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Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation - Call 2 Frequently Asked Questions

 

Contents

This document provides answers frequently asked questions for call 2 of the NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) Global Health funding stream.

Scope/remit

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. The research must be focused on improving the health and welfare of the poorest and most vulnerable people in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). In order to be eligible to receive ODA funding, applications must demonstrate how they meet ODA compliance criteria.

Are all countries on the DAC-list, including Upper Middle Income Countries within remit?

Yes, all countries on the DAC list of ODA-eligible countries are appropriate targets for RIGHT Call 2. All applications should provide clear details of how the research will improve the health and welfare of the poorest and most vulnerable people in ODA-eligible countries.

Can you clarify what is expected in terms of the project delivering patient benefit?

Applications to RIGHT must demonstrate a trajectory to patient benefit in LMICs. Benefit to the poorest individuals living in LMICs is a major selection criteria for RIGHT applications. 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.

Is research into dementia within remit?

No, dementia is not in scope for RIGHT Call 2 which is focused on mental health issues.

Will stroke rehabilitation interventions be included?

This call is focused on mental health interventions, therefore the research has to have a dominant focus on interventions that improve or support mental health aspects of any condition. Mental health has to be the primary aim and focus of the work.

Is research into developmental disorders (including autism and/or intellectual disability) within remit?

This call is focused on mental health interventions, therefore the research has to have a dominant focus on interventions that improve or support mental health aspects of any condition. Mental health has to be the primary aim and focus of the work.

What could be an ideal scenario of a pathological condition for the following topic - development and evaluation of interventions targeting mental health as a co-morbidity?

There is no ideal scenario. The project should be aimed at the mental health aspects of the co-morbidity.

Is social care research in scope of RIGHT calls?

Applied health and social care research is eligible for RIGHT funding.

Would a very low income but employed population be eligible (within a DAC country)?

Yes, we expect the research to be aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable individuals in ODA eligible countries. Being employed does not preclude living in poverty or being a vulnerable member of the community.

If there have been major traumatic events for a population but limited data on diagnosed mental health conditions resulting from the events, what data would be eligible to support the application in terms of mental health conditions?

We are fundamentally interested in evaluation and development of interventions that support mental health outcomes: if you have an intervention that you think would be applicable in the circumstance you describe, you may wish to consider including an element of work to bolster or better understand the range or nature of the mental health issues in this particular context. However, please note that the main focus of your work must be on the mental health intervention - so demonstrating a clear need and potential benefit for that intervention from the outset will be important. We appreciate that this ‘needs’ evidence may not be complete or comprehensive at the application stage but the panel will need to make an assessment as to whether the need is clear and justifiable, and whether the programme of work is appropriately weighted to evaluation of the intervention.

To clarify, RIGHT call 2 will fund research in a post-event crisis setting environment, but not during a traumatic period or crisis.

Would you consider preventative interventions?

Yes, we would consider preventative interventions.

Is improving diagnosis an intervention?

Yes, this would be considered within scope for RIGHT Call 2.

Is implementation research within the scope if there is a robust evaluation, say before and after the implementation of the intervention, on the health benefit?

Yes, however as stated in the Guidance for Applicants, applications consisting solely of evaluations are not in remit. The evaluation should be part of a wider programme of work.

Would a programme of work to develop an intervention and then conduct a trial be eligible? You mentioned in the webinar that a trial wouldn't be eligible?

Yes, this would be in scope, to clarify, where a randomised controlled trail (RCT) is proposed we expect this to be part of a wider package of work (i.e. not the sole activity).

The call guidance states that applications solely comprising a single Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) will not be funded, please can you clarify?

To clarify: where an RCT is proposed we expect this to be part of a wider package of work (ie: not the sole activity). We do not require multiple RCTs in a proposal. A proposal consisting of varied work packages including one comprising a 'feasibility trial' would be in scope / eligible (providing that the feasibility trial is carried out in the LMIC setting).

Would epidemiological studies be considered?

Yes, provided it is part of a larger programme of work.

Are studies of diagnostic tests supported?

Stand-alone studies of diagnostic accuracy may be within the scope of RIGHT. There are a number of types of diagnostic study which will be considered by NIHR RIGHT.

(a) Diagnostic utility studies examine the value of a diagnostic test in improving patient outcomes in the LMIC setting, and are often designed as trials and powered on relevant clinical endpoints. Economic outcomes may also be important.

(b) The development of a new test or instrument that will be used in the LMIC setting and/or the broad assessment of its reliability and validity in that setting. These might range from questionnaires that identify mental states to molecular assays. Test development and/or testing for psychometric properties or analytic validity, as it is called in the ACCE framework, will only be supported where the test technology is required in the LMIC, the technology and/or instrument already relatively well-developed and there is a clear pathway to LMIC community and patient benefit.

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 views the provision of high quality, accessible information to LMIC communities and patients as conferring benefit, as such information can empower the community and patients to better manage their conditions and make informed choices about their treatment options and/or their participation in the research. However, the applicant must demonstrate that the relevant information is not already available to the community via another medium, and must make sure that their information resource format is appropriate to the LMIC context. Therefore, a RIGHT application that proposes an information resource output will need to include details of any existing information available, and a justification of the need for a new resource including details on the target audience and impact of the format of the proposed resource.

Is prospective collection and analysis of patient samples within scope?

Yes, as a wider programme of work, however as per the call guidance the call will not support the establishment of new Biobanks.

Will RIGHT fund basic science or experimental medicine?

RIGHT will not fund projects that are solely basic science. It may be possible to make a case for a project, which has an element of basic science, but the justification would need to be around the likely benefit to patients’ health in LMICs.

Eligibility

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, declare this on their application, and address any concerns raised by the original panel.

Can current NIHR GHR award holders apply to RIGHT Calls?

Yes, provided justification is given on how a new research project could be effectively supported.

Can organisations in LMICs be the host organisation?

No, DHSC can only issue contracts to UK based institutions.

Can the projects be based in an LMIC?

Yes, if the funding is routed through a UK institution and the lead applicant is employed by that same institution.

Can a higher education institution (HEI) submit multiple applications to RIGHT Calls?

Yes. There is no limit to the number of applications that a HEI can submit to the call.

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.

Funding

Will projects costed under £3m/over £5m be funded?

Proposals for projects costed under £3m will be considered, but projects costed above £5m will not be considered.

Can funding be disbursed to LMIC institutions?

Yes. We strongly encourage partnerships with LMIC researchers and institutions and would welcome this, at the discretion of the lead institution.

Are there any guidelines on how the funding should be split between the lead UK institution and any LMIC organisation?

There are no set guidelines as to the percentage breakdown of funding between partnering organisation. However, your research must be ODA eligible (directly and primarily of benefit to the LMIC partner) and it should be made clear in the application how funds will flow to the LMIC. All costs must be fully justified and reflect the principles of equitable partnerships.

Will LMIC partners receive direct funding from NIHR or via the lead UK institution?

As per the guidance, all funds will be provided to the host UK institution. The Host institution will be responsible for disbursing funds to the LMIC institution. Will RIGHT cover costs for training in LMICs? Yes, the RIGHT Call encourages inclusion of training for those based in LMICs to support capacity building.

Can you clarify eligible costs for PhD students for RIGHT?

LMIC-based PhD studentships are strongly encouraged as part of RIGHT applications. NIHR will fund full PhD costs for LMIC students based in LMICs NIHR will also fund PhD student fees for LMIC students based in LMICs but registered at an institution in a High Income Country (HIC).

In cases where the application includes LMIC PhD student’s fees at a HIC it is expected that Principal Investigator’s will negotiate with the HIC institution for reduced fees for the LMIC candidate.

English language training in the context of PhD registration is an eligible cost, provided clear justification and a strong value for money argument are given.

Please note: HIC PhD fees are eligible only for LMIC students. PhD fees for a HIC student registered at an HIC institution would not be eligible, regardless of the programme of study.

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 end-point.

Is the cost of UK-based project managers / supervisors which 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 were these support positions are best located.

I am planning on conducting a study / delivering an intervention in an LMIC healthcare setting. Can you explain how to categorise the costs?

If you are conducting research that requires an intervention to be delivered in the LMIC you are permitted to claim for External Intervention Costs (EIC). These are the costs that are additional to routine clinical treatment in the local setting. For comparison, in the UK these would be similar to NHS support or excess treatment costs.

Your proposal

Can the projects be based in an LMIC?

Yes, if the funding is routed through a UK institution and the lead applicant is employed by that same institution.

How many LMIC partners are expected?

As many as required to deliver the programme of work. However, please consider in your application the non-research resources required to manage multiple LMIC partners (e.g. Financial management, due diligence, programme management etc.)

Could you clarify if it is permitted to include more than one LMIC in the proposal and if this is preferred or if a single country applicant is equally acceptable?

There is no limit or preference on the number of LMICs that can be included as part of the research proposal. The number included should be as required to deliver the programme of work. Please consider in your application the non-research resources required to manage multiple LMIC partners.

What is the ideal size for a network? Number of partners?

The size of the network and number of partners is dependent on the number of individuals you consider is required to carry out the research, but should also be manageable, particularly if there are a number of new partners.

What is considered “value for money”?

The NIHR RIGHT programme considers good value for money as the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes. ‘Optimal’ being considered as ‘the most desirable possible given expressed or implied restrictions or constraints’. Value for money goes beyond achieving the lowest initial price and includes consideration of Economy, Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Equity (as appropriate) and what these mean in the context of a research proposal: 

Economy: Are we buying inputs of the appropriate quality at the right price? (Inputs are things such as staff, consultants, raw materials and capital that are used to produce outputs)

Efficiency: How well do we convert inputs into outputs? (Outputs are results delivered by us or our agents to an external party. We exercise strong control over the quality and quantity of outputs)

Effectiveness: How well are the outputs from an intervention achieving the desired outcome? (Note that in contrast to outputs, we do not exercise direct control over outcomes)

Equity: the extent to which the outputs of our interventions are equitably distributed.

What is considered to be appropriate community and public involvement in a RIGHT application?

In order to ensure that the research is appropriate as well as scientifically and ethically sound, relevant community groups and organisations from LMICs must be involved in a meaningful process that will help guide the research from its design to the dissemination of results.

There is no standard model for appropriate community and public involvement as RIGHT applications vary immensely.

Information and resources to assist you can be found on the INVOLVE website (a detailed definition of public involvement in researchbriefing notes for researchers on how to involve patients and the public and an involvement cost calculator and budgeting guide).

You may also find it helpful to refer to Mesh, a collaborative open-access web space that provides resources, encourages networking and shares good practice to bridge the gap between the research community and the general public in low and middle income countries.

For more information on community and public involvement please refer to the Community and Public Involvement webinar.

Do I need to complete and submit the RIGHT Due Diligence Form as part of my RIGHT Call 2 Stage 2 application?

No.

You are not required to submit the RIGHT Due Diligence Form with your RIGHT Call 2 Stage 2 application. This is only required if you are successful at Stage 2. For successful applicants, the host institute will be required to complete and submit the RIGHT Due Diligence Form as part of the contracting stage.

When is the deadline for submitting questions on the call remit or process?

Stage 1: 20 March 2019

Stage 2: 30 August 2019