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Recovery, Renewal, Reset: Research to inform policy responses to COVID-19 in the health and social care systems - Research Specification

 

Contents

Timetable and Budget

The final application round deadline for Outline (Stage 1) applications to this call is:

  • 22 October 2020, 1 PM (third round deadline)

 

Past deadlines: 16 July 2020, 1 PM (first round deadline); 10 September 2020, 1 PM (second round deadline)

Notification of outcomes: 6-8 weeks from call close

After each round of applications, the expert Committee will recommend whether proposals should be:

  1. Funded
  2. Invited to complete a full Stage 2 application
  3. Not funded.

Project start: Within 4 weeks of funding decision

Budget: £50,000 to £500,000 per project

Before applying for this call, please consider the following:

  • Please reflect on whether this call is the correct call for you. This is a NIHR Policy Research Programme (PRP) call, focused on policy research providing robust evidence to support national policy decisions.
  • It is important to read the research specification for this PRP call carefully and ensure that your proposed research fits the stated brief.
  • Applications to this call for policy research must be submitted using the appropriate form and should not be submitted via other NIHR application portals.

This research is required urgently. Applicants will be expected to start their projects as soon as is feasible once funding decisions are announced.

Introduction

1. The NIHR Policy Research Programme (PRP) invites applications for research to inform the policy response to challenges posed by COVID-19; and to capture learning arising from the pandemic. Please only apply to this initiative if your proposal is for research on a national policy question, to inform system recovery from COVID-19 pandemic. Research on basic science, clinical issues, and on specific social care and health service delivery may be suitable for other NIHR and UKRI programmes. Research on basic science, clinical issues, and on specific social care and health service delivery may be suitable for other NIHR and UKRI programmes. If you are unsure which route to apply to please refer to the website for more information.

2. This strategic research initiative should provide timely evidence to inform policy decisions on recovery from the initial crisis, and to mitigate longer-term impacts on individuals, health and social care systems (In this document 'social care' refers to adult social care within remit of the Department for Health and Social Care), and wider society. We invite research which will capture lessons, positive and negative, from the rapid changes accomplished to meet the initial challenge of COVID-19. This includes accessing health and adult social care, safety and regulation, workforce, service configuration, public health, and adult social care issues.

3. Funding will be available initially for three commissioning rounds, to be allocated flexibly across projects on the topics set out in this document. We are expecting to fund policy research with costs unlikely to greatly exceed £500,000 for the larger projects; and anticipating more projects towards the £50,000 level, suitable to be fast-tracked. Higher-cost or higher risk projects will be subject to additional peer review.

4. We would particularly like to fund projects that will complete or produce early outputs in 2020, in time to inform policy and funding decisions related to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. No projects are expected to last more than 24 months.

5. We invite outline proposals for the topic areas set out in this document using the NIHR PRP Stage 1 form specific to this call. After triage to ensure fit with this initiative, proposals will be assessed by an independent expert committee. Some proposals may be selected for immediate fast-track commissioning whilst others may be required to proceed to a further stage with more details requested, based on advice and feedback from the expert committee.

Guidance on Recovery, Renewal, Reset applications

6. We expect proposals to be multi- disciplinary, welcoming input from social care practitioners, public health professionals and local authorities, and use of a range of methodologies. Research may draw on learning from previous crises including the 2009 pandemic response. Proposals should consider how to address inequalities, potentially exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly for deprived communities and minority groups. Research may use international evidence where this can inform domestic policy. You should try to ensure as far as possible that your proposed research does not duplicate studies which are already going ahead.

7. Proposals which can deliver timely outputs, including early interim findings in 2020 to inform measures and investment to support system recovery, will be welcomed.

8. As with other NIHR research, applicants should be mindful of the needs and demands of the health and care systems, and frontline staff and organisations in health and social care (whether NHS, local authority, third sector or private sector) and should not place undue demand on patients. Research should not hinder the ability of NHS staff and care practitioners to deliver care. The potential benefits of research should be weighed against any additional demands that the research may impose on the health and social care systems, staff and patients.

Research required 

9. We want to commission research to generate evidence that will inform practical policy solutions for decision-makers nationally, who are working to help the health and social care systems and public health recover from the initial crisis. This includes the need for evidence to inform future directions and investments in health, social care, and public health. We invite research which will capture lessons, positive and negative, from rapid changes accomplished to meet the initial challenge of COVID-19.

10. The topics on which we invite research proposals are listed below. Proposals on other topics may be considered if you can clearly demonstrate that a national policy question related to recovery and learning from COVID-19 will be informed by your research. Topics in the ‘Highlighted Areas’ and ‘Areas also of Interest’ are equally welcome and important.

Highlighted Areas

  • Policymakers are interested in understanding how provision of and access to health services for women has altered as a result of health and care systems pivoting to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact this has on service use, long-term outcomes for women’s health, and health disparities.
  • Policymakers are interested in understanding what works in outbreak management and mitigation in higher-risk settings such as hostels, facilities for refugees and asylum seekers, drug and alcohol recovery projects (noting that different settings may have differing service provisions). This includes what lessons can be learned and how this might be disseminated so as to build resilience in such settings.
  • The pandemic response has stimulated high levels of community action aimed at supporting the most vulnerable in society and adding capacity to public services. Policymakers are seeking research that identifies actions that local systems can take to strengthen community resilience in coping with and recovering from multiple impacts affecting people, communities and local health systems. Evidence is needed on what helps support and sustain community action, enables co-production as part of recovery in local systems and engages community insights.
  • Additionally, policymakers are interested in research that examines what community-level factors (indicators) e.g. social network density, sense of belonging, participation in decision making, wellbeing, VCSE (voluntary, community sector and social enterprise) capacity, are associated with areas being able to organise, respond and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and how these factors relate to health and health inequalities.
  • Policymakers are interested in research into lessons that can be learnt from global responses to COVID-19 to inform domestic community health services (CHS) policy and strategy going forwards.  This includes evidence/case studies on:
    • how CHS have played a role in the response to COVID-19 and the impact, in different countries/regions
    • how effective community health service changes are being embedded beyond COVID--19
    • lessons that could be learnt domestically from different models of CHS provision.

This information should be able to be used to inform policy decisions to improve the long-term ability of CHS to continue to support people to stay well and maximise their quality of life through health services in the community.

  • Emerging evidence, including Public Health England’s (PHE’s) report on health disparities, indicates that living with overweight and obesity is associated with poorer outcomes from COVID-19. We welcome further secondary analysis of existing data to help improve our understanding of the independent risk that being overweight or obese conveys for a range of adverse outcomes, including longer-term COVID-19 consequences. Appreciating the short to medium term timeframe of this call, we are also interested in research on what can be done to reduce morbidity and mortality in this group of people; and other policy initiatives to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the type and volume of food that people are consuming. We are particularly interested in the intersection between obesity and health inequalities and would like to see research with groups living with deprivation and those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

  • Policymakers are particularly interested in research evidence on the causes of disparities in health outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in relation to the impact of COVID-19, on measures to combat the spread of the virus and on solutions to mitigate poor outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic populations. This includes evidence on:
    • behavioural responses to public health measures to reduce risk;
    • mental health consequences of the pandemic;
    • the challenge to physical and mental health faced by key workers, particularly those working in the adult social care workforce

We are interested in description and analysis (quantitative and qualitative) of occupational risk by ethnic group, role or working conditions; understanding effective employer policies or practices to support staff. In each case the focus should acknowledge pre-existing work and on what works to improve outcomes and reduce risk, including how interventions should be adapted to meet different cultural needs, as appropriate. There is an imperative to develop the evidence base in relation to these questions for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups also living with deprivation.

  • There has been a focus on the impact of COVID-19 in care homes, but fairly little is known about the impact and actions taken by those providing or receiving domiciliary care, we would welcome applications on this.
  • Understanding the implications and lessons arising from changes and challenges in adult social work practice, including identifying what has worked, what lessons can be learned, and how this might be disseminated/what future training or CPD might be required to support the dissemination and implementation of learning.

 

Areas also of Interest

The challenge of COVID-19 and associated mortality and morbidity – focused on policy solutions

  • How to respond to potential further outbreaks? What are the appropriate public health and behavioural measures including messaging and communication, to take in specific environments (e.g. care homes, households, travel, retail and work settings)?
  • Optimising care pathways, hospitalisation procedures, end of life care, and step-down care for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, including managing longer-term harms. This includes harm directly from COVID-19, or arising as a consequence of impacts on health and social care systems. What are the implications for integration of health and social care services?
  • Optimising infection control within specific settings and services provided in the community, primary care, hospitals, care homes or other settings.
  • Identifying the most effective and safe staffing arrangements for patients/service users and staff.
  • Medium- and longer-term impact of COVID-19 on patients affected by other and multiple long-term conditions or disabilities, and appropriateness of interventions.
  • Improving information sharing across sectors to enable stratification by risk levels and inform preventative/care action for future outbreaks.
  • Evaluating different local and regional responses to identify effective policies/interventions and associated impacts (positive and negative).
  • Understanding implications of and lessons arising from the changed regulatory landscape.
  • Understanding the impacts on the health and social care workforce and implications for the medium- and longer-term, including: resilience, wellbeing, retention, education, and recruitment.

Consequences of COVID-19 for health and care services for other conditions: related harms; evidence to support resumption of services; positive and negative lessons from innovations introduced through the crisis, including for integration of health and care

  • Disruption to vaccination and screening programmes and routine support services (e.g. for children and new parents).
  • Delay in conditions being detected and diagnosed via screening programmes or routine primary care consultations.
  • Conditions not detected and treated in primary care (general practice, community pharmacy, dental, and optometry services); related backlogs of conditions; new ways of delivering primary care services including remote delivery.
  • Delayed elective procedures and related backlogs; new ways of delivering services.
  • Future challenges and needs of people being shielded after the initial phase of COVID-19 response; interventions that could be implemented to provide support.
  • Interventions and support for newly or already vulnerable people living in or affected by challenging circumstances (isolation, loss, physical and mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence, multiple long-term conditions and all types of disability).
  • Longer-term effects of the pandemic on the health and social care system more widely including integration of health and social care, changing attitudes and behaviours on the part of carers, health professionals, employers, patients, and broader society.
  • Longer-term impacts on informal carers and for social care demand.
  • Role of employers, occupational health providers, public health and other partners that work with the NHS, including management of sickness absence.


Understanding and responding to indirect impacts on population health, and mitigating negative impacts on health inequalities

  • Changes or innovations in population health or self-management occurring as a result of COVID-19 which have improved health and wellbeing.
  • Reduction in people seeking urgent treatment for non-COVID-19 conditions in both general practice and Emergency Departments (ED) such as heart attack or stroke; and in Paediatric ED for conditions in children.
  • Changes in alcohol and drug use, physical activity, food choice, smoking, gambling etc, including understanding the drivers and context of these behaviours.
  • Potential health inequalities and disparities exacerbated by interventions put in place to reduce transmission of COVID-19, and by reduced access to health and social care services.
  • Population health services such as smoking cessation, sexual health and addiction services: learning from changes such as moves from face-to-face delivery and the implications for service users.

Social care including domestic and residential settings

  • Financial impact on providers, viability and future market conditions in social care provision, including need for social care and financing of social care.
  • The role of community and local support: where has this worked well or less well.
  • Developing effective guidance and sharing this with social care providers: what can we learn from information sharing and use during the crisis, to support continued service delivery?
  • Support for people with learning difficulties: what has worked in terms of effective support during the crisis and lessons for the longer term.
  • Implications of care act easements, and how best can local authorities manage the backlog of need for social care.
  • What are the lessons internationally to inform recovery and strategies for future infection prevention and management in social care settings?

Groups in society

  • For all the above topics we are interested in differences in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic disadvantage and geographic aspects of these.
  • Social inclusion of specific groups such as rough sleepers/homeless, or such as Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.
  • The longer-term impact of ‘lockdown’ on individuals, children and families (for example children at risk of harm from domestic violence).
  • This includes understanding where groups in society are more affected and providing evidence that can help to address inequalities, including effects on specialist health and care services where appropriate.

Outputs

11. We need outputs to be available in time to inform the recovery and reform of health and social care services, sharing with policy makers in DHSC and Arm’s Length Bodies and balancing speed of availability against quality. Findings from this public funded research should be placed, at pace, in the public domain.

12. NIHR and DHSC will work closely with successful researchers to ensure relevant outputs reach the required policy audience in a timely manner. Early and interim findings at appropriate milestones will be expected.

13. Expected outputs might include (but are not limited to):

  • Policy briefing papers and (virtual) presentations on topics of current high interest.
  • Dissemination events tailored for the policy audience.
  • Networking with other research teams working on aligned topics within this initiative.
  • Updates on new lines of enquiry for the research community, and for policy audiences.
  • Timely publication of peer-reviewed journal articles.

Budget and duration

14. Whilst there is no funding limit for individual projects, this is a time limited initiative for policy research and proposed budgets should be within the range stated in the Introduction above. Methods are likely to involve reviews of existing research and analyses of existing data, with minimal primary data-collection to sample on the ground experience in health and social care settings. For projects to inform policy decisions in the short and immediate term, they should be between 3-6 months; while projects looking to evidence medium- to longer-term decisions should be around 18 months in duration and no longer than 24 months.

15. Costings can include up to 100% Full Economic Costing (FEC) but should exclude output VAT. Applicants are advised that value for money is a key criterion that expert Committee members will assess applications against.

Management arrangements

16. Advice from the NIHR PRP independent expert committee and policy officials will inform funding recommendations. A selection of experts and stakeholders will also be involved in the monitoring and coordination of projects funded within this initiative to minimise duplication and burdens on health and care services, patients, and service users. Patients and the public will also be involved in oversight.

17. Research contractors will be expected to work with nominated DHSC officials, its partners and the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility. A dedicated Liaison Officer will provide a contact point when working with DHSC and ALBs. Ability to work in partnerships with evidence users will be considered an advantage.

18. Many systems, such as the HRA and NHSD, have expedited processes currently in place to respond to COVID-19 research needs. It is expected that any successful applicants would make use of such processes where applicable.

Patient, public and service user involvement in research (PPI)

19. We expect the active involvement of patients and the public (e.g. service users and carers) in the research supported through this call. Applicants should describe how the issue of PPI will be addressed throughout the research process. Applications that do not have active PPI involvement are unlikely to be successful.

20. Please refer to the section below “Standard information for applicants” for further information on requirements for PPI.

The application

21. In common with NIHR responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to mobilise experience and expertise quickly whilst minimising burden on the research community, we are using a light touch application process.

22. Outline (Stage 1) applications can be submitted online via a short application form specific to this call. Full details on how to apply are provided in the section below “Standard information for applicants”.

23. Based on advice from an independent expert committee, some proposals may be selected for commissioning after stage 1 while the committee may request bigger, more expensive or complex proposals be developed into a fuller proposal for a second stage of assessment.

24. Deadlines for three rounds of Stage 1 outline applications are 16th July 2020, 10th September 2020, and 22nd October 2020. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals only when ready to do so, to avoid slowing the system.

Commissioning process

25. Outline (Stage 1) applications will be subjected to a triage step and then reviewed by an expert committee. Incomplete applications, applications too remote from the issues set out in the research specification, or applications that have clearly inadequate presentation or methods may be rejected ahead of committee review.

26. We will inform applicants of the outcome shortly after the Stage 1 commissioning meetings. There are three outcome options: funded; request fuller application (see paragraph 24); not funded.

Standard information for applicants

1. The sections below provide standard information on different aspects of NIHR PRP funding and will contain details relevant to your application.

General comments about applications

2. The NIHR Policy Research Programme (NIHR PRP) is a national programme of research dedicated to providing an evidence base for policy-making through the Department of Health and Social Care. It provides information to the Secretary of State for Health and his Ministers directly and through policy directorates in the Department of Health and Social Care and covers all aspects of the Department’s policy-making activity.

3. Applications will be considered from other UK countries (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) provided they address the priority areas in a way that is relevant to the needs of the Department of Health and Social Care (England) and meet all other selection criteria.

4. Applicants are encouraged to submit multidisciplinary applications.

5. Applicants should consider the full range of potential audiences and describe how the research findings could be disseminated most effectively to ensure that the lessons from this research impact on policy and practice.

Application process

6. To access the research specification, applicant guidance and application form, please see the "supporting information" the funding post

7. The NIHR CCF runs an online application process and all applications must be submitted electronically. No applications will be accepted that are submitted by any means other than the online process. Deadlines for the submission of outline and full research applications occur at 1.00 pm on the day indicated and no applications can be accepted after this deadline.

8. We strongly recommend that you submit your application on the day before. Once the 1.00 pm deadline passes, the system shuts down automatically and CCF Programme Managers are unable to re-open it. If you are experiencing any technical difficulties submitting your application, please contact the CCF on 0208 843 8027 in good time, before 1.00 pm on the closing date.

9. Applicants are expected before submitting applications, to have discussed their applications with their own and any other body whose cooperation will be required in conducting the research.

10. In order for your full (Stage 2) application to be validated and submitted you are required to gain electronic approval from the relevant authorities before the application deadline. The Declarations page must be approved:

a) by the Lead Applicant to confirm that the content of the application is complete and correct.

b) by an administrative or finance officer for the contracting (host) institution to confirm that the financial details of the application are correct and that the host institution agrees to administer the award if made.

c) by a Head of Department or Senior Manager to confirm that they have read the application and that, if funded, the work will be accommodated and administered in the named institution and that the applicants may undertake the work.

11. The lead applicant is unable to validate and submit the application until this is completed.

Commissioning process

12. Please be aware this call will not be following a standard NIHR PRP commissioning cycle.

Standard NIHR PRP selection criteria

13. The Commissioning Committee members are directed to consider applications against the criteria stated in this research specification as well as selection criteria detailed below:

- RELEVANCE of the proposed research to the research specification

a. How relevant is the proposal in relation to the research brief? Does it demonstrate awareness of and address recognised policy priorities?
b. Does it offer evidence of support from potential policy customers?
c. Does the application demonstrate clear links and build on existing evidence?

- QUALITY of the research design

a. How appropriate is the research design in relation to the proposal's stated objectives?
b. To what extent is the proposed design and methodology for all elements of the research well defined, appropriate, valid and feasible within the timeframe and resources requested?
c. To what extent does the research show originality and innovation?

- QUALITY of the work plan and proposed management arrangements

a. How appropriate are the work plan and project management arrangements? Have clear milestones/deliverables been proposed? How likely is it that these will be met within the specified timeframe?
b. Have the applicants identified key risks to delivery? Have these been adequately addressed?

- STRENGTH of the research team

a. Are the roles of the team members clearly described?
b. Does the Principal Investigator appear suitably qualified and experienced to lead the proposed work? If the PI is a junior researcher, is there adequate senior support in the wider team?
c. Are the skills and expertise available in the team adequate to achieve the stated objectives?

- IMPACT of the proposed work

a. Does the proposal offer demonstrable benefits to policy making? Does it offer an understanding of and a clear trajectory for how benefits might be achieved?
b. Does the proposal demonstrate readiness, intended as the ability to start quickly following funding decision?
c. Are the necessary clinical, academic, organisational links needed to support the research in place? Are dissemination and policy engagement plans clearly described and credible?

- VALUE for money (justification of the proposed costs)

a. Does the proposal sufficiently justify the resources required to deliver the proposed work?
b. Do the proposed costs demonstrate value for money?
c. Is the time committed by the applicants realistic to ensure delivery?

Research governance

14. Day-to-day management of this research will be provided by the principal investigator. They and their employers should ensure that they identify, and are able to discharge effectively, their respective responsibilities under the Health Research Authority (HRA) UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research (Health Research Authority, 2018) , which sets out the broad principles of good research governance.

15. All successful research involving National Health Service (NHS) and social care users, carers, staff, data and/or premises must be approved by the appropriate research ethics committee (REC) or social care research ethics committee (SCREC). For further information on RECs, please visit the Health Research Authority website: http://www.hra.nhs.uk/

16. The successful research team must adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation and the new Data Protection Act (2018) and the Freedom of Information Act (2000). Effective security management, and ensuring personal information and assessment data are kept secure, will be essential. In particular:

  • The research team shall, at all times, be responsible for ensuring that data (including data in any electronic format) are stored securely. The research team shall take appropriate measures to ensure the security of such data, and guard against unauthorised access thereto, disclosure thereof, or loss or destruction while in its custody.

  • Personal data shall not be made available to anyone other than those employed directly on the project by the research team, to the extent that they need access to such information for the performance of their duties.

17. For any research involving clinical trials, the successful team will be expected to be familiar with the Medical Research Council (MRC) Framework for Evaluating Complex Interventions, and to follow the principles of the MRC Guidelines for Good Clinical Practice in Clinical Trials in proposing structures for oversight of such trials and comply with the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004.

18. The Institution leading the proposal should confirm that it has the capacity and is prepared to take on sponsorship responsibilities for clinical trials undertaken as part of the programme. Where the proposal includes a proposal for multi-site clinical trial activities the research unit should demonstrate that they have the experience of governance and management of clinical trials across multiple clinical trial sites.

Risk management

19. Applicants should submit, as part of their proposal, a summary explaining what they believe will be the key risks to delivering their research, and what contingencies they will put in place to deal with them.

20. A risk is defined as any factor which may delay, disrupt or prevent the full achievement of a project objective. All risks should be identified. The summary should include an assessment of each risk, together with a rating of the risks likelihood and its impact on a project objective (using a high, medium or low classification for both). The risk assessment should also identify appropriate actions that would reduce or eliminate each risk, or its impact

21. Typical areas of risk for an evaluation study might include ethical approval, site variation in data gathering, staffing, resource constraints, technical constraints, data access and quality, timing, management and operational issues; however, please note this is not an exhaustive list.

Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)

22. The NIHR Policy Research Programme expects the active involvement of patients and the public (e.g. service users and carers) in the research that it supports, where appropriate and proportionate to the work proposed. The nature and extent of patient and public involvement (PPI) is likely to vary depending on the context of the study. Applicants should describe how the issue of PPI will be addressed throughout the research process. For example, this could include patient and public involvement in refining research questions, designing research instruments, advising on approaches to recruitment, assisting in the collection and analysis of data, participation or chairing advisory and steering groups, and in the dissemination of research findings.

23. Applicants are required to detail what active involvement is planned, how it will benefit the research and the rationale for their approach. PPI needs to be undertaken in a manner that acknowledges that some people may need additional support, or to acquire new knowledge or skills to enable them to become involved effectively (see INVOLVE publications for guides for researchers). Applicants should consider what arrangements may be needed for training and support, and PPI costs must be reflected and clearly indicated in application form. Where no PPI is proposed, a rationale for this decision must be given.

24. For further information and guidance about PPI, please visit the INVOLVE website: http://www.invo.org.uk/

Outputs and reporting arrangements

25. The research team will be expected to provide regular progress reports over the lifetime of the research and will be provided with a progress report template to complete at regular intervals. In addition to describing progress, these reports will allow researchers to indicate any significant changes to the agreed protocol, as well as setting down milestones for the next reporting period, giving an update on PPI and any publications or other outputs. Information on emergent findings that can feed more immediately into policy development will be encouraged and should be made available as appropriate.

26. Where applicable, a final report on the research, with an accessible executive summary, will be required within one month following completion of the research. The report may be peer reviewed and will be circulated among relevant stakeholders within the Department of Health and Social Care and its partners. A summary of the final report will be placed in the public domain, on the NIHR Policy Research Programme web pages found at: http://www.nihr.ac.uk/prp. This is where the outputs resulting from expenditure of public funds are made available for public scrutiny so it is important that the summary of your final report is easily accessible to the lay reader.

27. Research contractors are obliged to give at least 28 days notice before submission of any publication arising from research funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme. In this instance, ‘publication’ concerns any presentation, paper, press release, report or other output for public dissemination arising from a research project funded by the NIHR PRP. Research contractors remain under an obligation to provide notice even after the contract has ended. Publication of NIHR PRP-commissioned research is subject to prior consent of the Secretary of State, which will not be withheld unreasonably and cannot be withheld for more than three months from the time the publication is submitted.

Dissemination

28. Applicants should describe how the research findings could be disseminated most effectively, ensuring that results of this research impact on policy and practice in the NHS, DHSC, social care and wider sectors.

29. Publication of scientifically robust research results is encouraged. This could include plans to submit papers to peer reviewed journals, national and regional conferences aimed at service providers, professional bodies and professional leaders. It might also include distribution of executive summaries and newsletters.

30. Consideration of novel approaches aimed at making findings more accessible to a policy audience in a timely manner are strongly encouraged.

Transparency

31. In line with the government’s transparency agenda, any contract resulting from this tender may be published in its entirety to the general public. Further information on the transparency agenda is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-and-contracting-transparency-requirements-guidance

32. If you wish to view the standard terms and conditions of the NIHR Policy Research Programme contract, please go to: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/funding-and-support/funding-for-research-studies/manage-my-study/contracts-and-intellectual-property.htm

Contacts

33. General enquiries regarding the application and commissioning process can be directed to the NIHR PRP CCF Help Desk by telephone at 020 8843 8027 or by email to prp@nihr.ac.uk.