Funding Programmes

EME Programme

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) is a partnership programme between the NIHR and the Medical Research Council (MRC) that bridges the gap between preclinical studies and evidence of clinical efficacy. It funds ambitious studies evaluating interventions that have the potential to make a step-change in the promotion of health, treatment of disease and improvement of rehabilitation or long-term care.

HS&DR Programme

The Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme funds research to produce rigorous and relevant evidence on the quality, accessibility and organisation of health services. This includes evaluations of how the NHS might improve delivery of services. The audience for this research is the public, patients, clinicians and managers.

HTA Programme

The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme funds research about the clinical and cost effectiveness and broader impact of healthcare treatments and tests for those who plan, provide or receive care in the NHS. HTA research is undertaken where some evidence already exists to show that a technology can be effective and this needs to be compared to the current standard NHS intervention to see which works best.

Support NHS research

The Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme supports the preclinical and clinical development of innovative medical technologies. The aim of i4i is to de-risk early stage projects that have a strong potential for commercialisation and acceptance for use in the NHS, as well as make them attractive to follow-on funders and investors.

Manage my study

Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) fund research studies requiring a multidisciplinary approach that will have practical application for the benefit of patients and the NHS, typically through improved healthcare or better healthcare delivery in the relatively near future (within three to five years of a programme’s end). Programme Development Grants (PDG) are available to carry out preparatory work for a full PGfAR.

PHR Programme

The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme funds research to generate evidence to inform the delivery of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. The scope is multi-disciplinary and broad, covering a wide range of interventions that improve public health.


The Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme funds NHS research covering a wide range of health service challenges. The aim of the programme is to fund topics and research methodologies that increase the effectiveness of NHS services, provide value for money and benefit patients. Research topics for funding are researcher-led.

SR Programme

The Systematic Reviews (SR) Programme consists of a number of initiatives including the Cochrane Review Groups, the UK Cochrane Centre and the Health Technology Assessment Reviews, which provide high-quality research evidence to support decision-making. 

How to apply

The Policy Research Programme (PRP) commissions high quality research and delivers robust, relevant, timely, accessible and intelligible evidence to ministers and Arms-Length Bodies (ALBs). The PRP works closely with the Department of Health to support policy makers in England to make informed decisions for the benefit of the general population, patients and the NHS.