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Programme Development Grants - Tips for applying to PDG stream A

Contents

The table below contrasts successful and unsuccessful Stream A PDG applications in respect of five key aspects of the assessment process. We hope that this will help research teams target their PDGs appropriately and hence lead to higher success rates in future rounds of the PDGs scheme. PDGs are not intended to be standalone project grants nor are they for basic science work underpinning a future programme of exploratory research. Their principal purpose is to position teams to bid successfully for a future programme of applied research which is relevant and important to the priorities and needs of patients, service users, carers, the wider public and the NHS, public health and social care systems.

Applicants are also strongly advised to read the tips for applying to the Programme Grants for Applied Research funding scheme in conjunction with the note below.

Aspects of successful and unsuccessful PDG applications

- Aspect of applicationSuccessful Programme Development Grant applicationsUnsuccessful Programme Development Grant applications
1 Future programme  (i.e. the programme of work that would follow the PDG)

Briefly outlines the shape of a future programme of work consisting of a group of interrelated applied research activities which are relevant and important to the priorities and needs of patients, service users, carers, the wider public and the NHS, public health and social care systems.

Plans for PDG include areas that clearly need developing and/or strengthening before the proposed programme could be fundable.

Outlines a future programme that is not sufficiently applied,  consists solely of a single trial, or consists of exploratory work with no clear direct application for the benefit of patients, service users, carers, the wider public  and the NHS, public health and social care systems.
2 Research team Describes a multidisciplinary research team from relevant disciplines, appropriate to the stage of development of the research plan submitted. Whilst as a general rule, the key team members have been identified, the PDG can appropriately be used to strengthen the team and build collaborative links. The application does not clearly describe the team and leaves concerns that it is poorly developed or a very small team. Concerns that the future programme has major gaps in the team, and is lacking key relevant disciplines. No clear plan to form the team during the PDG phase.
3 Development work Describe a series of well-formulated robust preparatory activities that directly address the areas of the future programme that are deficient, and thus will securely position the research team to bid successfully for a full programme grant once the development work has been completed. Describe preparatory work that does not directly inform or underpin the future programme i.e. stand alone projects; or work that does not convincingly strengthen the chances of a successful future application for a programme grant by addressing areas of identified weakness using robust methods. Preparatory work consists of basic science, or exploratory activities.
4 The underlying case for the proposed research Describe research on a topic of high relevance to the priorities and needs of the NHS, public health and social care systems, with clear aims and objectives such that the future programme of work can be seen to generate significant benefits for patients, service users, carers and the public. Describes work on a topic that is not of high relevance or priority for the NHS, public health and social care systems, or whose purpose is not sufficiently well articulated to convincingly indicate a future programme would lead to significant future benefits for patients, service users, carers and the public. 
5 Value for money Justifies a spend of up to £150,000 over up to 24 months for work that would securely position the research team to bid successfully for a full NIHR programme grant; and the potential benefits for patients, service users, carers and the public. and the NHS,  public health and social care systems from the future programme are convincing, and would represent value for money from the subsequent programme grant. Fails to convince that the investment of up to £150,000 over 24 months would lead to a successful subsequent programme grant application; and/or that the potential dividends of the future programme of work would represent good value as an investment of NHS, public health and social care systems resources.