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We’re committed to partnering with health and social care charities to support high quality research. By working together, we drive alignment in the health and care research ecosystem to ensure research provides the maximum benefit for patients and the public and that as funders we make best use of our resources and expertise.

How charities can engage with the NIHR

We can help charities access free NIHR-funded services and resources; we can exchange expertise; and we can collaborate in areas of shared interest.

There are three main ways that you can work with the NIHR: you can access NIHR-funded services and resources; we can mutually exchange expertise; and we collaborate in areas of shared interest.

You can work with us across the research pathway: to understand the research landscape, identify research needs, fund research, plan and deliver research, and disseminate research. We can also work together to attract, develop and retain researchers and to share expertise and develop best practice.

We primarily work with charities that have a research funding function. Nevertheless we are keen to work with charities that have other main functions, such as research delivery and provision of services.

Understand the research landscape

Charities and the NIHR can each share knowledge of the NHS, public health and social care research landscape to inform our respective priorities and research questions.

  • Access: We can share an overview of the NIHR research portfolio and the topic areas we are prioritising for funding, as well as our national view of research taking place in the NHS.
  • Exchange: You can share information about the research in your portfolios with us, so we can each understand what research is being funded and where the gaps lie.
  • Access: We can provide access to advanced horizon scanning services to help shape your funding calls and projects.

Identify research needs

We can work together to identify research needs and help set research priorities.

  • Exchange: Your clinical, patient and public experts can put forward ideas for research questions for the NIHR to consider.
  • Access: We provide support to help you identify evidence uncertainties and research questions.
  • Collaborate: You can contribute to the identification and review processes for NIHR research priorities and topics.

Fund research

We can collaborate to fund the highest quality research on areas of shared interest.

  • Collaborate: We can collaborate to co-fund individual research projects with NIHR research programmes, or co-fund NIHR funding calls or funding programmes.
  • Collaborate: We can collaborate early to facilitate pull through of successful charity research projects for follow on funding from the NIHR and vice versa.

Plan and deliver research

Researchers you fund can access our services and support to plan and deliver your research in the NHS or in public health or social care settings.

  • Access: We can help researchers plan delivery of research you have funded.
  • Access: Researchers you have funded can access our services and facilities to deliver your research, and help us deliver our research.
  • Access: We can share data and provide feedback on delivery of your research.

Did you know? Charities can become non-commercial partners of the NIHR, so their researchers can get quicker access to our research delivery support. Find out more.

Disseminate research

We can work together to share research findings to extend their reach and support changes to practice.

  • Exchange: Together we can reach a wider audience with research findings.

Attract, develop and retain researchers

Together we can provide invaluable training and development opportunities to attract, develop and retain a research workforce ready for the complex health challenges of the future.

  • Collaborate: Together we can jointly fund training or career development opportunities for researchers to help grow research capability and capacity in areas of shared interest.
  • Collaborate: Together we can create and provide a system of career development support and resources to build research capacity and capability.
  • Collaborate: Join us in leading the direction of training and career development for researchers, in particular clinical academics and allied health professionals.

Share expertise and develop best practice

We can reciprocally share the knowledge and expertise of our clinical, patient and professional experts, and advice on funding and supporting high quality research, to improve quality across the board.

  • Exchange: Together we can harness the knowledge of our clinical and academic experts to maximise the investment in funded research.
  • Exchange: We can each use the knowledge of our patient and public experts, and PPIE professionals, to support the design and delivery of research that is relevant and needed.
  • Collaborate: Together we can build multidisciplinary expert networks to support collaboration in areas of shared interest.
  • Exchange: We can share our training products and resources, and vice versa, to support high quality research commissioning and management.
  • Collaborate: We can work together to develop best practice in research funding and management to fund relevant, robust research.

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