This document provides answers to frequently asked questions for Call 6 of the NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) Global Health funding stream.
Is there a list of eligible Multiple Long-Term Conditions (MLTC) that you can share with applicants?
We don't have a list of eligible MLTCs for the RIGHT Call 6. As detailed in the call guidance, the definition of MLTCs for this call is as below:
The co-existence of two or more chronic conditions, each one of which is either:
- A physical non-communicable disease (NCD) of long duration, such as a cardiovascular disease or cancer.
- A mental health condition of long duration, such as a mood disorder or dementia.
- An infectious disease of long duration, such as HIV or hepatitis C.
The call guidance states that applications solely comprising a single Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) will not be funded, please can you clarify?
Where an RCT is proposed we expect this to be part of a wider package of work (i.e. not the sole activity). We do not require multiple RCTs in a proposal. A proposal consisting of varied work packages including a RCT would be in scope / eligible.
I would like to include the development of an information resource for patients and/or LMIC communities, (e.g. leaflet, video, website, etc.) as part of my research proposal. Is this supported?
NIHR will support the development of new or innovative information resources for patients and/or communities as part of research or CEI activities. Applicants will need to demonstrate in their application the value of developing this resource within the wider programme of work.
What makes up an "interdisciplinary" approach? Is there a minimum number of disciplines to be involved?
We don't provide recommendations on the number or types of disciplines to be involved in a RIGHT application. The disciplines of the individuals involved is down to the research team, on the basis of the requirements of your research plan. Interdisciplinary approaches to working may include but are not limited to clinical medicine, health economics, statistics, qualitative and social sciences, to ensure that research objectives can be delivered.
Can you clarify what is expected in terms of the project delivering benefit to people and patients in LMICs?
Applications to RIGHT must demonstrate a trajectory to people and patient benefit in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). In all applications to RIGHT, it is expected that the research will seek to demonstrate realisable and quantifiable benefits to LMICs and that the route to that benefit is clearly set out in the proposal.
Our research focus is limited to a region in a country and not the whole of the country or any other countries. We plan to develop strategies to scale up the programme across the whole country. Is this acceptable?
It is acceptable to focus on a single region of a country during your research period. Please ensure you address in your application your plans to scale up the programme and also provide a clear statement of how the findings will be transferable to other regions.
Do applications to RIGHT have to fulfil Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligibility?
As per the Guidance for Applicants, all applications to RIGHT calls must fulfil ODA eligibility. In order to be eligible to receive ODA funding, applications must demonstrate how they meet ODA compliance criteria. Please refer to the NIHR Official Development Assistance Guidance for Applicants and Peer Reviewers for further details.
Structure of Team and Expertise / Institutional Eligibility
Can applicants be institutions/organisations instead of individuals?
Applicants must be individuals. You are required to name the applicants (individuals) in your application.
I am a Principal Investigator (PI) of another ongoing NIHR Global Health Research award, am I eligible to be a lead applicant on a RIGHT call 6 application?
Existing NIHR Global Health Research award holders are eligible to apply to this call as a lead applicant (contracting lead or non-contracting lead) but assurance is required that they have sufficient time and resources available to deliver concurrent awards successfully. NIHR will not accept the same or substantially similar applications across multiple NIHR Global Health Research Calls. 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. Please refer to Submissions to more than one NIHR Global Health Research Programme/Call in the Global Health Research Core guidance for further details.
Should the Principal Investigator / Lead Researcher be based in the UK?
No, having a UK-based lead applicant is not a requirement to apply to RIGHT call 6. However, all RIGHT call 6 applications must be (jointly) led by an eligible researcher based in an ODA eligible country. As stated in the call guidance, RIGHT call 6 applications MUST be led by either:
- A Principal Investigator (Lead Applicant) employed by an LMIC Higher Education Institution (HEI) or Research Institute.
- A Principal Investigator employed by a UK HEI or Research Institute (UK Joint Lead Applicant) to jointly lead with a Principal Investigator employed by an LMIC HEI or Research Institute (LMIC Joint Lead Applicant).
Can the Lead Applicant be based in a hospital?
The Lead Applicants can be based in a hospital if the hospital is a research active institution with appropriate demonstrable capacity to deliver research, or a relevant health research NGO. In both cases, the named Lead Applicant is primarily associated with delivery of research. The application should also clearly state the percentage of the Lead Applicant’s time allocated to the proposed project. Please refer to Structure of Team and Expertise in the Global Health Research Core guidance for further details.
How do NIHR define an eligible research institute?
As outlined in the Global Health Research Core guidance, the characteristics of an eligible Research Institute are:
- Demonstration of a significant track record in obtaining funding for research through competitive processes, and delivering successful outcomes from this funding
- Demonstration of a track record in building and strengthening research capacity; this would likely include supporting individuals through a range of formal training positions (i.e. Masters, PhD, postdoctoral, etc.)
- Demonstration of the ability to manage large awards supporting research and/or research capacity strengthening, through established research support functions (e.g. finance, intellectual property etc)
We advise our applicants to clearly demonstrate in their application how they meet these characteristics.
Can a Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) apply to RIGHT Call 6? Should a non-UK based NGO have a research partner in a UK University or another UK based NGO?
UK- or LMIC-based NGOs are eligible to apply as (Joint) Lead Applicants, provided they fulfil the expected characteristics of a Research Institute outlined in the Global Health Research Programmes - Core Guidance for Applicants guidance . An eligible LMIC-based NGO can either act as sole lead or partner with a UK research institution as Joint Leads. Please refer to the RIGHT Call 6 guidance for further details about the eligibility of Lead Applicants and the leadership models.
Are for-profit organisations eligible?
Please refer to Global Health Research Core guidance for more information on eligibility for commercial organisations.
I hold a short-term academic employment contract with an HEI and my current contract will not outlast my RIGHT call 6 application if awarded. Can I still apply to the call as a lead applicant?
Lead Applicants are normally researchers who have appropriate standing within their organisation and a demonstrable ability to lead and manage a substantial large-scale programme of global health research. We advise you to seek approval to apply to RIGHT call 6 as a Lead Applicant from your institute. Your application will require institutional approval (via RMS) at stage 2.
Does a lead applicant need to have a PhD?
No, but the lead applicant would need to demonstrate appropriate experience and track-record in a relevant field. For RIGHT Call 6, (Joint) Lead Applicants must have appropriate standing within their employing organisations and have demonstrable ability to lead and manage a large-scale programme of global health research. However, if a (Joint) Lead Applicant is more junior, then details of mentorship and support in place from more senior colleagues should be provided within the application. The application should clearly demonstrate that the research team has the necessary expertise, relevant experience and demonstrable track record to successfully deliver the proposed programme of work. The Funding Committee will assess the strength of the research team.
Can you provide more information about the institutional contributions you are looking for from all institutions involved in an application?
At a minimum, institutions must give clear agreement to participate in the study and to supply space, facilities and the time required for the researcher(s) to carry out the work activities outlined in the application.
Examples of institutional support can include (but are not limited to):
- Support for partner visits, including provision of office and lab space, access to online institutional library services and databases, and access to training.
- Provision of space and resources for workshops
- Access to training programmes including distance learning, and distance learning scholarships
- Provision of central administrative project support
- Matched funding for key team members or studentships
- Contribution of other key staff time outside of the project team
- Reduction in institutional overheads
- Sustained institutional support for research and research support posts (developed through the award capacity strengthening activities) beyond the end of award
Is it possible to have project partners from High Income Countries (HICs) other than the UK to formally be involved as researchers in the application and funding?
Applications proposing non-LMIC Co-Applicants or Collaborators are eligible, provided Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligibility criteria are met. There must be clear justification for their involvement and why these resources or expertise cannot be found within LMICs. Please refer to the Global Health Research Programmes - Core Guidance for Applicants guidance for more information.
Some co-applicants, who are very competent clinicians, have very limited research experience but are keen to develop research skills. What are NIHR views of such co-applicants? Is it something desirable or should they be collaborators?
Yes, NIHR are supportive of developing research and research support capacity in LMICs. NIHR encourage developing such partnerships as appropriate either as a Joint Lead or as co-applicants on the award in line with the ambition and scale of the award. Applicants should ensure any less experienced members of the team are fully supported and mentored at all levels and this should be clearly set out within your research plan.
How many LMIC partners are expected? Do you recommend having more than one partner country?
Please refer to the Global Health Research Core Guidance for detail. The number should be as required to deliver the programme of work. However, the number of partners also needs to be manageable. Please consider in your application the non-research resources required to manage multiple partners (e.g. Financial management, due diligence, programme management etc.).
Can the research team be changed from stage 1 to stage 2?
NIHR expects the (joint) Lead Applicants to remain the same in stage 2. You are not permitted to change a (joint) Lead Applicant in stage 2 without a prior approval from NIHR. Please contact the NIHR Global Health team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to seek NIHR’s approval.
Co-Applicants can change from stage 1 to stage 2 without a prior agreement with NIHR.
Can research teams that were unsuccessful in other NIHR Global Health calls re-apply?
Yes, Research Teams that have applied unsuccessfully for other NIHR Global Health Research calls can re-apply so long as they are in remit of RIGHT Call 6, declare this on their application, and address any concerns raised by the original committee.
Can a higher education institution submit multiple applications to RIGHT Calls?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of applications that a HEI can submit to the call. However, HEIs or Research Institutes submitting multiple applications to the same NIHR GHR Programme/Call should consider (a) NIHR’s position on Equality Diversity and Inclusion - including but not limited to gender balance - at all levels of the awards, including leadership, governance and delivery and (b) the aims of the call. NIHR’s expectation is that, where multiple applications are submitted, Lead Applicants from a single institution will be equally balanced between genders. Justification should be provided where this is not possible and the plans in place to address this over the longer term. Please refer to the NIHR Global Health Research Core Guidance for detail.
Training and Capacity Strengthening
Can a PhD be funded through this call?
Yes. See section on Training and Capacity Strengthening in Global Health Research Core guidance and Training and Development Costs in the Finance guidance.
For a PhD student who will reside and carry out the research in the LMIC with co-supervision from both the LMIC and the UK teams: should these costs be included in the LMIC budget rather than the UK budget? And should the stipend be cost at the LMIC rate or the UK rate?
The costs for PhD students based in LMICs should be shown as LMIC budget / allocation even if they receive co-supervision from non-LMIC partners. The applicable stipend rate is based on the location of the student. If LMIC-based students spend some of their time in the UK, then the UK rates apply and should be prorated accordingly for the relevant duration of study in the UK.
Please elaborate on South-South learning
The United Nations define South-South cooperation as a “broad framework of collaboration among countries of the South in the political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. Involving two or more developing countries, it can take place on a bilateral, regional, intraregional or interregional basis. Through South-South collaboration, developing countries share knowledge, skills, expertise and resources to meet their development goals through concerted efforts”.
Application process / Research Management System (RMS)
What the process is for applicants to register on the RMS system. Do they have to register separately or does the lead applicant invite those who are not registered into the system?
All applicants (both Lead and co-applicants) will need to register on the RMS system. Please note accounts can take up to 48 hours to be verified and that institutional email addresses will need to be used where possible. Please ensure that you and your team complete registration by 30 Nov 2022. NIHR will not guarantee new RMS accounts (for lead applicants or co-applicants) will be verified and approved before the call close date
Is institutional approval required for setting up an RMS account?
No institutional approval is required to set up an RMS account.
Could you give an indication of the format that applicant and co-applicant CV’s need to be presented. Should I just populate the online form or upload a word document of my CV?
All applicants will need to populate their CVs through the online form on RMS.
How do you include publications to the application?
Please follow the steps below:
- 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 before going into the actual application.
To later indicate which 6 publications you will attach to the application, please go to the (Joint) Lead applicant research background section and you will see the green plus button that will allow you to add publications. Please refer to the RMS System Help Guidance for further information.
I am helping the lead applicant to pull together this bid and I registered but was told if I open an application that I would then become the lead applicant which isn’t what I want. I need to be able to access the online application form and advise the co-leads and other co-applicants about how to access the application.
The Lead applicant will need to start the application and they can then invite any Joint Lead applicants and co-applicants from the form. Co-applicants and Joint Leads will need to have registered and been approved on the RMS to be invited. Once invited, co-applicants and the Joint Lead applicant will receive an email and they will need to login and confirm their participation. They can then edit the application form. Please note the application cannot be submitted unless all co-applicants and the Joint Lead (if applicable) have confirmed their participation.
If you would like to assist the applicants in their application, you would need to be added as a co-applicant in order to access the form. If you would not like to be a co-applicant on submission, however, the lead applicant will be able to delete you from the application at a later date.
Funding / Finance
Is there any initial support to engage with LMIC partners?
NIHR does not provide funding to develop partnerships or engage with LMIC partners in stage 1. However, you can apply to Proposal and Partnership Development Awards (PPDA) at the same time as your RIGHT call 6 Stage 1 application. If successful at stage 1, you can use PPDA funds to engage with LMIC partners to develop equitable partnerships and strengthen your stage 2 application. For further information on Training and Development costs, please refer to the RIGHT Call 6 Finance Guidance.
What is the budget for the call? How many projects are you expecting to fund?
NIHR does not publish award budgets per call and there is no fixed target for the number of projects we wish to fund. It is dependent on the quality of applications and the Funding Committee recommendations. In the past, we have funded 4-8 awards per call.
If it's a joint application of UK and LMIC institutions, will all funding be channelled directly to the UK institution for disbursement?
Funds will go through the Contracting Organisation. Only one lead organisation (‘Contracting Organisation’) will sign a contract with DHSC and receive and administer funds. The contracting organisation is the organisation where the contracting lead applicant (either an LMIC or a UK joint Lead Applicant) is employed.
Please can I just confirm for UK HEIs, do we put the 80% or 100% figure on the attached spreadsheet?
The amount in the Finance Summary Form (FSF) comprises an amount that NIHR would reimburse as a cost. In the application, some HEI's may incur costs that are not reimbursed by NIHR and therefore the FSF should comprise the reimbursable costs only (both direct and indirect costs/overheads). For HEIs in the UK, NIHR will fund 80% of the HEI’s FEC, provided the TRAC methodology has been used and the 80%FEC cost should be provided in the RIGHT call 6 FSF. However, PPDA activities are funded at 100% FEC for UK HEIs. Please provide 100%FEC figures in the PPDA FSF. For LMIC HEIs or Research Institutes (as listed on the OECD DAC list), 100% of direct and indirect costs will be funded and 100% of eligible cost should be provided in the the RIGHT call 6 Stage 1 FSF. PPDA activities are also funded at 100% for LMIC HEIs/Research Institutes. Please refer to the Finance Guidance for further detail.
Can I include a post-doctoral position in my RIGHT application?
Yes, A RIGHT application may include a post-doctoral researcher if required and the associated costs are eligible. All costs should be appropriately justified in the application. Please refer to the RIGHT Call 6 Finance Guidance for detail.
Can you clarify the point about UK applicants not being able to apply for equipment- does that include laptops/IT?
Equipment purchase for use in the UK contracted/collaborating organisations would not normally be supported. If equipment is required for the use in the UK, a clear justification must be provided, including as to how the purchase will be of direct and principal benefit to the LMIC community.
There are a number of items of equipment which will be used in our LMIC study sites but which are either locally unavailable or which may be more economical to buy in the UK and ship to study sites. Are we able to claim 100% FEC on these items?
As the primary purpose of the equipment is to be used at the LMIC organisation, this would be acceptable. We recommend you explain these actions in the justification of the resources section of your application. Please ensure the cost is added to the LMIC budget on the finance form.
What is the FCRA and how will this impact funding for research projects in India?
The Indian government has recently updated the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) which relates to payments to organisations in India. These organisations should follow the latest Indian government guidelines to confirm whether they require a FCRA license and that they have the appropriate measures in place to receive funding.
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that any organisations in India involved in the research proposal, whether as Lead Applicants, Joint Lead Applicants, Co-Applicants or Collaborators, are fully compliant with the requirements of the FCRA. They should also ensure that the FCRA license is valid until beyond the end of the proposed contract period.
Would the call consider providing part funding for studies?
RIGHT will not fund projects jointly with other funders. An application to RIGHT must be for a self-contained study with a clearly defined endpoint.
Costs for attempting to influence legislative and regulatory action are excluded. Can you clarify please? Surely one of the key routes to implementation/impact could be through influencing policy/regulation?
We would expect to see researchers working collaboratively with local communities and policy officials within the context of the project to ensure scale up and implementation. Costs for direct lobbying are not permitted.
Are there any guidelines on how the funding should be split between the UK lead institution and any LMIC organisation?
There are no set guidelines as to the percentage breakdown of funding between partnering organisation. Please also refer to the Global Health Research Core guidance.
Is the cost of UK-based project managers / supervisors who will be involved in project management and project monitoring and evaluation an eligible cost?
Yes, these costs are eligible. We are very keen that these costs are included to ensure successful project delivery. NIHR encourages close collaboration with your LMIC partners to establish where these support positions are best located.
Proposal and Partnership Development Awards (PPDA)
Is there a separate application form for PPDA?
Yes, a PPDA application is linked to a RIGHT application, but they have separated application forms. 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, 14 December 2022 at 1pm UK time.
If Stage 1 application is successful, does it mean that PPDA will be awarded while preparing Stage 2? Does PPDA have a separate contract?
PPDA applications will be reviewed for those applicants that are successful at Stage 1. Those applicants that are successful at Stage 1 will be notified of the outcome of their PPDA application at the same time as the Stage 1 applications. There will be a separate contract for PPDA (‘Letter Agreement’) and the award will start when stage 2 opens and end when stage 2 closes.
Can I obtain a copy of the webinar slides?
A copy of the webinar slides are available by contacting the Global Health team at email@example.com. A recording of the webinar is available.
Can NIHR connect applicants with successful researchers to get a feel for time involved more fully?
No, but information on current RIGHT awards and other global health projects is available on NIHR's Funding and Awards website. You can use this information to identify those working in similar areas or countries.
Will the NIHR act as research sponsor for the projects that are funded via this call?
No, the NIHR is a distributed organisation providing a strategic framework for the different elements of NHS and Department of Health and Social Care funded and supported research.