How to apply

Please note, the NIHR website is currently being redeveloped. The Funding for Research Studies section in particular is under review. During this period some information will be hosted on the NETSCC website.


Who can apply?

Any organisation that considers that it can carry out high-quality clinical, applied health or social care research is likely to be eligible for funding through our research programmes, either directly or in association with a partner organisation. 

Applicants for research programmes are strongly advised to consider establishing partnerships with other relevant sectors or organisations to demonstrate they have the full breadth of expertise to carry out their proposed research.

Applicants should always check individual call specification documents for any specific eligibility requirements and can contact the relevant programme if they have any further questions regarding eligibility.

Our Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) and Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) programmes are open to NHS bodies and other providers of NHS services in England, which might include local authorities or social enterprises. Other organisations can join applications for RfPB and PGfAR as collaborators.


What do we fund?

Our research programmes fund research using a wide range of study designs, including but not only, evidence synthesis, pilot and feasibility studies, randomised controlled trials and both quantitative and qualitative research.

Applicants should note that most NIHR programmes fund research that is later rather than earlier in the research innovation pathway and that none fund research in animals.

The scale of funding ranges from a project - or an individual study - to a programme of linked studies that are funded together as a programme of research.


When can I apply?

There are ongoing as well as specialist opportunities to apply each year although the application process and number of calls and competitions varies between each funding stream.

For an overview of the frequency of calls and competitions issued annually by the research programmes - see page 16 of the NIHR funding opportunities booklet.

Go to our funding opportunities feed to view the latest calls and competitions.


What do I do to apply?

The application process varies between programmes.

For some research programmes a full application is required – a one stage process. Other programmes request that outline proposals are submitted. If applicants are successful, they are invited to complete a full application in a two stage process. 

Potential applicants are encouraged to:

Applications are assessed by NIHR programme boards and panels before recommendation to the Department of Health for funding.