Co-fund health research

We co-fund research and research facilities with partners such as charities, industry and public funding bodies in areas of strategic priority and where the scope of the partner’s research complements our own funding streams.

Co-funding research

We co-fund research projects, research units and programmes of research with charities and other public funding bodies.

Co-funding research projects

We co-fund individual research projects with health and social care charities where the research priorities are aligned and collaboration will be mutually beneficial.

For example, we’ve co-funded a £2.7 million programme research on shoulder pain with Arthritis Research UK and a landmark trial investigating if statins can treat MS with the MS Society.

Find out how to collaborate on and co-fund research projects with NIHR Research Programmes in our guidance. For more information, contact the NIHR charity network.

Co-funding research units

Health Protection Research Units

NIHR Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) are university-based research partnerships co-funded by the NIHR and Public Health England (PHE) that act as centres of excellence in multidisciplinary health protection research in England. The role of the HPRUs is to support PHE in delivering its objectives and functions for the protection of the public’s health in a number of topic-based priority areas, such as healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance; health impact of environmental hazards; and immunisation.

Blood and Transplant Research Units

NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Units (BTRUs) are university-based research partnerships co-funded by NIHR and NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT). The four BTRUs support the needs of NHSBT for research to improve the supply of blood, blood products, stem cells and tissues, and organs for transplantation.

Co-funding research schemes

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme

The Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme is a partnership between the NIHR and the Medical Research Council (MRC) that bridges the gap between preclinical studies and evidence of clinical efficacy. It funds ambitious studies evaluating interventions that have the potential to make a step-change in the promotion of health, treatment of disease and improvement of rehabilitation or long-term care.

Health Innovation Challenge Fund

The Health Innovation Challenge Fund (HIC) Fund is a strategic partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Wellcome Trust. The HIC Fund is a translational funding scheme to accelerate the development of a technology or intervention. The HIC Fund is now closed to further applications. 

Co-funding research facilities

We co-fund research facilities with other public funding bodies in areas of strategic priority.

Co-funding with Cancer Research UK

We fund 14 Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) across England in close partnership with Cancer Research UK. The ECMC Network aims to act as an efficient and effective network that will assist in the delivery of early phase cancer studies between research partners to enable faster and more personalised patient benefit.

Co-funding with the Medical Research Council

The MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre is co-funded with the MRC. It offers broad access to a world-class capability in metabolic phenotyping and a multidisciplinary team of specialists in biochemistry, the analytical platforms and informatics. It works with researchers as both an integrated collaborative research programme or on a fee-for-service basis depending on the researchers’ needs. The centre is led by Imperial College London and King's College London.

Other co-funded initiatives

Join Dementia Research

Join Dementia Research (JDR) is an initiative led by our Clinical Research Network in partnership with Alzheimer ScotlandAlzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Society. It works to increase public awareness for dementia research and improve study recruitment, providing researchers with access to thousands of potential volunteers who want to be involved in research.

Any member of the public can register as a volunteer to get involved in supporting dementia studies. Researchers are also encouraged to identify potential participants, screen and contact volunteers and participate in feasibility studies. The JDR initiative has organised campaigns in the NHS in order to raise awareness amongst staff and help them engage with patients better.