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Programme Grants for Applied Research - Stage 2 Committee scoring instructions

 

Contents

Applications are assessed at Stage 2 sub-committee meetings and recommendations are made about which should be funded to assist the main selection committee. The scoring system 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:

  • the relevant range of applicants’ expertise in conducting high quality applied health research
  • the importance and relevance of the proposed research to the priorities and needs of the NHS, public health, social care, patients/service users, carers or the wider public and population
  • the likelihood of significant benefit to the NHS, public health, social care, patients/service users, carers or public throughout the programme
  • the quality of the research planned
  • the quality of involvement and engagement of patients, service users, carers (PPIE) in developing and supporting the research
  • evidence of attention to issues or equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI)
  • the value for money provided by the application.
Attributes of proposalLikelihood of funding Score Status
  • Proposal addresses a very important area, strongly addressing unmet need, is relevant to the NHS, public health, social care, DHSC, patients/service users and the wider public, passes the ‘so what?’ test, clearly articulated patient/service user benefits and is grounded in the relevant literature.
  • The team has the appropriate complement of specialists with track records in delivering high-quality applied health research. The approach to PPIE and EDI is appropriate.
  • The research design is appropriate, very good quality and highly likely to answer the research question without significant revisions. Minor concerns about the research approach can be fixed easily.
  • Very good value for money, representing a very good way to spend public money.
  • Research is very likely to produce important findings that could influence practice and/or significant interventions that could be implemented in the NHS, public health or social care to substantially improve outcomes for patients/service users, carers and the public.
Fundable - no more than a handful of minor fixable concerns  10  Fund
Fundable - a small number of minor fixable concerns  9
Fundable - a moderate number of minor fixable concerns  8
  • Proposal addresses an important area with some consideration of unmet need, is relevant to the NHS, public health, social care, DHSC, patients/service users and the wider public, passes the ‘so what?’ test, patient/service users benefits are not fully articulated and is grounded in the majority of the relevant literature.
  • Competent and appropriate team; expertise gaps are addressable. The approach to PPIE and EDI is appropriate and any improvements are addressable.
  • The research design is appropriate, good quality and reasonably likely to answer the research question with only modest revisions. Major and minor concerns about the research approach can be fixed. 
  • Good value for money, representing a reasonable way to spend public money.
  • Research is likely to produce findings that could influence practice and/or interventions that could be implemented in the  NHS, public health or social care to improve outcomes for patients/service users, carers and the public.  
 
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
  • Proposal addresses area of modest relevance to the NHS, public health, social care, DHSC, patients/service users and the wider public. Unconvincing in respect of the ‘so what?’ test, the level of patient/service users benefits and its grounding in the relevant literature.
  • Applicants have a modest level of relevant research experience. The approach to PPIE and EDI  would need to be improved
  • The proposed research design is of modest quality. The major concerns about the research are unlikely to be fixed.
  • Questionable value for money.
  • The proposed research is unlikely to produce findings of sufficient rigour to  directly influence practice in the NHS, public health or social care.
Not competitive – important research question but proposal has too many major concerns  5 Do not fund    
Not competitive – research plans contain some good elements but proposal has major concerns that are unlikely to be addressable  4
 Not competitive – questionable potential to lead to benefits for patients and proposal has major concerns that are unlikely to be addressable  3
  • The proposal is not relevant to the NHS, public health, social care, DHSC, does not pass the ‘so what?’ test, is not grounded in the key relevant literature, patient/service users benefits unclear or poorly articulated, and is not focused on unmet patient/service users needs. The proposed research may be unnecessarily duplicative. 
  • Key skills missing from the research team. The approach to PPIE and EDI needs radical improvement.
  • Poor or flawed research design with serious scientific concerns. The feasibility of delivering the research proposed is questioned.
  • Represents poor value for money and an inappropriate use of public funds.
  • Research will not produce findings of sufficient rigour to directly influence practice in the NHS, public health or social care.
Not fundable – unlikely to lead to benefits for patients and major concerns are not addressable  2
Not fundable – Unlikely to lead to benefits for patients and research proposal is fundamentally flawed  1