Applied Research Collaborations

Application dates: 01 June 2018 to 20 August 2018

NIHR is launching a new, single-stage, open competition to designate and fund NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (NIHR ARCs). 

The new ARC funding and support is for applied health and care research and to support implementation of research into practice, making tangible improvements for patients, the public and to health and care services.

We are evolving our approach to supporting applied health and care research, addressing a number of identified needs as highlighted by the Future of Health and other reports, including: the need to increase research in public health, social care and primary care; the challenges of an ageing society; multimorbidity; and the increasing demands placed on our health and care system.

The new scheme also has increased ambition to deliver a step change in national-level impact through significant cross-NIHR ARC collaboration, and through NIHR ARCs providing national leadership within their fields of expertise.

NIHR designation and funding

The scheme will provide NIHR ARC designation and funding to:

  • develop and conduct high quality, generalisable, applied health and care researchwhich responds to, and meet the needs of, local populations and the local health and care system, and which addresses national priorities, including through collaboration with other ARCs;
  • support, facilitate andincrease the rate at which research findings are implemented to deliver improvements in health and care services, improve outcomes for patients and the public, improve delivery and efficiency of health and care, and increase sustainability of the health and care system both locally and nationally;
  • increase the country’s capacity and capability to conduct and translate high quality applied health and care research; and
  • contribute to broader economic gain, includingthrough collaborations with life sciences and other industries.  

About the competition and workshop for potential applicants

NHS organisations or providers of NHS services in England, acting on behalf of a collaboration of the local providers of NHS services, local providers of care services, NHS commissioners, local authorities, other relevant local health and care organisations, the relevant Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and the local University(ies) are eligible to apply.

A total of up to £135 million will be invested over a five-year period from 1 October 2019, subject to receipt of suitable quality applications. Each application may be up to a maximum of £9 million over the five-year contracted award, with applications from organisations without existing NIHR CLAHRCs being phased, with up to 50% (maximum £900,000) in the first year.

The closing date/time for submission of an application is 20 August 2018 at 13:00 through our webpage at

Those who wish to submit an application for NIHR ARC designation and funding should refer to the Application Guidance - available here.

An FAQ document to support the Application Guidance is available here and will be regularly updated.

A workshop for applying NHS Organisations will take place at etc.venues Avonmouth House, 6 Avonmouth St, London SE1 6NX 10:30-12.30 on Tuesday, 19 June 2018, please contact to register your interest to attend.

Any enquiries should be sent to or phone 020 8843 8079.

A webinar to demonstrate the ARC Financial Plan and the Research Management System (RMS) was demonstrated on 10 July 2018, please click here to view the recorded webinar. 


Previous funding

Following a successful pilot scheme from 2008 to 2013, the NIHR held an open competition to designate and fund 13 NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) from 1 January 2014. CLAHRC contracts come to an end on 30 September 2019 before the new contracts come into force.


Supporting information
An FAQ document to support the Application Guidance is available below and will be regularly updated.

Other supporting documents: