHR PSRC awards will fund legitimate and reasonable, indirect costs for the NHS partner and other NHS collaborations. This will include the proportion of the costs of accommodation in the NHS used for the NIHR PSRC's work, and an appropriate proportion of HR, payroll, and finance costs. Please seek advice from your finance department about the appropriate cost for this section. Total indirect costs must be fully justified, outlining the rate charged.

NIHR will not meet indirect costs incurred by University partners or any other University involved in delivering the work of the NIHR PSRC.

Commercial/Other member organisations’ indirect costs which are the costs of resource used by the NIHR PSRC can be included. Please seek advice from your finance department about the appropriate cost for this section. It is our expectation that Commercial/Other partner indirect costs show good value for money.

All indirect costs need to demonstrate value for money. The NIHR reserves the right to set limits on indirect costs charged.

NHS Support Costs

NIHR PSRC awards will fund the NHS Support Costs translational, applied and health services research on patient safety that are integral within the proposed NIHR PSRC’s work programme, and these costs should be included in the application.

For single centre investigator-initiated or industry-collaborative research, any NHS support costs should be met through the NIHR PSRC award.

It should be noted that there are other NIHR funding schemes used to support the cost of NHS infrastructure for clinical research within the NHS (e.g. NIHR Clinical Research Network), and that NHS infrastructure and support costs associated with work outside the scope of the NIHR PSRC award should not be included within the application.

NHS Support Costs are the additional patient care costs associated with the proposed work programme of the NIHR PSRC, which would end once the R&D activity in question has stopped, even if the patient care service involved continues to be provided. These might cover items such as staff time to recruit and consent patients, or additional patient safety activities which will not form part of the on-going intervention.

Please note, the Support Cost activities (such as consenting patients) should always be attributed to NHS Support Costs regardless of whether a member of staff is employed by the NHS.

Please include the NHS Support Costs within the financial plan for each Theme. The NHS Support Costs should be separated into staff costs and other (non-staff) costs (including pharmacy, pathology and imaging).

For the following, the appropriate NHS Support costs, or equivalent for non-NHS settings, should be sought through the NIHR Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) for studies which meet the NIHR CRN Portfolio eligibility criteria:

  • NIHR PSRC-led research studies within third party collaborating NHS, or equivalent non-NHS setting, site (i.e. not a formal site of the host NHS organisation, or not formally subcontracted by the host NHS organisation for the purposes of the NIHR PSRC);
  • Research funded by NIHR’s non-commercial research partners (for example UKRI, medical research charities) conducted within the NIHR PSRC’s work programme; and
  • Research funded by NIHR research programmes (for example HS&DR, i4i and Health Protection Research Units).

Ineligible Costs

The funding is not intended to meet NHS Treatment costs associated with the research programme of the NIHR PSRC award.

Funding will not be provided for university laboratories or infrastructure, or to meet the costs of animal research, or costs of audits of practice and service evaluations. Please refer to the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research for further details.

NIHR PSRC awards will not fund indirect costs for universities.

Capital equipment costing more than £5,000 will not be funded via the NIHR PSRC award.

No new Department of Health and Social Care capital funding will be available for NIHR PSRCs as part of this current funding competition. Therefore, applications should only include research activities that can be undertaken within existing facilities or planned facilities that the NIHR PSRC is investing alone, or with other external organisations, with confirmed funding.