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Global Health Policy and Systems Research


The Global Health Policy and Systems Research (Global HPSR) programme aims to support health policy and systems research that is directly and primarily of benefit to people in low and middle income countries (LMICs).

The Global Health Policy and Systems Research (Global HPSR) programme funds research to improve access to appropriate and affordable health services aligned with the aims of Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3. The first phase of the programme had three core elements:

  • Development Awards (2019): Planning awards of ~£100k that supported research planning and partnership development in preparation for submitting more substantial competitive applications
  • Commissioned Awards (2020): Awards of up to £4m over 4 years to address identified research priority areas 
  • Researcher-Led Awards (2021): Awards of up to £4M over 4 years in any area of applied global HPSR

In November 2022, NIHR launched a further call for applied health policy and systems research to fund:

  • Projects - applied health policy and systems research projects up to £1m for up to three years
  • Consortia - broad ambitious programmes of health policy and systems research and capacity strengthening delivered through a consortium of partners up to £4m for up to five years


The aims of the programme are to support applied research to strengthen health policy and health systems for the benefit of people in ODA-eligible countries on the DAC list, through:

  • production and dissemination of high quality, contextually relevant research on health policy, health services and health systems strengthening to inform policy and practice in LMICs, which will lead to improved outcomes for the most vulnerable and address issues of health equity
  • support to equitable partnerships and networks between LMICs and/or LMIC and UK researchers to generate new research knowledge and evidence
  • relevant involvement and engagement with policy makers, communities, patients and the public, civil society organisations and charities throughout the research lifecycle
  • support for capacity strengthening activities and knowledge sharing to address needs and improve the health outcomes of people in LMICs

What we fund

The Global HPSR programme funds high quality applied health research to improve health systems and health services in ODA-eligible countries on the DAC list. This is achieved through development of equitable partnerships between LMIC and UK research institutions where relevant, engagement of stakeholders to identify and address priorities for research in health policy and health systems, and by supporting capacity strengthening and knowledge sharing.

Full details of all funded awards are available on NIHR Funding and Awards

Find out more about ODA eligibility

Our people

Applications to the Global HPSR programme are peer reviewed by professional and public reviewers, then considered by a funding committee. The committees recommend projects for funding to the Department of Health and Social Care, which approves which projects should be funded.

Members of NIHR Committees are required to declare any interests which conflict, or may be considered to conflict, with NIHR business, or may be perceived as influencing decisions made in the course of their work within NIHR programmes. All members are asked to complete the Register of Interest form (annually), 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.

NIHR registry of interests

 Committee chair

The Global HPSR Funding Committee is chaired by Professor Anne Mills.

Committee members

View the full membership of the Funding Committee.

Meeting minutes


To date the Global HPSR programme has held two funding calls as part of a series of three complementary research funding opportunities. These have been informed by stakeholder engagement, including the development of a global HPSR community of interest.

Development awards

Development awards support equitable partnerships between researchers in LMICs and those in the UK to: 

  • identify and engage relevant stakeholders (policy makers and LMIC communities) 
  • undertake a needs-assessment and identify local priorities for research

The aim is that the work undertaken during a development award will support an application for future research funding from the Global HPSR programme. 

The first call opened June 2019, and offered funding of up to £100,000 per award for a duration of up to 9 months, 

Commissioned awards

A commissioned funding opportunity was held in September to December 2019, to award funding aligned with the WHO campaign to promote universal health coverage towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

The call awarded funding of up to 4 years and up to £4 million per award.

Researcher-led awards

These awards provide funding to research consortia to deliver applied global health policy and systems research to address policy and health systems for people in LMICs through equitable partnerships. Consortia include two Joint Leads (LMIC/LMIC or LMIC/UK institutions) and up to an additional three research institutions in LMICs.

Through this call, awards of up to £4 million maximum (typical range £1-4 million) for a period of up to 4 years are available for eligible research.

Contact us

We offer a wide variety of assistance during all stages of the research process. If in doubt, please get in touch.


Our operating hours are 9am to 5pm.

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