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Themed Calls

NIHR themed calls are funding opportunities focusing on a particular research area in which all NIHR programmes participate.

 
The current open themed call is:

The next themed call will be announced later in the year.

There are also a highlight notice in the area of:

  • brain tumours
  • emergency response and preparedness

 We are also interested in receiving applications for other ongoing research priorities:

  • frailty
  • chronic pain
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • dementia
  • medicinal cannabis

Previous themed calls:

  • pandemic flu

The NIHR Themed Call "Cannabis-based products for medicinal use" is now closed.

This call welcomes proposals for primary clinical research to evaluate the safety and clinical efficacy or clinical effectiveness of cannabis-based products for medicinal use in humans.

Proposals are eligible that investigate their use for the management of difficult to treat epilepsy, or other disorders unresponsive to existing treatments where there is sufficient existing evidence to justify further, more definitive, research.

Applications should meet all the professional and legal requirements within which cannabis based products for medicinal use may be prescribed and lead to robust clinical evidence that will inform practice (e.g. through randomized controlled trials, though other robust research designs may be appropriate in some circumstances). Applicants will need to show a track record of delivering high quality clinical research and proposals must demonstrate access to the full range of skills needed to undertake the proposed research.

Additional issues of interest include:

  • for treatments shown to be efficacious, clarification of therapeutic levels/ appropriate range of dose
  • the inclusion of nested mechanistic and pharmacokinetic research (where appropriate)
  • reporting of short and longer term (≥12 months) adverse events
  • clarification of the role of combinations of cannabis derivatives
  • the standardisation of therapy and its mode of delivery
  • reporting of drug interactions
  • reporting of outcomes relevant to carers, immediate relatives or partners
  • where relevant, proposals should explain how they would minimise the risk of confounding from the use of cannabis and any derivatives obtained outside the study

Applicants should justify the importance of their proposed research and identify how its findings will contribute to an understanding of the science and potential clinical use of cannabis derived medicines for the treatment of patients.

Specification document

Call open: 23/03/2018

Call close: 31/07/2019

The following programmes participated in this themed call:

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

 

This call supports the report of the Department of Health & Social Care Task & Finish Working Group on Brain Tumour Research.  It encourages collaborative applications that demonstrate how they build on recent initiatives and investment in the area made by the NIHR, the MRC and other research funders.

Research may involve any aspect of the diagnosis, treatment, support or care of patients with brain tumours, including access to or the delivery of services.  Applications must be in the remit of one or more of the participating NIHR programmes.  Research methods may involve primary research or evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews, modelling studies or the analysis of existing datasets.

Proposals should clearly identify the research context of their proposal in terms of recent and currently funded UK and international research in the area and the potential impact of their proposed research for patients and the NHS.

Specification document

The following programmes are participating in this highlight notice:

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)

Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Invention for Innovation (i4i)

Programmes Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)

Public Health Research (PHR)

Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)

 

 

This call shows the importance NIHR attributes to tackling the challenges posed to the NHS, social care and wider society by the ageing population of the UK. The call builds on the previous NIHR theme of “Complex Health and Care Needs in Older People” and its work in the field of multimorbidity.

Around 6.5% of people aged over 60 years have frailty in England, rising to 65% of those aged over 90 years. Frailty has been shown to develop at an earlier age in some parts of society and in some groups of people. Frailty may be viewed as a long-term condition, and it is believed some aspects of health and wellbeing may be improved with appropriate interventions or therapy.

Many people may not recognise themselves as frail or want to be considered as such. However, identifying people with frailty is important to enable a fuller assessment of health and social care needs and the provision of appropriate interventions and support. Common conditions such as dementia often contribute to frailty, making health and social care needs more complex, and also complicating the health and social care responses to those needs.

There is a need for better evidence to support and promote healthy ageing and to provide evidence for health and social care interventions that may slow or prevent further declines in health, support independence and/or improve wellbeing, and that take account of the wider health and social care needs of the individual and their family or other carers.

Specification document

NIHR Open Data - Frailty

The following programmes are participating in this themed call:

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)

Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Invention for Innovation (i4i)

Programmes Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)

Public Health Research (PHR)

Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)


The following NIHR research training programmes are participating in this themed call:

Research Professorships

Fellowships

Integrated Clinical Academic Programme

The NIHR Themed Call "The management of chronic pain" is now open for applications.

Severe chronic pain has adverse effects on all aspects of general health as well as on daily life, through its effects on activities, relationships, mood, sleep and employment. Chronic pain is a complex condition that reduces an individual's quality of life, may affect their ability to work and can lead to an increased need for health and social care services.

Chronic pain is usually defined as pain lasting for longer than 3 months. In the UK the average annual incidence has been estimated at 8.3% with an average annual recovery rate of 5.4%, meaning that around 7 to 8 million people may be living with chronic pain in the UK. Many different clinical and non-clinical practitioners may be involved in supporting people with chronic pain, including general practitioners, pharmacists, anaesthetists, psychologists, physiotherapists and nurses. This highlights the wide range of different interventions that may be used in the management of chronic pain, pharmacological, psychological, physical, surgical and other forms of therapy.

A series of national pain audits was undertaken in the UK between 2010-2012 highlighting the wide variation in clinical practice, and access to specialist provision, with the majority of care being provided in non-specialist settings. As chronic pain is itself a major contributor to the burden of ill health and to long term conditions, it is timely that NIHR is initiating a new focus for research into this important issue.

Specification document

NIHR Open Data - Chronic Pain


The following programmes are participating in this themed call:

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)

Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Invention for Innovation (i4i)

Programmes Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)

Public Health Research (PHR)

Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)


The following NIHR research training programmes are participating in this themed call:

Research Professorships

Fellowships

Integrated Clinical Academic Programme

 

In the second half of 2013, the NIHR issued a call for research into the evaluation of public health measures, health care interventions and health services to reduce the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance and consequent morbidity. This call for research was part of a coordinated response by the NIHR to the publication of the 2nd volume of the 2011 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer: Infections and the rise of antimicrobial resistance. It also supports the Department of Health-led UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy which sets out how the challenges outlined in the report will be met.

This call was intended to cover all aspects of translational, clinical and public health research that could through new developments or changes in practice, contribute to a reduction in the development and spread in humans of organisms with antimicrobial resistance, and infection. Research may encompass better prevention, improved surveillance and monitoring and diagnosis as well as the more effective use of existing antibiotics, improved education and training and the development of new antimicrobial therapies and better treatment strategies.

Status: Closed

Date opened: 15 July 2013

Date closed: December 2013

 

Download outcomes

 

The following programmes participated in this themed call:

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)

Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Invention for Innovation (i4i)

Programmes Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)

Public Health Research (PHR)

Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)


The following NIHR research training programme participated in this themed call

Fellowships

 

Current funding opportunities in this area

Antimicrobial resistance campaign 2019

 

During early 2011, the NIHR issued a call for research on dementia. This call extended across the translational pathway, including cause, cure and care, and prevention. Seven of the NIHR research programmes participated. This call is now closed.

The call supported the NIHR response to ‘Living well with Dementia – A National Dementia Strategy', published in February 2009. It also supported the work of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research (MAGDR), on ways to improve the volume and impact of dementia research. A briefing event was held at Central Hall Westminster, London in January 2011, at which Paul Burstow, MP, Minister of State for Care Services, officially announced the call. Researchers were able to listen to speakers from MAGDR, and find out more about the support and funding provided by the NIHR for this call.

Status: Closed

Date opened: March 2011

Date closed: 20 May 2011

Download outcomes

The following programmes participated in this themed call:

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)

Health Services Research (HSR)

Health Technology Assessment (HTA)

Programmes Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)

Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)

Service Delivery and Organisation (SDO)

 

Latest funding opportunities for Dementias and Neurodegeneration

Invention for Innovation Connect - Call 3

Applications are invited from small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach the next stage in the development of their medical device.

NIHR Senior Investigators - Call 13

Applications are invited for competition 13 of NIHR's Senior Investigators funding scheme.

Research for Patient Benefit Programme - Competition 40

Applications are invited for research proposals that are concerned with the day-to-day practice of health service staff, and which have the potential to have an impact on the health or wellbeing of patients and users of the NHS.

19/59 Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led primary research

The Health Technology Assessment Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their researcher-led workstream.

19/58 Health Technology Assessment Programme researcher-led evidence synthesis

The Health Technology Assessment Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their researcher-led workstream

 

This call invites proposals for research to provide health and health services related learning from recent emergencies and Mass Casualty Incidents such as the Grenfell Tower fire, Manchester Arena bombing and London Bridge and Borough Market terror attacks.

The NIHR wishes to fund health and health services related research that will provide evidence to inform policy and practice in the short to medium term. Applicants must therefore demonstrate a clear pathway to influence and impact for their proposed research. Research proposals that do not meet this requirement are unlikely to be considered for funding.

This call covers the whole pathway of the emergency response, including planning, acute phase, definitive care and reconstruction, and the recovery phase. Physical and/or mental health and psychological aspects may be included, but applicants do not have to cover all phases and aspects in a single proposal for as long as the choice of phase is well justified. All services and agencies involved in this response, including the NHS, police, fire service, local authorities, health protection and the Environment Agency are of interest

Proposals are invited to address the following topics which are examples of potential areas of interest for health-related research and do not represent an exhaustive list. Other research questions in the remit of the participating NIHR funding programmes and relevant to this call will also be considered.

  • Governance and management of the responding services
  • Communications within and between services, and with affected individuals, communities and the wider public
  • Response of emergency services and variation in protocols
  • Organisation, education and training of the emergency response workforce and support for the workforce, for example in dealing with Mass Casualty Incidents.
  • How should organisations support senior leadership roles in the preparation for, recovery from and consequences of these events 
  • Organisation of, and impact on, physical and mental health services in the recovery phase 
  • Rapid learning and emergency preparedness
  • Responding to health issues and reducing the impact of potential environmental hazards
  • Multi service planning for emergencies
  • Immediate, short- and medium-term response to displaced communities
  • Mental health impacts for responders and affected communities
  • Relevant epidemiology studies where these can lead to clear action. Please note that mechanistic research, whilst important, may fall within the remit of UK Research and Innovation

Applicants do not have to cover all phases and aspects in a single proposal so long as the focus of the proposal is well justified. For all topics, addressed or proposed, consideration must be given to health inequalities and the needs and rights of less well-heard groups of the community.

Specification document

Call open: 31/07/2019

Call close: 23/10/2019

The following programmes are participating in this themed call:

Health Service and Delivery Research (HS&DR)
Public Health Research (PHR)
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
Programme Development Grants (PDG)
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)

 

 

 

Latest funding opportunities for Researchers

Invention for Innovation Connect - Call 3

Applications are invited from small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in need of a funding boost to reach the next stage in the development of their medical device.

Research for Patient Benefit - Emergency Response and Preparedness Call

The Research for Patient Benefit Programme is accepting Expression of Interest applications for research proposals that will provide health and health services related learning from recent emergencies and Mass Casualty Incidents.

Programme Development Grants - Emergency Response and Preparedness Call

Programme Development Grants is accepting Expression of Interest applications for research proposals that will provide health and health services related learning from recent emergencies and Mass Casualty Incidents.

NIHR Senior Investigators - Call 13

Applications are invited for competition 13 of NIHR's Senior Investigators funding scheme.

Programme Grants for Applied Research - Emergency Response and Preparedness Call

The Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) Programme is accepting Expression of Interest applications for research proposals that will provide health and health services related learning from recent emergencies and Mass Casualty Incidents.