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Programme Development Grants - Stream A scoring criteria

Published

30 November 2021

Version

1.0 - November 2021

Contents

Applications to Programme Development Grants (PDG) are assessed at a PDG subcommittee meeting. Recommendations are made about which proposals should be funded, to assist the main selection committee. Top tips for applying to stream A.

Programme Development Grants proposal scoring

These committee scoring instructions should be viewed as an aid for decision-making and prioritisation. Scores should always be considered in light of the discussion on strengths and weaknesses. Average scores and their distributions will help in identifying where further discussion is needed. In assigning individual scores, committee members should take into account the overall selection criteria.

Stream A selection criteria

The selection criteria for PDG proposals for preparatory work for a future programme of research are:

  • Relevance and importance of the research to be funded via any future PGfAR award to the priorities and needs of the NHS, public health, social care, patients, service users, carers or the wider public.
  • Suitability of the team (either now, or as augmented through PDG funding), including the relevant expertise and track-record of the team in conducting high quality applied health research.
  • Quality and appropriateness of the development work plan, notably the extent to which it helps develop and inform the proposed future programme.
  • Value for money provided by the application.

Attributes of fundable proposals

  • Proposal and any future PGfAR award addresses a very important area, strongly considers unmet need, is relevant to the NHS, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), public health and social care, benefits to patients, service users, carers and the wider public, clearly articulated, and is grounded in the relevant literature or plans to be through the PDG funding.
  • The team has (or plans to have through the PDG funding) the appropriate complement of specialists with track records in delivering high-quality applied health research.
  • The approach to PPIE, and/or ensuring active participation and influence of patients/service users/carers is appropriate or plans to be through the PDG funding
  • The development work plan is appropriate, necessary, of very good quality, and informs the future programme. Minor concerns about the development work can be fixed easily.
  • Very good value for money, representing a very good way to spend public money.
  • Future programme likely to offer a strong chance of generating patient/service user/carer benefits.

Attributes of potentially fundable proposals

  • Proposal and any future PGfAR award addresses an important area with some consideration of unmet need, is relevant to the NHS, DHSC, public health and social care, benefits to patients, service users, carers and the wider public are not fully articulated, and is grounded in the majority of the relevant literature or plans to be through the PDG funding.
  • Competent and appropriate team; expertise gaps are addressable or plan to be addressed through the PDG funding.
  • The approach to PPIE, and/or ensuring active participation and influence of patients/ service users/carers is reasonable and any improvements are addressable or plans to be through the PDG funding.
  • A little concern whether the development work is appropriate, necessary, good quality, and likely to inform and strengthen the future programme. Major and minor concerns about the development work can be fixed.
  • Good value for money, representing a reasonable way to spend public money.
  • Future programme likely to offer a moderate chance of generating patient/service user/carer benefits.

Attributes of not competitive proposals

  • Proposal and any future PGfAR award addresses an area of modest relevance to the NHS, DHSC, public health and social care. The benefits to patients, service users, carers and the wider public are unconvincing, and its grounding in the relevant literature is weak.
  • Applicants have a modest level of relevant research experience.
  • The approach to PPIE, and/or ensuring active participation and influence of patients/service users/carers would need significant improvement. However, limited, if no plans, presented to improve these aspects through the PDG funding.
  • Significant doubt whether the development work is appropriate, needed, and likely to inform and strengthen the future programme. The major concerns about the development work plan are unlikely to be fixed.
  • Questionable value for money.
  • Future programme unlikely to offer patient/service user/carer benefits.

Attributes of unfundable proposals

  • The proposal and any future PGfAR award is not relevant to the NHS, DHSC, public health and social care, patients, service users, carers and the wider public. Is not grounded in the key relevant literature, benefits to patients/service users/carers unclear or poorly articulated, and is not focused on unmet patient/service user needs. The proposed body of research may be unnecessarily duplicative.
  • Key skills missing from the research team.
  • The approach to PPIE, and/or ensuring active participation and influence of patients/service users/carers needs radical improvement. However, plans are not presented to improve these aspects through the PDG funding.
  • Poor or inappropriate development work with serious methodological concerns, and unlikely to inform and strengthen the future programme. The feasibility of delivering the proposed plan is questioned.
  • Represents poor value for money and an inappropriate use of public funds.
  • Future programme would not offer patient/service user/carer benefits.

Scoring grid

Likelihood of fundingDescriptionScoreRecommendation
Fundable No more than a handful of minor fixable concerns. 10 Fund
Fundable A small number of minor fixable concerns. 9 Fund
Fundable A moderate number of minor fixable concerns. 8 Fund
Potentially fundable At least one major fixable concern together with a small number of minor fixable concerns. 7 Potentially fund
Potentially fundable A few major fixable concerns or a large number of minor fixable concerns. 6 Potentially fund
Not competitive Important research area but proposal has too many major concerns. 5 Do not fund
Not competitive Development work plan contains some good elements but proposal has major concerns that are unlikely to be addressable. 4 Do not fund
Not competitive Questionable potential to lead to benefits for patients and proposal has major concerns that are unlikely to be addressable 3 Do not fund
Not fundable Unlikely to lead to benefits for patients and major concerns are not addressable. 2 Do not fund
Not fundable Unlikely to lead to benefits for patients and development work is fundamentally flawed. 1 Do not fund