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Evidence Synthesis

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The Evidence Synthesis Programme identifies, evaluates, combines and summarises information from a range of sources to provide decision makers with the best possible information about the effects of tests, treatments and other interventions used in health and social care.

The Evidence Synthesis Programme is funded by the NIHR, with contributions from the Chief Scientist Office (CSO) in Scotland, Health and Care Research Wales, and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.

We support the production of evidence synthesis through three funding streams:

  • Technology Assessment Review teams are funded by NIHR to provide NICE with independent research to inform their guidance committees
  • The Evidence Synthesis Programme Grant Scheme aims to produce high quality systematic reviews that are of direct benefit to users of the NHS in England.
  • The Evidence Synthesis Programme Incentive Award is available to Cochrane Review Groups and Campbell Collaboration Coordinating Groups to facilitate, and possibly accelerate review activity that is already planned or under way.

 

Scope

The Evidence Synthesis Programme identifies, evaluates, combines and summarises information from a range of sources to provide decision makers with the best possible information about the effects of tests, treatments and other interventions used in health and social care.

What we fund

Cochrane UK

Cochrane UK provides training and support to Cochrane entities and contributors to the Cochrane Collaboration in the UK, Ireland, and internationally.

Two work-streams focus on learning and development, and engagement, with a research programme supporting these activities. Learning and development opportunities are provided for a broad range of key NHS stakeholders, including patients and the public, healthcare workers, and policy makers and commissioners, these activities forming an important part of the engagement strategy.

Cochrane UK is a key link between the Collaboration, the Cochrane reviews, and the National Health Service, and promotes evidence-based decision-making and systematic reviews in general, and Cochrane reviews in particular. For more information see the Cochrane UK's Annual Reports.

Cochrane Review Groups

The NIHR funds the infrastructure costs for the 20 Cochrane Review Groups (CRG) listed below.  The Evidence Synthesis Programme manages the contracts of these groups on behalf of the NIHR. A full list of the groups, their contact details and further information can be found on the Cochrane Library

  • Airways
  • Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma
  • Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Diseases
  • Dementia and Cognitive Improvement
  • Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Effective Practice and Organisation of Care
  • Cancer
  • Heart
  • Incontinence
  • Injuries
  • Neuromuscular Disease
  • Oral Health
  • Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Schizophrenia
  • Skin
  • Tobacco Addiction
  • Wounds

 

Our people

To assess the applications the Evidence Synthesis Programme receives, a number of people are involved. This is to ensure that application selection is carried out in a way that embraces the latest expertise, knowledge and opinion. Selection is made through two funding panels: the Evidence Synthesis Programme Grants Funding Committee; and the Incentive Awards Funding Committee.

Find out more about becoming a reviewer or a Committee member.

Evidence Synthesis Programme Advisory Group (ESPAG)

Members of the ESPAG meets a maximum of twice a year for the purpose of advising the Programme Director on policy associated with the provision of support for the completion of systematic reviews, evidence synthesis and the future development for the NIHR-funded entities. Current funded entities include Cochrane UK, and the Cochrane Review Groups. The ESPAG also seeks to ensure all programmes of work are of scientific quality, relevant to the NHS, and show value for money through the management of annual reporting and monitoring.

Reviewers

Members of the ESPAG and Funding Committees are required to declare any interests which conflict, or may be considered to conflict, with Evidence Synthesis Programme business, or may be perceived as influencing decisions made in the course of their work with the programme. All members are asked to complete the Register of Interest form, which is intended to capture long term predictable interests that could be perceived to lead to conflicts of interest. These and other interests are judged on a case by case basis at individual meetings.

Contact us

For help with applications or support with Evidence Synthesis Programme funding, contact:

Email:  espinfo@nihr.ac.uk
Telephone: 023 80595542

Technology Assessment Reviews (TAR)

The Evidence Synthesis Programme manages the contracts for the eleven NIHR Technology Assessment Reviews (TAR) research teams. The teams respond to the urgent needs of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and other policy makers. The Evidence Synthesis Programme works with NICE and the teams to manage the allocation of the topics on their call off contract. Find out more about our work with NICE.

NICE’s role is to improve the outcomes for people using the NHS, and other public health and social care services. One of the ways it does this is by producing evidence-based guidance. NICE guidance contains systematically-developed recommendations based on the best evidence.

The TAR research teams provide NICE with the independent research it needs to inform its guidance committees, through a variety of different types of specialised report, suited to the decision-making process.

Working with other policy makers

TAR reviews can also be commissioned to provide evidence for other policy customers. The TAR research teams can respond quickly to requests, providing an important resource for policy makers, such as the National Screening Committee, Chief Medical Officer and NHS England.  TAR reports are independent, reliable and rigorous evidence assessments; they usually comprise a systematic review, cost-effectiveness and economic modelling.

The eleven TAR teams are:

The team can be contacted at esptar@nihr.ac.uk

Latest funding opportunities for Evidence Synthesis

All Evidence Synthesis funding opportunities

Latest news about Evidence Synthesis

Latest documents for Evidence Synthesis

NIHR research contract - NHS Trust example

This document provides an example of a standard NIHR research contract between the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and an NHS Trust.

NIHR standard contract - Commercial organisations example

This document provides an example of a standard research contract between Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and a commercial organisation, such as a life sciences company.

NIHR research contract - Higher education institution example

This document provides an example of a standard research contract between Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and a higher education institution (HEI).

ESP Evidence Synthesis Groups Stage 1 Shortlisting Committee Meeting Public Minutes - April 2022

Minutes from NIHR ESP ESG Stage 1 Shortlisting Committee Meeting, including shortlisting decisions for Stage 2.

NIHR Reviewers List 2021

A list of all external peer reviewers who reviewed for NIHR during 2020.

All Evidence Synthesis documents

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