NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) funds collaborative, multidisciplinary programmes of applied research to solve health and social care challenges.
Programme Development Grants (PDG) are available to carry out targeted preparatory work to strengthen a future full PGfAR and to enhance the outcomes of existing PGfAR awards.
The aim of NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) is to deliver research findings that will lead to clear and identifiable patient/service user or carer benefits, typically through promotion of health and well-being, prevention of ill health, and optimal disease management (including safety and quality).
PGfAR is researcher led and does not commission specific topics for research. However, the research must be in an area of priority or need for the NHS, public health or the social care sector, with particular emphasis on health and social care areas that cause significant burden, where other research funders may not be focused, or where insufficient funding is available.
It is designed to fund NHS, public health and social care practitioners to work together with academic partners to tackle health and social care problems, and provide some stability of funding to support the long-term development of top quality applied research groups.
In recognition of the complex biopsychosocial influences at play in many multiple long term conditions, programmes seeking to address the integration of health and social care to improve patient/service user and carer outcomes, and those which include work packages aimed at tackling the social care dimension of healthcare problems are particularly welcome.
Programmes that use diverse methodological approaches to demonstrate patient/service user or carer benefits at an individual or population level, and/or include work packages specifically aimed at addressing important methodological issues in applied health and social care research methodology are also encouraged.
PGfAR funds programmes of applied research which generally comprise a number of high quality interrelated projects, usually described in separate work packages, that form a coherent theme, where added value is gained from the combination of the various strands of research.
The research should:
address stated local and/or national priorities in health, public health or social care
where possible, be conducted in and/or recruit from geographical locations of high health and care need
demonstrate how it addresses issues relating to equality, diversity and inclusion
clearly demonstrate how patients/service users and/or carers have been involved and engaged with the programme
use a range of multidisciplinary and methodological approaches
demonstrate the value of a treatment, package of care or service improvement on clinically relevant outcomes for those programmes addressing health issues. Intermediate outcome measures will only be acceptable where there is convincing evidence that these have strong relationship with clinical outcomes. Similar criteria should be applied to public health and social care studies, where the outcomes should be justified in terms of demonstrating benefits linked to population health, or to service users / carers
make a stepped change to practice and/or outcomes. Proposals that comprise application of existing interventions to new patient/service user or carer groups or the wider public, or are only an incremental development on current practice, or are unlikely to have general application / uptake are unlikely to be competitive
address the integration of aspects of health and social care to improve patient/service user and carer outcomes
include clear plans for implementation, knowledge mobilisation and dissemination
All NHS bodies and other providers of NHS services in England may propose programmes, in collaboration with an appropriate academic partner or partners. For more information see our tips for applying to PGfAR.
The amount awarded and the length of the funding period depends on the nature of the proposed work. Funding in excess of £2.5 million beyond six years will be unusual.
It is anticipated that programmes using novel designs will facilitate shorter, more efficient, less expensive programmes. As a guide, such programmes might be delivered over 3 years with costs of £1-1.5m.
Potential applicants can undertake appropriate preparatory work through a Programme Development Grant to strengthen their future programme.
PGfAR has three funding opportunities a year that typically launch in February, June and October. See the dates for our funding competitions.
PGfAR has a two stage application process. Please see the applicant guidance for stage 1 and stage 2, and the supporting information, to find out more. For detailed finance guidance, please see section 11: Detailed budget. Potential applicants can seek advice on their proposal from the programme team through the pre-submission enquiry form.
Research proposals are submitted to PGfAR online through the Research Management System. We supply template application forms for stage 1 and stage 2 to help researchers prepare their proposal ahead of submission.
Programme Grants for Applied Research recommends research proposals for funding through its main selection committee and its subcommittees. Programme Development Grant applications are assessed by the same committees.
The Stage 2 subcommittees are standing committees, whereas the Stage 1 subcommittee and main selection committees are convened for each funding competition.
Proposals are first assessed by the Stage 1 subcommittee, and then shortlisted proposals are sent for methodological review. Stage 2 proposals are then sent for peer review, before being assessed by the Stage 2 subcommittees. The outcomes from each Stage 2 subcommittee are then discussed and reviewed by the main selection committee.
The main selection committee recommends 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.
Professor Elaine Hay is Programme Director of NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research.
We offer a wide variety of assistance during all stages of the research process. If in doubt, please get in touch.
Tel: 020 8843 8056
Our operating hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm
Mr Rajinder Flora
Senior Programme Managers
Dr Shaun McMaster
Dr Katie Cook
Mr Thomas Hutchinson
Ms Fiona Giles
Dr Ramnath Elaswarapu
Ms Saima Siddiqui
Senior Research Officer
Ms Saprina Harrison
Ms Amrit Mann
Ms Batool Khan
Ms Mandy Norton
NIHR Central Commissioning Facility
15 Church Street
Twickenham TW1 3NL
Applications are invited for Stage 1 proposals to develop programmes of applied health research.
Professor Elaine Hay, Director of NIHR’s Programme Grants for Applied Research, explores how Programme Development Grants are evolving to support further work based on previously funded programmes of research.
Dr Rakesh Modi, a GP and researcher on a landmark NIHR-funded trial investigating screening to detect an undiagnosed heart condition responsible for one-in-ten strokes, writes on how the study has launched an additional feasibility study to test the ability to deliver their intervention remotely following the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Gibson and Debra Richards are part of an NIHR-funded trial looking at improving collaborative mental health care. They explain why they decided to continue the trial during lockdown as the UK responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s been another very busy year for the NIHR. As we draw to the end of 2019, we take a look back at some of our most popular blogs over the last 12 months.
The hallmark of NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research is supporting interrelated research projects that develop and test complex interventions. But Programme Director Elaine Hay wants to encourage more varied and novel research designs.