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Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation - Call 5 Stage 1 Application Form Guidance


Published: 02 March 2022

Version: 1.0 - March 2022

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Equality and Diversity Monitoring Information

NIHR is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in research and asks applicants to provide Equality and Diversity Monitoring Information (age, sex, ethnicity and race, and disability).  By answering these Equality and Diversity Monitoring Information questions, you will help us to better understand the different groups of people that apply to us for funding and their experiences of the funding process – particularly the groups protected by UK equality legislation.  Although it is mandatory to answer these questions, it is possible to select “prefer not to say” as a response.  However, the more information you provide, the more effective our monitoring will be. This information will not be used to make decisions about funding.

Submissions to more than one NIHR Programme

NIHR will not accept the same or substantially similar applications to more than one NIHR programme. If two similar applications are submitted, once the overlap is identified, the application that is most advanced through the funding process will continue and the second will not be taken further.

Similar applications will only be considered by two programmes concurrently if:

  • the aims and research proposals are substantially different
  • if successful, NIHR would be prepared to fund both proposals
  • the successful delivery of one project is not dependent on the other

How to apply to RIGHT Call 5

You must complete an online application via the Research Management System (RMS). The closing date for applications is Wednesday, 29 June 2022 at 1pm UK time.

  • Late applications will not be accepted. The system will automatically prevent applications from being submitted after the exact closing date and time.
  • It is the Applicants’ responsibility to allow sufficient time to submit an application.
  • Applicants must contact the NIHR RIGHT Global Health team by emailing or calling +44 (0)20 8843 8286 immediately if they think there is a system problem, whilst attempting to continue with their submission.

ORCiD: It is mandatory for all applicants to register for an ORCiD identifier and to include this in their RMS user profile.

A word template of the Stage 1 application form is available on the NIHR website for reference only.

The ‘System Help’ document found on the RMS’s web pages provides extensive step by step instructions on how to make use of the RMS.


Only registered users of the RMS can apply. Applicants new to using the RMS should register as a new user. Once logged into your account the RMS home page is the starting point to create applications, access co-applications and to update contact information and professional details. 

Managing my details

Lead applicants and co-applicants can manage their basic contact information and curriculum vitae (CV) through the ‘Manage my Details’ link on their RMS home page. Lead and co-applicant contact information and CV details are integrated by the RMS into the relevant fields during the application process. Please note that only lead applicant CV details are mandatory at Stage 1 while basic contact information is required for co-applicants. At Stage 2, lead and co-applicant CV details are mandatory.

Creating an application

The lead applicant must initially create the new application. Clear instructions on how to start a new application can be found in the ‘System Help’. The research team can collaborate with the lead applicant to edit the content in the application by being invited to be a co-applicant through the co-applicant section of the application form. 

The lead applicant can use the search tool to find co-applicants and then to invite them to join the application. The RMS will automatically dispatch an email inviting the co-applicant to confirm their participation in the application. Co-applicants can then decide whether to accept the invitation and consent to the application being submitted jointly in their name. They will need to log into the RMS and follow the links to ‘Confirm’ their involvement on the co-application summary page. Once confirmed, the co-applicant will be granted access to edit the online application form.

All co-applicants must ‘Confirm’ their invitation to participate in the application electronically on the co-application summary page in advance of the submission deadline.

Completing an application

From the application summary page, the application can be edited by clicking on the ‘Edit’ button. The different sections of the application form can then be accessed via the list of hyperlinked buttons on the left hand side of the RMS webpage. You can move from page to page either by using the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ buttons, or using the list on the left-hand side of the web page. 

Most questions are associated with contextual help buttons and clicking on them will open up pop up windows containing brief guidance notes that supplement the published guidance for applicants. It is strongly advised that applicants refer to the published guidance first and then use contextual help as they complete and review each question as contextual help is not designed to replace it. Mandatory questions are flagged with a red dot.

The system will prevent your co-applicants accessing your application at the same time as you. This stops applicants and co-applicants inadvertently making changes to the same part of the application at the same time and overwriting each other’s work.

Please see the Application form section below for the guidance on how to complete an application form.

Remember to save your work

You will be prompted to save your work if you leave the browser in application editing mode. We recommend you save your work regularly to minimise the risk posed by any local computer or internet problems. You can save and return to the application form as often as you like prior to submission.

Exiting and returning to work on your form

Should you wish to exit your form, you can return at any time; simply log in using your username and password and select ‘My Applications’ from the menu. You will then be presented with a list of all the applications you are currently involved with as well as providing details as to their stage in the submission process.

Validation and submission of the form

The lead applicant can review the progress of their application at any time by selecting the ‘View/Print’ option on the application summary page to generate the application as a PDF File.

When the application form has been completed, the lead applicant must use the ‘Validate form’ tool within the online application form. The validation step is a check run by the RMS to assess whether all the mandatory questions contain information. It will provide a list of links to any parts of the form where corrections or additional content are needed. 

Once the application has been validated successfully and no further corrections are needed, the lead applicant can submit the application by clicking on the ‘Submit’ button on the lower right hand side of the application summary page.  

Following submission

A programme specific reference number will be assigned to the application once it has been submitted. After the relevant competition round closes, the application will automatically enter the process of being considered for funding.

Application form

Section 1: Application Summary Information

Proposal and Partnership Development Award reference number

INTERNAL USE ONLY. Provide your Proposal and Partnership Development Award application reference number.  You can search using either the NIHR reference number (given when you have submitted your PPDA application) or pre-submission reference number (given when you have created a new application).

Contracting organisation

Provide details of the organisation that will be the contractor (i.e. the organisation who will sign the contract with the 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. Titles should be no more than 15 words.

Research type

Select the appropriate research type. If your proposed programme is predominantly primary research, please select ‘Primary Research’. If you are not sure which category to select, choose the closest match to your project as this can be adjusted later.

Proposed start date

Note: This should be from 1st of the month, regardless of whether this is a working day or not. Please be realistic about your possible start date, taking account of the necessary contracting and staff recruitment prior to starting your project. This cannot be before 01 September 2023. 

Research duration (months)

Ensure you include sufficient time to complete all aspects of the research including applications approvals (where required) and the final report. This can be a maximum of 60 months.

End date

This field will automatically populate once you have entered the start date and research duration information.

Estimated research costs

Enter the total budget for research costs requested on the application form (see Finance Guidance for Applicants for details)

At Stage 1, applicants are required to provide a total figure for the costs on the application form and to provide further details of the cost breakdown (in particular the anticipated split of funds between the UK, ODA-eligible countries and any other international parties) by uploading a completed Finance Summary Form.

You may wish to download the Finance Summary Form template

Conflict checks

Please declare any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that (Joint) Lead Applicants 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. 

Please declare any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that you or your co-applicants may have, including any facts that, should they come to light at a future date, could lead to a perception of bias. Include any relevant personal, non-personal & commercial interest that could be perceived as a conflict of interest. Examples include (this list is not all encompassing) secondary employment, consultancy, financial or commercial gain (pensions, shareholdings, directorships, voting rights), honoraria, etc. In a case of commercial sector involvement with the application or the study, please state clearly the relationship to ownership of data, access to data, and membership of project oversight groups.


As Contracting Institution (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 research.

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

All information on this page is auto-populated from the ‘Manage my Details’ section within the Lead Applicant’s RMS portal account, which should be updated and edited prior to submission.

To update your CV details, please visit the Manage My Details section by selecting 'Save and Close' at the top of this screen and accessing the left hand menu toolbar. Please select relevant publications and research grants in the next section.

Section 3: (Joint) Lead Applicant's Research Background 

For both the Contracting and Non-contracting Lead Applicants.

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 to provide the required information.

To update your publications and grants select the 'Save and Close' button at the top of this screen then access the relevant left hand menu toolbar. NOTE: The ORCID ID field is now compulsory for the lead applicant.

  • To update publications, select My Research Outputs from the left hand menu.
  • To update Grants and your general CV Select Manage My Details then Update My CV from the left hand menu.

Once your CV is up to date:

  • Select the relevant publications and grants using the green “+” icon.
  • Use the delete icon (the red and white button) to remove a publication or grant from the list.
  • Re-order each list by clicking and dragging the green arrow icon.

Publication record

Provide details of a maximum of six of your most recent/relevant publications (in the last ten years) relevant to this application (using Vancouver or Harvard citation format). Please include DOI reference numbers, if needed.

Research grants held

Please select research grants held (as a named applicant) CURRENTLY or IN THE LAST 5 YEARS – as well as any additional previous grants, relevant to this application, stating who the grant is with and the value of each grant. If no grants are held, please create a grant titled N/A in the Manage My Details section of your RMS account, then pull this through to this field.  For more information about resubmission of a research/trainee funding application, or joint funding please contact the NIHR Global Health RIGHT programme team; or +44 (0)20 8843 8286.

Section 4: The Research Team

Strength of the research team is one of the assessment criteria at stage 1.  Applications should demonstrate the research team has a depth of relevant expertise and promotes interdisciplinary approaches to working by including expertise / activities associated with a broad range of disciplines. Please refer to the Guidance for Applicants for further details.

In the following sections you will need to individually add the names of your Joint Lead Applicant and Co-applicants. Their roles and equitable contributions to the project should be described in this section.

Applications MUST be led by either:

  • A Principal Investigator employed by an LMIC Higher Education Institution (HEI) or  Research Institution 


  • A Principal Investigator employed by a UK HEI or Research Institution (UK Joint Lead Applicant) to jointly lead with a Principal Investigator employed by an LMIC HEI or research institution (LMIC Joint Lead Applicant).

Please note: Where the contracting organisation is a UK institution, it is mandatory for an LMIC Joint Lead Applicant to be included on the application, with the expectation that the joint leadership/partnership is equitable. Where the contracting organisation is an LMIC institution, a UK Joint Lead Applicant is not a mandatory requirement. LMIC Lead Applicants may propose joint leadership/partnerships with a Principal Investigator from another eligible LMIC or UK institution, or lead the application without a Joint-Lead Applicant.

You can add Co-Applicants.  Co-Applicants are those individuals with responsibility for the day-to-day management and delivery of the project. Co-Applicants are considered part of the project team and are expected to share responsibility for its successful delivery. All Co-Applicants must be registered on the Research Management System (RMS) before they can be added to the application. Please note that once you enter a Co-Applicant’s details they will receive an automated email informing them that this information has been added to your application. Therefore, we would expect Co-Applicants to have been consulted before adding their details into the RMS. Co-Applicants must both confirm and approve their participation; the application cannot be submitted without doing so.

A maximum of 15 Co-Applicants is permitted in addition to up to two Joint Lead Applicants.

Please note that collaborators are those who provide specific expertise on particular aspects of the project and would form the basis of your wider research team.  They do not share in the responsibility for the delivery of the project.   

NOTE: For contracting purposes there can only be one contracting institution for flow of funds.      

Specify your (Joint) Lead Applicant (Contracting Institution) role in this research

Explain in addition to your role as (Joint) Lead Applicant, the role that you will be undertaking in the research (e.g. coordination and project management, analysis, methodological input etc.) 

%FTE Commitment

This refers to the percentage of your time that you will commit to this project. If you are funded as part of other NIHR projects that will be running concurrently your time must not exceed 100% overall.  NOTE: Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): percentage of full-time hours per week.  

Joint Lead Applicant (Non-Contracting Institution)

Please select if there is more than one Lead Applicant. Where the contracting institution is a UK institution with a UK Joint Lead Applicant, it is mandatory for an LMIC Joint Lead Applicant to be included on the application, with the expectation that the joint leadership/partnership is equitable.  Please complete the name of the Joint Lead Applicant (Non-contracting Institution) contact details and other requested information.

Specify role of the Joint Lead Applicant (non-Contracting Institution) in research

Explain in addition to your role as (Joint) Lead Applicant, the role that you will be undertaking in the research, e.g. coordination and project management, analysis, methodological input etc.

%FTE Commitment

This refers to the percentage of your time that you will commit to this project.  If you are funded as part of other NIHR projects that will be running concurrently your time must not exceed 100% overall.   NOTE: Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): percentage of full-time hours per week.   


Add details of all Co-Applicants and their specific role in the programme. Do not include collaborators or partners, who should be mentioned (if necessary) in the ‘Research Plan’ section of the form.

Co-Applicants are those individuals with responsibility for the day to day management and delivery of the project. Co-Applicants, including public co-applicants/CEI representatives, are considered part of the project team and are expected to share responsibility for its successful delivery. In contrast, collaborators normally provide specific expertise on particular aspects of the project but who do not share in the responsibility for the delivery of the project. 

There should be a named person with appropriate skills and experience who is responsible for leading the CEI element within the project. This role should be an adequately costed and resourced research team member who is able to manage the CEI plans and related activities. For more information about NIHR’s CEI approach and resource guides please visit the CEI section of our website.  

Co-Applicants who are community representatives, patients or carers are not obliged to complete a standard CV, but are required to provide a summary of any knowledge, skills and experience relevant to their role in the application.

We recognise and value the varied perspectives that community representatives, patients and carers bring to a project as applicants. In this section, please provide a summary of any relevant knowledge, skills and experience that you will draw upon to contribute to this project.

This could include information about:

  • Previous or present work (paid or unpaid) with any relevant organisations
  • Links with any relevant groups, committees, networks or organisations
  • Experience of particular health conditions, treatments, use of services - or as a member of a particular community
  • Knowledge and experience of research including previous research undertaken
  • Knowledge and experience of community engagement and involvement
  • Skills from any other roles that are transferable
  • Relevant qualifications, training and learning

The bullet point list above is not exhaustive.  Please include anything else that is relevant to the application.

Section 5: Plain English Summary of Research 

A plain English summary is a clear and accessible explanation of your research.

Reviewers use this summary to inform their review of your funding application. If your application for funding is successful; the summary will be used on NIHR and other websites and should, therefore, be accessible to members of the public.

A good quality plain English summary providing an easy to read overview of your whole study will help:

  • Those carrying out the review (reviewers and board and panel members) to have a better understanding of your research proposal
  • Inform others about your research such as members of the public, health professionals, policy makers and the media
  • The research funders to publicise the research that they fund

If it is considered that your plain English summary is not clear and of a good quality then you may be required to amend it prior to final funding approval.

It is helpful to involve patients/carers/members of the public in developing a plain English summary. When writing your summary consider including the following information where appropriate:

  • Aim(s) of the research
  • Background to the research
  • Design and methods used
  • Community engagement and involvement
  • Dissemination.

The plain English summary is not the same as a scientific abstract - please do not cut and paste this or other sections of your application form to create the plain English summary.

Further guidance on writing in plain English is available online at NIHR Plain English summaries.

Section 6: Research Plan 

Using all of the headings in the order presented below, please use this section to clearly explain your proposed research. As this is the main part of your application, which will be considered by the funding committee, you should ensure that the information is accurate, succinct, clearly laid out and provides sufficient methodological detail. The overall amount of information that you can provide at this stage is limited to 3-5 pages (dependent on the type/complexity/scale of study proposed). (Limit: 2000 words).

Background and Rationale

What is the problem being addressed?

Provide a clear explanation of the problem to be addressed, the impact on patients and the community as well as health and care services in ODA-eligible country(ies) and demonstrate where the evidence gap is.

Explain how your proposed research is within the remit of the NIHR RIGHT programme and how it addresses the key aim of RIGHT Call 5 to deliver research in the area of multimorbidity in ODA-eligible country(ies).

Why is this research important in terms of improving the health and/or wellbeing of the relevant populations and healthcare services in the ODA-eligible country(ies)?

It is essential that you clearly identify the applied health and care challenges faced by the ODA-eligible country(ies) relevant to the geographic and scientific area of your research proposal. Please outline the anticipated value or contribution the research will provide.

Briefly describe:

  • The importance of the proposed research and its relevance to the priorities and needs of the ODA-eligible country(ies), including a statement of the significance of the research area (e.g. burden of disease).
  • The anticipated outputs, outcomes and impact of the proposed research on the health and wealth of patients, the community and health and care services in ODA-eligible country(ies); where possible, quantifying the potential benefits.
  • The anticipated timescale for the benefits to the ODA-eligible country(ies) resulting from the proposed research, and how this work will create an enduring impact/sustainable capacity or capability enhancement in the ODA-eligible country(ies).
Review of existing evidence - How does the existing literature support this proposal?

Explain why this research is needed now, both in terms of time and relevance. Briefly describe:

  • The need for research in this area, please include a summary of existing evidence and the rationale for the particular lines of research you plan to pursue.
  • How your proposed research would add distinct value to what is already known or in progress?
  • Work undertaken previously by the research team, which has led to the proposed programme (e.g. describe any pilot or feasibility data).

Applicants should be aware of ongoing research in this area and comment on any other research that might be deemed to overlap with the contents of the proposal. In particular, applicants are advised to use both PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central and include references to recent material on the topic area they are applying for.

Any applications that include primary research should include reference to the existing evidence and explain how this evidence has informed the proposed research. Where a systematic review already exists that summarises the available evidence this should be referenced, as well as including references to any relevant literature published subsequent to that systematic review. Where no such systematic review exists, it is expected that the applicants will undertake an appropriate review of the currently available and relevant evidence and summarise this in their proposal.

Aims and Objectives

This section should be used to indicate the overarching aims/objectives of the research, outlining the key question(s), which the work will address and, where appropriate, the main hypothesis.

Research plan / methods

Provide an expert summary of the project plan of investigation (e.g. deliverables, methods, approach to community engagement and involvement (CEI), timescales), plus any additional points required to support statements made in the previous sections, and include any key references required to justify the points made (e.g. in the use of particular outcome measures or methods of analysis). References should be provided as an attachment (see section 9: Uploads). Please clearly outline the likely risks and challenges, as well as mitigating actions, in delivering the proposed work and any ethical considerations. The NIHR has well established requirements for patient and public involvement in the research that it funds. In this global health research call, we refer throughout to ‘community engagement and involvement (CEI)’ rather than ‘patient and public involvement’. This is to emphasise the importance of involving relevant community groups and organisations from ODA-eligible country(ies) in an early and sustained manner throughout the research process. Your CEI plans will be formally assessed by public reviewers, peer reviewers and the RIGHT Call 5 Funding Committee at Stage 2. However, at Stage 1, your approach to and planned CEI activities will be taken into account when assessing the proposed research.

Research expertise / structure of the team

Describe the skills, experience and expertise of the team that makes it well placed to carry out the proposed research. Please also list and explain the role of key collaborators or partners (i.e. those individuals who provide a substantial intellectual contribution and/or will play a role in delivering the programme of work). There should be a named person with appropriate skills and experience who is responsible for leading the CEI element within the project. This role should be an adequately costed and resourced research team member who is able to manage the CEI plans and related activities. More information and examples of the activities a CEI lead might undertake can be found in our guidance on the NIHR website. 

Dissemination, Outputs and anticipated impact

Describe the planned outputs of the research, how these will be communicated and to whom, and detail the proposed short, medium and longer term impact of the research. Impact is defined as the demonstrable contribution that research makes to society and the economy, of benefit to individuals, organisations and nations.

Approach to creating sustainable and equitable partnerships 

Include details of your approach to, and plans to, create equitable partnerships within your programme/research team. If already established, please give clear details of the involvement of individuals and organisations based in the ODA-eligible country(ies) in the development of the research proposal and in undertaking the research.

Success Criteria

Please set out the measurements of success you intend to use and also the key risks to delivering this research and what contingencies you will put in place to deal with them. This section should identify appropriate actions that would reduce or eliminate each risk or its impact.

Section 7:  Location of research (ODA-Eligible countries)

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

Section 8: ODA Compliance Statement

Please provide a statement that demonstrates how the proposal meets key ODA funding requirements. It should address the following questions:

  1. which country(ies) 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 9: Uploads


  • One single-side A4 page, listing references used throughout your proposal. 
  • Budget breakdown – at this stage, applicants are required to provide a total figure for the costs on the application form and to provide further details of the cost breakdown (in particular, the anticipated split of funds between the UK, ODA-eligible countries and any other international countries) by uploading a completed Stage 1 Financial Summary Form to the ‘Section 2: Application Summary Information’ above.


If required, an additional supporting (single side of A4) document can be submitted with your application form (e.g., a flow diagram illustrating the study design and the flow of participants, Gantt chart, response to feedback from a previous submission, letter of support etc.). If submitting a flow diagram, applicants should also describe complex interventions and controls as accurately and fully as possible within their diagram. If proposing an RCT, we advise you refer to the CONSORT statement and website for guidance. Alternatively, you may find the Equator website useful. The PDF file should be submitted along with your application form.

Section 10 : 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 11: 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 12:  Validation Summary

Please follow the next 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)
  • Check all Co-Applicants have completed their CV details as appropriate and review the PDF final version for any formatting issues
  • Click 'Save and Close'
  • Click the 'Submit' option (this must be completed by 1 pm (UK time), 29 June 2022)

Please note that your submission will not be considered complete until all applicants have confirmed the application and the 'Submit' button becomes available and is then used.

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

Checklist of information to include when submitting a NIHR RIGHT Stage 1 research application

Applicants should use the following list to check that they have included the necessary information prior to submitting their application.

  • A good quality Plain English Summary
  • A clear explanation of the problem being addressed
  • A clear demonstration of the need and importance of the research
  • A review of existing literature (primary research)
  • A clear research question/aim(s) and objectives
  • A clear project plan summarising the study design and methods, risks and ethical considerations
  • A clear description of team member roles and contribution
  • A single A4 page of references (document upload), mandatory
  • RIGHT Stage 1 Financial Summary Form (document upload), mandatory