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Proposal and Partnership Development Awards Call 4 - Remit and Guidance for Applicants


Published: 26 November 2020

Version: 1.0 November 2020

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This document sets out the process for Proposal and Partnership Development Award (PPDA) applications. It should be read in conjunction with the RIGHT Call 4 Stage 1 Guidance for Applicants and Finance Guidance for Applicants.

Proposal and Partnership Development Award

Proposal and Partnership Development Awards (PPDA) were established to support partnership development and the preparation of a RIGHT Stage 2 application. Applicants that are successful at RIGHT Stage 1 and invited to submit a RIGHT Stage 2 application are eligible to apply for a PPDA. PPDA provides funding of up to £10,000 to

  • Support applicants to work collaboratively with all study partners to develop stage 2 applications;
  • Enhance/initiate partnerships and Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) activities to strengthen the research proposal;
  • Initiate preparation of study governance documentation (i.e. due diligence and finance assurance policies).

To be considered for a PPDA, applicants must complete a separate PPDA application (including PPDA Finance Summary Form) at the same time as completing their RIGHT Stage 1 application and submit this via RMS at the same time as the Stage 1 application in the RMS deadline Wednesday, 10 March 2021 at 13:00 UK time. The PPDA Finance Summary form is available by emailing

Selection process

PPDA applications will be reviewed for those applicants that are successful at Stage 1. Those applicants that are rejected at Stage 1 will not be eligible for PPDA. Those applicants that are successful at Stage 1 will be notified of the outcome of their PPDA application at the same time as the RIGHT Stage 1 applications.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs for the PPDA include:

Travel and subsistence

Travel by the most economic means possible is expected. All journey by rail or air should be budgeted by a class of travel that is no higher than standard economy unless higher-class travel is required to comply with specific legislation. NIHR funding schemes do not fund first class travel. The claimant must seek prior approval from NIHR prior to making a booking for business class travel.

Partnership formation and development costs

Costs associated with establishing any memorandum of understanding (MOUs) and governance policies with potential partners, undertaking due diligence and costs related to research plan/ proposal development (i.e. funding needs analysis). Costs associated with face-to-face and virtual meetings with stakeholders which may include subscription fees for online meeting/web conferencing systems for the duration of the award, or the purchase of 4G dongles with limited data bundles for key stakeholders. PPDA does not support equipment purchase (e.g. webcam, headsets, microphones, or computers/laptops) and does not generally support upgrade of WiFi or broadband package subscription for an organisation.

Community Engagement and Involvement (CEI) costs

PPDA funds can be used to develop meaningful Community engagement and involvement activities to enable people and communities to genuinely shape the research and input into CEI plans (as required in the Stage 2 application form). Costs can be claimed for CEI activities including, but not limited to: local expertise to understand specific contexts and to support the involvement of people and communities in proposal development; interpreters or translators; delivery of inclusive engagement activities tailored to the needs of communities at proposed study sites. This could include reasonable travel and subsistence costs to enable people to take part.

Please note: NIHR may challenge PPDA proposed costs that it does not consider appropriate or does not offer value for money, for example Business Class travel.

Applicants will be required to provide an invoice for actual spend and evidence of spend. It should be noted that all other costs, including staff costs are NOT eligible under the PPDA.


The Contracting organisation is required to pre-finance PPDA activities if successfully awarded a PPDA. Applicants should not start spending/activities until their PPDA has been approved by NIHR.

Applicants are required to complete and submit a PPDA Claim Form to finance& within 30 days of the RIGHT Stage 2 application being submitted. The PPDA Claim Form is available for download on the NIHR website.

The PPDA Claim Form should indicate itemised expenses claimed, together with evidence of spend and an invoice. Payment will only be processed once all evidence is provided.

The minimum evidence required is the standard:

  1. evidence of approval (authorisation to travel from Contracted Organisation) and
  2. payment evidence
  3. for travel expenditure: evidence of travel

For example, air travel will have ticket, travel authorization and evidence of payment, and local travel may have any form of approval and travel ticket.

Once NIHR receives the completed submission, it will be processed to be included in the next payment cycle of routine requests for reimbursements subject to approval.

During the course of the award, should you anticipate any changes in the approved expenditure forecast you are required to inform NIHR and seek prior approval before incurring the cost. The total budget should not exceed £10,000.


Only applicants for RIGHT Call 4 Stage 1 are eligible to apply for PPDA. Please refer to the RIGHT Call 4 Stage 1 Guidance for Applicants for eligibility. 

Completing your NIHR PPDA application

You must complete an online application via the NIHR Research Management System (RMS). The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 10 March 2021 at 13:00 (UK time). A word version of the application form is available by emailing

  • Applications will not be accepted if submitted after the exact closing date and time; The system will automatically prevent this from happening; 
  • It is the applicants’ responsibility to allow sufficient time to submit an application;
  • Applicants must contact the Global Health team immediately if they think there is a system problem, whilst attempting to continue with their submission.

Section 1: Application summary information

Contracting organisation

Provide details of the organisation, who will be the contractor (i.e. the organisation who will sign the contract with DHSC), if the programme is funded. If your organisation does not appear on the list, please contact the NIHR (

Research title

The programme title should state clearly and concisely the proposed research. Any abbreviations should be spelled out in full.

Proposed start date

Note the start date should be from 1st of the month, regardless of whether this is a working day or not. This field will automatically populated to 1 April 2020. 

End date

This field will automatically populated. 

Estimated research costs

Enter the total amount of costs requested below and provide further details of the cost breakdown. Please refer to the ‘Eligible Costs’ section above for further information.

The completed PPDA Finance Summary Form (mandatory) should be attached here.

Section 2: Contracting Organisation (Joint) Lead Applicant’s CV

The Contracting Organisation (Joint) Lead Applicant should be the same Contracting Organisation (Joint) Lead Applicant as given on the NIHR RIGHT Call 4 Stage 1 application.

Some of the responses required in this section will have been pre-populated based on your CV details and any remaining fields must be completed.

Section 3: Non-contracting Organisation Joint Lead Applicant

Please select to add Non-Contracting Organisation Joint Lead Applicant details. 

You can use the following fields to search for a contact: First name, Last name and email.

Section 4: Plain English summary 

Please provide a plain English summary of the proposed activities to be undertaken as part of the PPDA.

If your application for funding is successful; the summary may be used on NIHR and other websites and should, therefore, be accessible to members of the public.

Access further guidance on writing in plain English.

Section 5: Planned Proposal and Partnership Development Award activities

Please clearly explain your proposed PPDA activities and justification of the costs requested. Please describe the roles and contributions of your team members.  Images may be included within this section.  Images do not count towards the overall word count. 

The overall amount of information that you can provide here is limited to 500 words.

Section 6: ODA-eligible countries

Please select all ODA-eligible countries where the proposed activities will be undertaken.

Section 7: ODA compliance statement

Please provide a statement that demonstrates how the proposal meets key ODA funding requirements. It must answer the following questions in order:

  1. which country(s) on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit;
  2. how the application is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries;


  1. how the outcomes will promote the health and welfare of people in the country or countries on the DAC list. 

Section 8: Uploads

Please note that the completed mandatory Finance Summary Form should be uploaded onto the Estimated Research Costs section above.

If required, an additional supporting document can be submitted with your application form. Uploads MUST be provided as a Word or PDF document or you may not be able to submit your application, or it may be difficult to view the required information in order to assess your application.

Section 9: Administrative contact details

Please provide the details of an administrative lead 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.

Section 10: Research and Development office contact details

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

Note: Please note this person does not need to be included as a co-applicant.

Section 11: Acknowledge, review and submit

Conflict checks

Please declare any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that Contracting Organisation (Joint) Lead Applicant, Non-Contracting Organisation Joint Lead Applicant or co-applicants may have in undertaking this research, including any relevant, non-personal and commercial interest that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.


As Contracting Organisation (Joint) Lead Applicant, please tick the box to confirm that the information entered into the application form is correct and that you take responsibility for overall management and delivery of the planned activities.

Section 12: Validation Summary

Please follow the steps below in order to complete your application submission process:

  • Validate all mandatory/required fields listed below (that are required to be completed/amended before submitting)
  • Click 'Save and Close'
  • Click the 'Submit' option (this must be completed by 1.00 pm UK time on Wednesday, 10 March 2021)

You will receive an automated email containing the acknowledgment that we have received your application.

If there are no validation requirements above you may be ready to submit the application. To do so 'Save and Close' the application and then click ‘Submit'.