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Health Services and Delivery Research

The Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme aims to produce rigorous and relevant evidence to improve the quality, accessibility and organisation of health and social care services.

The Health Services and Delivery Research Programme is funded by the NIHR with specific 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 many types of research, including primary research and evidence synthesis.

We are particularly keen to support ambitious evaluative research to improve health and social care services. Our research serves a variety of key stakeholders including: NHS managers, Clinical Research Networks (CRNs), clinicians, professionals and researchers, service users and carers, and the public.

All of our funded projects are eligible for publication in the NIHR Journals Library. This open access resource is freely available online, and provides a full and permanent record of NIHR-funded research.

The Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme funds research to produce evidence to impact on the quality, accessibility and organisation of health and social care services. This includes evaluations of how the NHS  and social care might improve delivery of services.

The audience for this research is the public, service users, clinicians, professionals and managers. The programme has two workstreams: researcher-led and commissioned.

The HS&DR Programme aims to support a range of types of research including evidence synthesis and primary research. This includes large scale studies of national importance. This means primary research projects which:

  • address an issue of major strategic importance to the NHS and social care, with the cost in line with the significance of the problem to be investigated
  • are likely to lead to changes in practice that will have a significant impact on a large number of patients across the UK
  • aim to fill a clear ‘evidence gap’, and are likely to generate new knowledge of direct relevance to the NHS and social care
  • have the potential for findings to be applied to other conditions or situations outside the immediate area of research
  • bring together a team with strong expertise and track record across the full range of relevant disciplines
  • will be carried out across more than one research site

The HS&DR Programme will support:

  • research into any aspect of health and social care service quality, accessibility and effectiveness, as long as its importance to the NHS and social care can be clearly demonstrated
  • any methodology as long as it is appropriate, proportionate and likely to answer the research questions – which must relate to health service and social care issues
  • trials, pilot and feasibility studies on relevant topics, with the involvement of a Clinical Trials Unit if required. In the case of a trial, adequate preparatory work must be completed in order to justify need and feasibility

The HS&DR Programme will not support:

  • research for which there is not a strong and well demonstrated case for importance to the NHS/ social care
  • research in a single site which is not likely to be generally applicable to other settings or patient groups
  • basic scientific or epidemiological research on the causes of disease
  • the testing of new health technologies or diagnostic techniques – these may fall within the remit of the HTA Programme
  • the establishment of a database, as an end in itself. All studies must include specific research questions, and all data collection must directly contribute to answering these questions
  • the setting-up or maintenance of research units
  • proposals which are solely or mainly service developments, audits or needs assessments
  • PhD studentships

See the success rates for HS&DR proposals.

PIn this section you can read more on the people involved in the assessment of applications for the Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme, read the minutes of previous funding decisions and find out more about becoming a reviewer or a Committee member.

A large number of people are involved in assessing the research proposals received by the HS&DR Programme to ensure that the projects are assessed in a clear and fair way, embracing the latest expertise, knowledge and opinion.

Members of HS&DR Advisory Committees are required to declare any interests which conflict, or may be considered to conflict, with HS&DR business, or may be perceived as influencing decisions made in the course of their work within the HS&DR programme in line with the Conflicts of Interest Policy. 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. View the Register of Interests for each HS&DR Programme advisory group.

Our Director

Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone

Watch the latest director's message.

 

HS&DR Funding Committee

The HS&DR Funding Committee assesses stage 2 proposals received through the commissioned and researcher-led workstreams, primarily for scientific quality and value for money. The committee is composed of experts from a range of disciplines relevant to health and social care delivery research, and public contributors. View list of members.

HS&DR Prioritisation Committee (Commissioned)

The HS&DR Prioritisation Committee (commissioned) assesses stage 1 proposals received through the commissioned workstream, primarily for importance to the NHS and social care. The committee also considers the need for research across a range of key topics, and helps to refine and develop commissioning briefs to be advertised to the researcher community. The committee is composed of senior health and social care managers and clinicians, academic experts and public contributors. View list of members.

HS&DR Prioritisation Committee (Researcher-led)

The HS&DR Prioritisation Committee (Researcher-led) assesses stage 1 proposals received through the researcher-led workstream, primarily for importance to health and social care services. The committee is composed of senior health and social care managers and clinicians, academic experts and public contributors. View list of members.


Reviewers

Our community of reviewers play a vital part in maintaining and improving the quality of the HS&DR Programme projects and outputs. They are sought from a variety of fields, including from those who work in and use health and social care services.

To demonstrate our gratitude to our reviewers and acknowledge the important work they do for the programme the names of past year’s reviewers are listed on our website. View list of HS&DR reviewers.

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

For help with applying for HS&DR funding:

Tel: 023 8059 4304
Email: hsdrinfo@nihr.ac.uk

Latest funding opportunities for Health Services and Delivery Research

19/117 Adult social care partnership

The Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream.

19/118 Non-medical workforce in urgent and emergency care settings

The Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream.

19/103 Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (standard researcher-led)

The Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme are accepting stage 1 applications to their researcher-led workstream.

19/104 Health Services & Delivery Research Programme (evidence synthesis)

The Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme is accepting stage 2 evidence synthesis applications to their researcher-led workstream.

Cystic Fibrosis

The NIHR is interested in funding high-quality, ambitious research applications addressing the important questions in Cystic Fibrosis.


Latest news about Health Services and Delivery Research

News: New study aiming to enhance care home residents' quality of life launched

The DACHA study, aiming to enhance care home residents’ quality of life, has been launched
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News: Majority of Brits think A&E services are over used but half think it is hard to get a GP appointment

A&E
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News: NIHR study assessing frailty among older people in hospitals wins Royal College of Physicians award

Professor Stuart Parker receives a Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Excellence in Patient Care award, accompanied by Eilis Keeble, Senior Research Analyst, Nuffield Trust (left), as Emma Vaux, RCP Vice President for Education and Training (centre) looks on. (Photograph taken at the RCP Excellence in Patient Care Awards 2019).
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Latest documents for Health Services and Delivery Research

Emergency Response and Preparedness Call Specification

Specification for the Emergency Response and Preparedness funding call.

HS&DR Programme success rates

Success rates for the Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme for 2015-2019

Emergency Response and Preparedness Call - Stage 2 - PDG Guidance for Applicants

Emergency Response & Preparedness Call - Stage 2 - PDG Guidance for Applicants

Guidance for completing a review task (public contributors) NEW

Guidance for public external peer reviewers for the simplified review task