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Research for Patient Benefit - Competition 51


15 March 2023


13:00 on 12 July 2023


  • For help with your application contact
  • For more information about the funding Programme, visit the RfPB Page
  • Got a research idea and not sure how to turn it into a funding application? The Research Design Service (RDS) supports health and social care researchers across England on all aspects of developing and writing a funding application. Find out how the RDS can help with your application.

Supporting Information

*This document is to be used as a guide and to assist with completion of the online application form only. Please do not try to use this as an application form. You must apply using the online form in the Research Management System, available when calls are open

The NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme is inviting stage 1 applications for research proposals that are concerned with the day-to-day practice of health service staff, and that have the potential to have an impact on the health or wellbeing of patients and users of the NHS.

As a researcher-led programme, RfPB does not specify topics for research but instead encourages proposals for projects that address a wide range of health service issues and challenges.

The programme aims to fund high quality quantitative and qualitative research with a clear trajectory to patient benefit. It particularly encourages applications that have a strong element of interaction with patients and the public and that have been conceived in association with a relevant group of service users.

Please note that the programme has a new funding limit of £500k for Tier 1 studies.

The submission deadline for applications is 1pm on 12 July 2023.

Highlight notices and themed calls

Research for Patient Benefit is currently participating in the following highlight notices and themed calls:

Highlight notice in ‘Brain tumours’ 

RfPB invites proposals for research that addresses any aspect of the diagnosis, treatment, support or care of patients with brain tumours, including access to or the delivery of services. Research methods may involve primary research or evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews, modelling studies or the analysis of existing datasets. This highlight notice will apply until further notice.

For further details, please see NIHR Highlight Notice Brain Tumors.

This call supports the report of the Department of Health & Social Care Task & Finish Working Group on Brain Tumour Research

Themed call in ‘Compound Pressures’ 

The RfPB Programme supports research that is concerned with the day-to-day practice of health service and social care staff. Research proposals should have a clear trajectory towards benefiting the health or wellbeing of patients and users of the NHS and social care services. Applications to the RfPB Programme should seek to solve pressures which arise from daily practice in NHS and social care services, and must demonstrate a trajectory to patient, service user, and/or carer benefit.

The programme supports applications which are regionally derived and are concerned with studying the provision and use of NHS and social care services, including:

  • access to or some aspects of delivery of services
  • evaluating the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of new innovations and interventions
  • developing and refining new interventions

Research methods may involve primary research or evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews, modelling studies or the analysis of existing datasets. The programme would not fund service developments, unless they have wider generalisability or audits or surveys, although these elements may be part of an integrated research study.

The call offers researchers considerable flexibility to focus on any subject area, topics and research methodologies.

For further details, please visit NIHR Compound pressures page.

Please note that RfPB’s researcher-led calls are open to all relevant research areas, and not just those in highlight notices and themed calls. If you are responding to the themed call, please indicate this in the application form under ‘Why is this research important in terms of improving the health and/or wellbeing of the public and/or to patients and health and care services?’.