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20/69 Application Development Award – Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs)



  • For help with your application contact
  • For more information about the funding Programme, visit the PHR Page

Supporting Information


The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme are accepting new Stage 2 applications to this funding opportunity. This is a 'Straight to Stage 2' process and Stage 1 applications are not required. In order to apply you will need to carefully review:

• Stage 2 guidance notes
• PHR supporting information
• The pending commissioned call on Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs (IPEDs): to be launched in the spring of 2021


From discussion with experts in the field, the PHR Programme has recognised that the evidence base for IPEDs use is at varied stages. This funding opportunity is for applications of up to £50,000 over a maximum of 6 months. The aim of this scheme is to provide funding for underpinning development work that will add to the current knowledge base, and will ultimately support and inform applications to the IPEDs intervention effectiveness commissioned call that will launch in the spring of 2021. Possible areas of work for the IPEDs Application Development Award may include (but are not limited to):

  • Identification and engagement of relevant stakeholders. For example, with specific communities, policy makers, occupation groups.
  • Development of networks or partnerships. For example, across or within particular geographical areas, service delivery organisations, patient/user and carer experience groups or settings where IPED use may occur.
  • Local or regional needs assessments to identify priorities for future research.
  • Understanding of what data is collected on IPED use. For example, data collected by dedicated IPED services, substance misuse services or other statutory organisations such as prisons.
  • Underpinning research such as epidemiology. For example, investigations of prevalence within specific population groups or broader epidemiological assessments that may inform intervention research. This could include attention given to the scale, types and pattern of use, demographic patterns of use, predictors of use, settings, concurrent health-related and/or other behaviours.
  • Analysis of how current interventions to prevent substance misuse may be used for IPEDs and consideration of possible new approaches.

Applicants should ensure that the development work includes recognition of possible interventions and approaches to preventing or reducing the health harms caused by the use of IPEDs.


In proportion with the level of funding available, this is a direct to Stage 2 funding opportunity. Applications received by 1pm on Friday 11 September 2020 will be assessed by a sub-committee of the PHR Programme Prioritisation and Funding Committees in October 2020. Applications will be assessed for importance to public health, scientific quality, feasibility and value for money. Successful applicants will be expected to begin the work during December 2020. Successful applicants will be expected to produce a final report to be published on the NIHR website. Any other outputs (e.g. journal articles) must be accessible in line with NIHR’s Open Access policy.