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School for Public Health Research - Guidance for applicants

 

Contents

INTRODUCTION

The vision of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. 

This document sets out the process for a new open competition to renew and refresh membership of the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR), and invites eligible academic institutions to apply. The school brings together leading academic institutions in England which demonstrate excellence in public health research, with an emphasis on findings that can be applied across the whole country. The school complements existing NIHR funding streams as well as other schemes within the wider public health landscape such as the Public Health Research programme, the Public Health Policy Research Unit, the Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND) and the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP). There has been increasing attention on the importance of public health research in recent years so it is more important than ever that the NIHR SPHR continues to be a valuable addition to the current landscape and evolve with the changing priorities of policy and practice outlined in recent papers.  

Selection to NIHR SPHR will be via a two-stage process:

Stage 1 – This call invites those academic institutions in England able to demonstrate excellence in public health research to submit an application. The first stage will select the institutional members of the school;

Stage 2 – Involves all successful academic members of the school from Stage 1 in the development of a shared business plan, detailing the future research programme and research capacity development programme of the school.

Over five years, funding of over £25 million will be available to support the school in these functions for the research and capacity building contracts. There may be scope for an additional £2-4 million investment to focus on novel approaches to public health priorities and ground breaking ideas to enhance the SPHR offering to the public health landscape. The school will hold two contracts: a research contract with the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (NIHR CCF) and a capacity building contract with the NIHR Academy.  

 

BACKGROUND

The NIHR SPHR was launched in April 2012, as a partnership between eight leading Academic Centres with excellence in applied public health research in England. Most recently the school’s membership was refreshed through an open competition with the current contract beginning in April 2017. 

The main purpose in establishing the NIHR SPHR was to carry out world class research in public health in order to promote healthy lives and improve population health. The establishment of the NIHR SPHR supported the commitment to tackling public health challenges highlighted in the White Paper, Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England (November 2010). As previously mentioned there has been increased attention for public health research in recent years with specific papers highlighting priorities and the future direction of travel for the landscape, including the Prevention Green Paper and Health of the public in 2040. These papers have not only highlighted areas of need, but have led to increased funding of £12 million for prevention research and the establishment of the NIHR Public Health Operational Group to try out new ways of supporting local authorities to become research active and encouraging the co-production of research between academics and practitioners. 

The NIHR is committed to improving the evidence base for public health practice and policy to improve the nation’s health and wellbeing. There is a continuing need to develop capacity and capability in public health research in England. The intention is to build on the success of the school by refreshing and renewing the membership through an open competition. 

The current school undertakes a wide range of research projects and programmes, as well as school-wide research programmes with a focus on major public health challenges, including public mental health, children, young people & families, efficient and equitable public health systems and health inequalities. 

The purpose of the new competition is to enable funding of a renewed and refreshed NIHR SPHR from 01 April 2022. It will enable the school to continue to fulfil its mission by helping to build on the progress made in the previous funding phases. It will also enable the members to evolve the NIHR SPHR and its research to ensure that ambitious and groundbreaking research further impacts public health policy and practice.

Distinctive to this new phase of the school, is the explicit aim to strengthen the public health research sector more broadly, with a requirement for members of the school to share their expertise with non-member institutions. There will be a strong emphasis on engaging, collaborating and partnering with institutions beyond the school membership. 

AIMS AND SCOPE OF NIHR SPHR

The aim of the NIHR SPHR is to increase the evidence base for effective public health practice. Its purpose is to:

  • To conduct high-quality research to increase evidence to support applied public health research and evidence. 
  • Through a programme of research, to produce new data and knowledge through high quality research to inform the development of public health practice.
  • To engage with broader stakeholders in public health to inform high quality, relevant research.
  • To create an environment where first class public health research, focussed on the needs of the public, can thrive.
  • To support local public health practitioners and policy makers to engage with research and actively seek out high quality research evidence to inform their decisions.
  • To provide strategic leadership for the development of public health research and public health research capacity across the sector.
  • To develop future research leaders by providing multidisciplinary training and career development opportunities for all researchers who can contribute to public health research and practice.
  • To facilitate collaborations and linkages with other strategic partners both within and outside the NIHR.
  • To disseminate findings, support other knowledge transfer activities and increase the visibility of the school across the public health sector.

The NIHR SPHR will work collaboratively across the sector to:

  • Consult widely on research priorities
  • Focus on applied public health research, with an emphasis on health improvement but also looking at possible ways to engage with other elements of public health, such as health protection, law, engineering, environmental science, economics, etc.
  • Conduct high-quality peer-reviewed research to produce new knowledge including, where appropriate, reviewing and synthesising existing knowledge
  • Place emphasis on what works practically and can be applied across the whole of England
  • Inform the future development of public health practice
  • Add value to research and associated activities funded by the school in Phases I and II.
  • Comprise of leading academic centres of applied public health research in England
  • Build a closer relationship between public health researchers and relevant stakeholders such as local government and other public health bodies in England as well as patients, service users and practitioners.  
  • Commit to the ongoing support and development of researchers’ and practitioner-academics career and personal and professional development. 
  • Ensure that local public health needs are taken into consideration and innovative local practices are evaluated for potential wider population benefit. 
  • Engage with public health institutions external to SPHR to increase the public health evidence base, build capacity and provide career development opportunities across the sector. 
  • Provide evidence to inform decision-making and best practice by public health professionals  
  • Complement other NIHR programmes and projects

 

ELIGIBILITY

To achieve membership of the school, academic institution members will need to have a track-record of world-leading research within public health research. The NIHR is open to joint applications between universities where it is clear that such a collaboration will be beneficial to the success of the school as a whole. Such consortium applications should meet the elements of the selection criteria outlined in the guidance document.

Only academic institutions based in England and conducting applied public health research with an expected benefit for the population of England will be accepted for consideration.

 

FUNDING 

Funding will be awarded for a five-year period starting 01 April 2022. The school will be supported by NIHR research funding of over £25 million over this period. This will be awarded through a renew and refresh open competition to academic institution members with an excellent track record of applied public health research in England. The level of funding will be decided by the Department of Health and Social Care taking into account the number of successful school members. 

The school will also hold a contract overseen by the NIHR Academy for research capacity development over five years. The terms and work plan to accompany this contract will be set during the business planning phase of the commissioning process, during which there will need to be consideration given to strategic alignment of the NIHR Academy and SPHR’s portfolio.

More information on the business planning process will be made available to successful applicants. 

Continuation of funding over the five-year contract period will depend upon satisfactory performance, as determined by the Department of Health and Social Care.

 

SELECTION PROCESS AND TIMETABLE

The membership of the NIHR SPHR will be renewed and refreshed via an open competition.

The selection process will consist of two stages. The first stage will select the institutional members of the school via this application process. Written applications will be assessed by an independent expert advisory committee, which will provide recommendations as to which applicants should go forward as members of the school. NIHR SPHR members will be confirmed by the Department of Health and Social Care. Once the membership of the renewed school has been decided, there will be a separate application process for the role of director. The school director will provide leadership for the school and be accountable for its day-to-day operation. Only the lead applicant from each of the successful members of the school will be eligible to apply for the directorship. Further details on this process will be communicated to successful institutions. 

The second stage will involve the development of a shared business plan by all academic institution members once these are selected at Stage 1. The plan should set out in detail the future research programme of the school, covering 01 April 2022 to 31 March 2027. The new members should work together to formulate this plan, describing school activities and the resources needed to support these. The business plan will be submitted to the Department of Health and Social Care for approval. Once this business plan has been approved by the Department of Health and Social Care, contracts will be signed, applicants will become full members of the NIHR SPHR and the work of the school will commence. 

The timetable we are aiming for is as follows:

  • 08 October 2020 – NIHR invites applications from suitably qualified institutions; 
  • 28 January 2021– Application submission deadline;
  • March/April 2021 – Selection committee reviews applications and provides recommendations to the Department of Health and Social Care on the membership of the NIHR SPHR;
  • April/ May 2021 – The Department of Health and Social Care confirms selection of NIHR SPHR members;
  • May 2021 - SPHR director application process;
  • May/June 2021 to 31 January 2022  – Business plan development;
  • Beginning 2022 - The Department of Health and Social Care approve business plan;
  • 01 April 2022 – NIHR SPHR new contract start date.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

The selection criteria will be:

  • The range and quality of relevant internationally-excellent public health research and researchers at the academic department; 
  • The critical mass of expertise in public health research and related disciplines, such as health protection, law, engineering, environmental science, economics, etc.;
  • The existing research capacity and plans for increasing research capacity; including evidence of commitment to training and career development progression at all career stages. 
  • Evidence that the academic institution is committed to build research capacity over the award period and beyond to include:-
    • in line with what is needed in public health practice and
    • in broadening out to professions and communities that have traditionally had a low research base 
  • Evidence that the academic institution will provide a supportive environment for early career researchers, including evidence that they have considered and taken account of issues related to equality, diversity and inclusion in supporting the careers of new researchers. 
  • Evidence of the academic institution collaborating with external researchers, organizations, decision makers, users, clinicians and practitioners to develop better evidence and achieve wider impact for public health research
  • The strength of prospective members’ strategic and ambitious plans to develop public health research, both within the school and more widely;
  • The strength of the strategic plan for public and community involvement, engagement and participation;
  • The relevance of the research for the broader public health stakeholders, such as local authorities, policy officials and other appropriate public health bodies 
  • The potential impact of the research, in relation to public health practice and policy.

 

COMPLETING THE APPLICATION FORM

Applicants wishing to be considered for membership of the NIHR SPHR will be expected to submit an application demonstrating their excellence in conducting public health research. 

These notes are intended to provide an overview only and applicants should note that the application form provides focused online guidance prompts. 

Please also note that you must use the correct online application form for the current competition.

 

Reference number

While preparing your application, and until such time as you submit, a randomly generated pre-submission number will be assigned to your entry online. You should note this number as you may need it for any subsequent enquiries whilst the call is open. 

Once you have successfully submitted your form, a formal SPHR specific reference number for your application will be generated that will be unique to your submission. This will take the form of a standard reference (NIHR2XXXX). 

The application will need to set out:

 

  1. Details of the proposed NIHR SPHR member

Please provide details of the applying academic institution: 

  • The university 
  • The proposed NIHR SPHR organisation’s lead for this application
  • Is this a consortium bid?
    • Please note: Your application should explain the rationale for the consortium collaboration and how it would contribute to the success of the school against the selection criteria given in the guidance document. In terms of how to apply, there should be only five key researchers and their associated outputs listed in the application rather than five individuals from each member of the consortium.
  • The contact details for the lead applicant of the applying university or consortium

 

  1. Summary of the application 

Please summarise the background and aims of the proposal, the goals and objectives of the proposed SPHR member, and the potential impact the proposal will have when delivered. 

This section should highlight key messages and ambitious ideas within the application. It should also indicate why your institution should be included as a member of the SPHR. 

This summary should be written in plain English and aimed at members of the public, rather than researchers or professionals. It should be written clearly and simply, without jargon and with an explanation of any technical terms that have to be included. If we feel that your summary is not clear and of a good quality then you may be required to amend your summary prior to any final approval of funding. 

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

  • those carrying out the review (reviewers and committee members) to have a better understanding of your research proposal
  • inform others about your planned research such as members of the public, health  professionals, policy makers and the media
  • the research funders to publicise the research that they fund.

It is helpful to involve patients / carers / members of the public in developing a plain English summary. 

Guidance on writing in plain English is available online at NIHR ‘make it clear’ www.invo.org.uk/makeitclear/ .

For further support and advice on writing a plain English summary, please contact your local Research Design Service (where applicable). https://www.nihr.ac.uk/explore-nihr/support/research-design-service.htm 

 

  1. Overview of existing public health research activity

Please provide (in no more than 1,400 words) an overview of: 

  • The range and quality of relevant world-leading applied public health research at your academic institution
  • The existing strengths and track record of the proposed NIHR SPHR member in conducting public health research
  • The track record of the academic institution in translating research into benefits for patients, the public, communities, policy and practice. 
  • Any evidence of the academic institution working to identity and tackle high priority areas in public health to support policy makers and practitioners
  • Evidence of working in partnership with other organisations and institutions to develop the field of public health research

 

  1. Researchers

Please describe the leadership and expertise of the research leads associated with this application and outline the role each member of the research team will play in the programme on a day-to-day basis. The breadth of the wider research team within the organisation should be described, as well as evidence of a sustainable structure to support the school and manage the contract. 

This section should provide (in no more than 2,500 words):

  • The names and disciplinary background of the key researchers within your proposed research team (along with whole time equivalents) who will be actively involved in a successful proposal (up to 5 key researchers including the lead applicant)
  • Evidence that your proposed research team has a sustainable staff structure for supporting high quality public health research and for day-to-day management of the school
  • Details of the unique expertise relevant to public health research that your proposed research team will bring to the school
  • The leadership and expertise demonstrated by the key research leads associated with this application should be clearly demonstrated and include: 
    • Evidence that they are at the forefront of their field 
    • Evidence of their ability to influence public health practice
    • Their respective track records in terms of (a) publication output, (b) success in attracting external research funding and (c) conducting successful and useful research for public health practice
    • Their capacity to be fully involved with the work of the school and ability to collaborate effectively with other institutions
  • Each researcher’s capacity to be fully involved with the work of the school
  • Evidence of experience in commissioning research.

Please also specify the amount of time (either as a percentage or proportion of a full time equivalent (FTE)) to be spent working on the programme. The combined percentage FTE of the 5 key researchers should be approximately 1.0 (100%) FTE. 

A Curriculum Vitae for each of the 5 key researchers is considered mandatory for submission. These should be attached to the application as a supporting document in the Supporting Document section using the Attach. All the templates are available to download from the Research Management System, once a pre-submission application is created by the lead applicant.

N.B. The designated key researchers should not change between submission of the application and the signing of the contract. Any changes will be subject to re-assessment by the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility and the Department of Health and Social Care. 

 

  1. Research Strategy 

Please provide (in no more than 2,500 words) the overall strategy to act as a centre of excellence in public health research and details of future strategic aims and goals. It is suggested that the strategy should illustrate how the applicant plans to contribute to the direction of travel for domestic public health indicated in the Strategic Coordination of Health of the Public Research committee (SCHOPR) principles and goals as well as the 2019 Prevention Green Paper. This section should briefly describe: 

  • Details of specific short (1-2 years), medium (2-3 years) and long term (4-5 years) objectives and activities and how they fit into the overall aims of the NIHR SPHR
  • How the academic institution will support the NIHR SPHR in delivering its objectives
  • How the academic institution will build on and consolidate what the NIHR SPHR has achieved to date
  • How the academic institution will ensure that its research is relevant to wider public health stakeholders
  • How the academic institution will involve patients, communities, the public and public health professionals in the proposed research programme
  • How the academic institution will translate advances in public health research into benefits for patients, communities, the public and public health professionals 
  • How the academic institution will provide high quality research evidence to underpin public health practice
  • How the academic institution will share research expertise and opportunities to increase capacity and opportunities in non-member institutions, local authorities and public health practitioners
  • How the academic institution will build and adapt NIHR SPHR for its third phase to encourage groundbreaking research. We would like applicants to think outside of the box and identify examples of groundbreaking public health research that could be accomplished if a further 10 - 20% funding were available. We are keen for NIHR SPHR to be more ambitious so that it continues to play a strong role in world-leading public health research and aligns with key priorities in public health policy and practice. Possible examples could include an evidence synthesis service for local government, further collaborative and co-produced research with local authorities, bridging the gaps between the various elements of public health, such as health protection; additional capacity building (see below) as well as any other novel and ambitious ideas to increase the immediate impact of the NIHR SPHR on public health policy and practice

 

  1. Research capacity development

Please describe (in no more than 2,000 words):

  • Existing research capacity development of the academic institution, to include:
    • Facilities, support and infrastructure that the academic institution can provide
    • Research and training posts for public health researchers at all stages of the career pathway
    • Evidence of research capacity development impact including career progression data
  • How the academic institution will build research capacity over the award period and beyond to include:
    • in line with what is needed in public health practice (with a view to building research capacity within local authorities and relevant sectors, furthering the development of a cohort of practitioner academics) and
    • in broadening out to professions (with a view to supporting future research leaders from a range of professional groups/disciplines and 'wider public health' professions; including architects, planners, environmental scientists, economists etc.) and communities that have traditionally had a low research base.
  • How the academic institution will provide a supportive environment for early career researchers including evidence that they have considered and taken account of issues related to equality, diversity and inclusion in supporting the careers of new researchers. 
  • What partnerships, linkages with practice and wider capacity building support the academic institution would bring to the school
  • The academic institution’s contribution to the principle of strengthening capacity development of other institutions beyond the core membership
  • The proposed leadership mechanisms that will have oversight of the capacity building work and how these feed into local management and governance structures.
  • How the institution might want to boost/expand its ambition for research capacity development if there were an additional 10% or 20% funding (see section above). 

 

  1. Collaboration and strategic partnerships

Please describe (in no more than 1,400 words) the applicants’ track record of working collaboratively, and future plans to work collaboratively, and more widely, with others in public health. In addition, please explain the applicants’ contribution to each of the collaborations described. This section should include:

  • Existing collaborations and future plans for collaborative work with other researchers outside the academic institution, whether locally, nationally, or internationally which you consider relevant to this application. Please highlight which collaborations (will) also include public health research capacity development.
  • Existing strategic partnerships, particularly with stakeholders in local agencies on locally defined needs, and the statutory and independent sectors which you consider relevant to this application. Please also describe the strategy to develop new partnerships that will benefit the school. We would like researchers to ensure research is being conducted in areas of greatest need where health inequalities and disparities in health are widest.
  • Existing collaborations and future plans for synergistic work with other disciplines relevant to public health.
  • Existing links and also future plans to form strong links with stakeholders, such as public health bodies, local government, other academic institutions and evidence users.
  • Please describe how you will resource manage and monitor impact on SPHR resources of new collaborative work. The application should include plans on how proposed future collaborative work, supported by SPHR resources, will catalyse collaboration and be monitored to ensure the collaboration achieves impact. Please indicate what success would look like and how it would justify the resource allocation.

 

  1. Impact on public health practice and policy

Please describe (in no more than 1,400 words):

  • The impact of the proposed research, particularly in relation to public health practice or policy in England. Please include specific measures of success that will demonstrate the achieved impact
  • The strategy taken by the proposed research team to achieve impact from its research 
  • The proposed approach to communicating and disseminating results to different audiences 

 

  1. Public and community involvement, engagement and participation

The NIHR places a significant importance on the involvement of members of the public in the research it supports. 

Please describe (in no more than 1,400 words) the academic institution’s track record and future plans for  public and community  involvement, engagement and participation in research. This section should consist of a summary of:

  • The institution’s strategic objectives for public and community  involvement, engagement and participation; including attention to diversity and inclusion.
  • Programme(s) of activity to deliver the strategic objectives including involvement and engagement across the research themes in capacity development as well as the organisational structure of the institution itself.
  • Resources that the institution commits to delivering the programme of activities;
  • Relevant strategic and operational partnerships and collaborations;
  • Processes for monitoring and review that includes capturing examples of impact.
  • Leadership mechanisms that ensure progress in delivering the plans feed into the management and governance processes of the institution. Within this, please demonstrate plans for lay involvement in governance.   
  • Plans for embedding the UK standards for public involvement

NOTE: Involvement, engagement and participation in research are distinct but often interrelated activities. Please use NIHR’s definitions of ‘involvement’, ‘engagement’ and ‘participation’ to differentiate between these areas in your response: http://www.invo.org.uk/posttyperesource/what-is-public-involvement-in-research/.

Further information and resources are available from INVOLVE website; the NIHR Research Design Service provides advice on applications and the James Lind Alliance has a step-by-step guidebook on involvement in research identification and priority setting.

 

 10. External Research Funding

The volume and source of relevant external research funding received by the academic institution provides an indication of the quality and scale of public health research conducted as well as the capacity to leverage external sources of research funding.

Please provide details of the external research funding received by the applying academic institution for research directly relevant to public health research from 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2020. The list should include all the relevant awards that started after 1 January 2015, irrespective of their end date. Please indicate the total amount that was awarded to the organization applying to SPHR for that particular award. Please provide details of the research funder, administering organisation, award title, Principal Investigator, start and end dates and the amount awarded. You are able to include relevant infrastructure funding, awarded to the department or part of your organisation applying to be a member of SPHR. 

Please download and complete the template provided in the online application form. This should then be attached to the application as a supporting document using the Attach on this page. All the templates are available to download from the Research Management System, once a pre-submission application is created by the lead applicant.


11. Publications and outputs

The number and nature of publications and outputs produced by the proposed research team provides an important indication of the research productivity, quality and usefulness in the relevant research field. We are particularly interested in publications and outputs that have directly impacted public health policy and practice.  Please provide:

  • Please list 10 relevant publications for each member of the proposed research team included in the application (between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2020 inclusive). We ask that each member of the proposed research team provide 3 examples of influential publications or outputs and explain how and why these outputs were influential then list up to 7 publications or outputs that you consider to be the most relevant to public health research.  (Maximum 50 publications total)

The Selection committee will contextualise the publication data by reviewing these alongside the Curriculum Vitae submitted.

Papers accepted for publication and accessible online before 31 December 2020 can be included in the submission. Papers accepted but not available online or in print until next year should not be included in the list of publications submitted with the application.

Please download and complete the template provided in the online application form. This should then be attached to the application as a supporting document using the Attach on this page. All the templates are available to download from the Research Management System, once a pre-submission application is created by the lead applicant.

 

12. Supporting Documentation

The following supporting files are mandatory for submission, please attach:

  • Curriculum vitae for each of the five key research leads

Please note that all supporting documentation uploaded should be given concise and clear filename descriptions. These should be headed by a numbered ‘Appendix’ and a brief filename description that clearly describes the file (e.g. Appendix 1_CV surname).

No more than 5 separate files are permitted. The total file size should not exceed 5Mb.  Total file sizes larger than this may not be considered as part of this submission.   

We strongly recommend that only .doc or .pdf files are uploaded as some file types are not supported by the system (such as .xls and .zip file types which will not render out into the final version of the application form). Should you wish to upload documents of other file types, we encourage you check that they appear in the PDF of the application form prior to submission as changes cannot be made after the deadline has passed. 

 

13. Declarations and Signatures 

Applications are considered confidential by the NIHR CCF and all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that this confidentiality is not breached. Further information and guidance can be found within the Confidentiality and Guidance Document.  

Applicants are asked to declare any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that they may have in undertaking this research, including any relevant personal, non-personal and 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.

Applicants are asked to name the appropriate representative from the University (host approver). The chosen representative must approve the application to confirm that they fully endorse the application and that appropriate support will be provided to the NIHR SPHR should the application be successful. This is a requirement of submission of the application.

The host approver must log onto the online system, open the application by clicking ‘Edit’ and tick the checkbox on the declaration and signatures page in addition to approving the application on the summary page. The application will not be valid until both steps have been completed.

 

14. Validation summary

This section will display all the outstanding fields you will need to ‘validate’ as requested. Once complete the 'Submit' button becomes available and is then used.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

Corporate identity

Successful applicants will be required to comply with NIHR identity guidelines, or any other guidelines as may be issued from time to time by the Department of Health and Social Care, in respect to all communications issued by NIHR SPHR.

Monitoring and performance management

Appropriate arrangements will be established to advise the Department of Health and Social Care on the strategic direction and performance of the NIHR SPHR. 

The Department of Health and Social Care will review the performance of the NIHR SPHR, and its constituent academic members, regularly against the Business Plan.

The continuation of an academic member institution as a member of the NIHR SPHR will be dependent on satisfactory performance, as judged by the Department of Health and Social Care. 

SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION

Academic institutions that are interested in being considered for the NIHR SPHR should complete and submit the online form which is available on the NIHR CCF website: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/researchers/funding-opportunities/  

Please adhere to the word limits stated within the form. Only information submitted up to this word limit can be assessed.

All supporting documents should be completed in font no smaller than 10-point Arial.

Accessing the Form

Your Pre-submission Reference Number

This is the reference number of your application. It is important to make a note of this number as you will need it for any enquiries. 

Submitting Your Application

Please make sure that all fields have been completed and that all supporting documents are attached. After completing your application, follow the submission checklist below to submit your forms to NIHR CCF. 

Submission Checklist

  • Ensure that all fields have been completed
  • Ensure that all supporting documents are named appropriately 
  • Attach supporting documents to the application
  • Ensure supporting documents render properly in the PDF

Upon submission you will receive an automated email confirming successful delivery of your application and providing you with an application reference number. It is important to make a note of this number as you will need it for any enquiries. If your application is successful, this reference number will stay with the programme for its lifetime. 

Your application will be checked by the NIHR CCF to ensure that all elements comprising the application have been received; you will then receive a second email confirming that it is complete. Please keep this second confirmation email as evidence that your completed application has been received. If you do not receive this email within two working days of submission of your application, please contact the NIHR CCF. 

Please note that while the confirmation email reaffirms that all documents comprising the application have been submitted, and that all mandatory fields have been completed, it does not guarantee that it meets the requirements of the assessment process. 

A live document containing frequently asked questions about the NIHR SPHR competition will be available, and updated regularly, on the NIHR CCF website: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/researchers/funding-opportunities/

We wish to ensure that applicants fully understand what is needed in their applications before submission. We are therefore very happy to respond to requests for clarification from the application lead or their nominated person. We cannot, of course, provide advice on what an applicant should say or how they should say it. 

Members of the selection committee are bound by confidentiality and are not able to discuss this scheme with applicants. Any enquiries should be sent to: researchschools@nihr.ac.uk

If you have submitted the wrong version of a document, please let us know and we can return the application for you to attach the correct version. You will be permitted to resubmit the application up until the submission deadline.

 

SUBMISSION DEADLINE

The deadline for submitting the application is Thursday, 28 January 2021 at 1:00pm.