Health Protection Research Units

The NIHR has launched a two-stage, open competition to designate and fund NIHR Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs). NIHR HPRUs are partnerships between academic institutions and Public Health England (PHE), and will act as centres of excellence in multidisciplinary health protection research in England.

The aim of the HPRU scheme is to support PHE in delivering its objectives and functions for public health protection, including by building an evidence base for public health policy and practise.

The HPRU scheme will provide designation and funding to:

  • create an environment where world class health protection research, focused on the needs of the public, can thrive;
  • focus on priority areas which will have the greatest impact on public health;
  • provide high quality research evidence to inform decision-making by public health professionals;
  • enable translation of advances in health protection research into benefits for patients and the public;
  • increase capacity and capability to conduct high quality multi-disciplinary health protection research in England;
  • provide a flexible staff capacity in the event of a major health protection incident;
  • retain a level of responsive research capacity to address emerging health protection research requirements.

How to apply

All universities in England are eligible to apply.

Universities that wish to apply to be part of an NIHR HPRU will need to have a substantial portfolio of world-class health protection research in the relevant priority area.

The total amount of NIHR funding available for this competition will be up to £56 million over a five year period, starting 1 April 2020.

Applications were submitted through our online Research Management System. The closing date for submission for the Stage 1 application was 11 April 2019 at 13:00

An applicant workshop for Stage 1 was held on 11 March 2019. Please see the presentations from this workshop in the useful documents section.

Supporting information

Any enquires should be sent to or phone 0208 843 8048.