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Proposal and Partnership Development Awards Call 3 - Remit and Guidance for Applicants


Published: 08 October 2019

Version: 1.0 - October 2019

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The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR, through the Global Health Research Programme, supports high-quality applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list, using Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding. In line with ODA principles, between 2016-19, the NIHR has established a substantial portfolio of global health research, through open ‘Investigator-led’ calls. These have positioned the NIHR as a key player in global health research.

The NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme forms part of the UK government's commitment to ODA. Through RIGHT, NIHR provides research funding to support cutting-edge interdisciplinary applied health research in key areas in ODA-eligible countries where a strategic and targeted investment can result in a transformative impact.

An important aspect of RIGHT Calls is the partnership building between the researchers in ODA-eligible countries and the UK. To support the UK lead applicants to develop a Stage 2 application in collaboration with their Joint Lead Applicant and other international partners, NIHR have established the Proposal and Partnership Development Award (PPDA) for successful Stage 1 RIGHT applicants.

This guidance sets out the process for applying for a PPDA for applicants to RIGHT call 3. Please also refer to the Finance Guidance for Applicants.

Proposal and Partnership Development Award


Proposal and Partnership Development Awards 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 Stage 2 application are eligible for a PPDA, subject to satisfactory submission of a PPDA application.

PPDA provides funding of up to £10,000 to:

  1. Support applicants to work collaboratively with all study partners to develop stage 2 application
  2. Enhance partnerships
  3. Initiate preparation of study governance documentation (i.e due diligence and finance assurance policies)

To be considered for a PPDA, applicants had to complete and submit a separate PPDA application at the same time as completing their RIGHT Call 3 Stage 1 application in the RMS. The deadline for which was Wednesday, 15 January 2020 at 1pm.

Selection process

PPDA applications will be reviewed by NIHR to ensure the application is within remit. Those applicants who are successful at RIGHT Call 3 Stage 1 will be notified of the outcome of their PPDA application at the same time as the RIGHT Call 3 Stage 1 applications. Those applicants that are unsuccessful at Stage 1 will not be eligible for PPDA and as such, their application will not be assessed.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs for the PPDA include:

1) 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.

2) 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)

It should be noted that all other costs, including staff costs are NOT eligible under the PPDA.

NIHR may challenge PPDA proposed costs that it does not consider appropriate or does not offer Value for Money. For further guidance on eligible costs, please refer to the Finance Guidance. 


Host organisations are 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 Request for Reimbursement Form to finance&, which 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 host institution) 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 request for reimbursements subject to approval.

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


Applications to PPDA were only eligible when applying for RIGHT Call 3 Stage 1 at the same time. The RIGHT Call 3 Guidance for Applicants outlines eligibility. 

Timetable for PPDA and RIGHT Call 3

 Stage 1PPDAStage 2
Call launch 09 October 2019 09 October 2019 08 April 2020
Submission deadline for mandatory Intent to Submit Form 29 November 2019 (13:00) -  
Deadline for remit enquiries* 9 January 2020    
Submission deadline 15 January 2020 (13:00) 15 January 2020 (13:00) 16 September 2020 (13:00)
Funding committee reviews applications and makes recommendations March 2020    
Submission outcome April 2020 April 2020 March 2021

*NIHR will not guarantee they will be able to answer queries about the remit or content of applications after this date. If you have other queries about RMS or the application process, please do contact us after this time.

Completion of PPDA applications 

Applications were submitted via the Research Management System (RMS). The closing date for applications was Wednesday, 15 January 2020 at 1pm. 

  • Applications were not be accepted if submitted after the exact closing date and time; The system automatically prevented this from happening;
  • It was the applicants’ responsibility to allow sufficient time to submit an application;
  • Applicants had to contact the NIHR RIGHT Global Health team on or 020 8843 8080 team immediately if they think there is a system problem, whilst attempting to continue with their submission.

Section 1: Application summary information

Host 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 Central Commissioning Facility.

Research title

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

Proposed start date

This field will be automatically populated.


This field will be automatically populated. 

Please note that PPDA fund must be spent between the notification of RIGHT stage 1 outcome and submission of RIGHT stage 2 application.

Estimated research costs

Enter the total amount of costs requested below and provide further details of the cost breakdown. Eligible costs for the PPDA include:

  1. Travel and subsistence
  2. Partnership formation and development costs – i.e. costs associated with establishing any MOUs and governance policies with potential partners and undertaking due diligence

It should be noted that all other costs, including staff costs are NOT eligible under PPDA.

Section 2: UK Lead applicant CV

Complete your name, contact details and other requested information.

Section 3: Plain English summary of Research

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.

Read further guidance on writing in plain English.

Section 4: 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 5: ODA-eligible countries (Location of research)

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

Section 6: 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:

i) 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;

ii) how the application is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries;


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

Section 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 10: Acknowledge, review and submit

Conflict checks

Please declare any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that you or your 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 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 11: Validation Summary

Please follow the following steps 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 on Wednesday, 15 January 2020)

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’

Checklist of information to include when submitting a PPDA application

The following necessary information was required with applications:

  • A good quality Plain English Summary 
  • A clear explanation of the problem being addressed 
  • A clear description of team member roles and contribution
  • A clear justification of the costs requested
  • PPDA Financial Summary Form (mandatory).