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Understand the research landscape

As the national health and social care research funder, the NIHR has a unique overview of the health and care research landscape.

We can share with you information about the NIHR research portfolio and the topic areas we’re prioritising for funding, as well as our national view of research taking place in England. We can also provide access to our advanced horizon scanning services to help you understand the national innovation pipeline and shape your funding calls and projects.

By understanding what research we’re funding and supporting, and sharing your portfolio with us, we can each identify where the gaps lie, to prioritise funding to areas of unmet need, avoid duplication and find opportunities for collaboration.

We can share an overview of our portfolio of funded research

We have a number of online services that show what NIHR research is currently in progress and our completed research.

  • Our NIHR Funding and Awards website shows details of all our research, infrastructure, career development and global health funding awards, both for research in practice and completed research. This website includes technical and plain English summaries of funded research, as well as details of the funding award.
  • Data on research projects funded by NIHR research programmes are publicly available on NIHR Open Data. This service can show you where research is taking place, and allow you to download and analyse our data.
  • A number of our research programmes publish study findings in the open access NIHR Journals Library.
  • NIHR Open Research allows NIHR researchers to publish not only study findings but also incremental findings, case reports and even negative findings, thus supporting the entire life cycle of research.
  • Summaries of selected published NIHR-funded research findings (and evidence from other funders) are available on NIHR Evidence.

You can share information about the research in your portfolios with us too, so we can each understand what research is being funded and where the gaps lie.

Versus Arthritis

Versus Arthritis wanted to benchmark its estimated figure for funding leveraged by its researchers from other funders. The NIHR was able to help by sharing information about its arthritis research portfolio and information submitted to Researchfish.

"Previously we had no idea whether our figure for funding leveraged was good or bad, so it’s been really valuable to know the equivalent leveraged power of a big national funder," said Tammy Cheng, Research Evaluation Manager at Versus Arthritis.

"This intelligence has fed into our ongoing discussions about our research funding strategy and how we can maximise the impact of our spend.”

We can give you advance notice of the topic areas the NIHR is prioritising

We openly share on the NIHR website details of the topics we’re considering for future commissioned funding calls.

NIHR themed calls are commissioned funding calls focusing on a particular research area identified as a health challenge or a government priority. Researchers can submit a proposal on a themed call topic to any participating NIHR research programme.

Highlight notices are issued on specific topics to encourage researchers to submit proposals on that topic to programmes’ researcher-led calls.

We can share our plans for upcoming themed calls and highlight notices with charities.

We can share our national view of research taking place in the NHS

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) works with health and care organisations across England to deliver research in the NHS and in public health and social care settings. The network supports research funded by charities, the life sciences sector, the NIHR and other funders.

All clinical research studies supported by the NIHR are recorded and monitored in the CRN Portfolio. Our portfolio means we have an overview of the majority of research taking place in England - both NIHR-funded and funded by other organisations.

We can share an overview of research taking place in your area of interest that is included on the CRN Portfolio.

We can provide access to advanced horizon scanning services

ScanMedicine is a comprehensive database of clinical trials and medical devices information, allowing users to understand what research is in progress in their area of interest and what new medicines, devices and diagnostics are on the horizon.

The free resource, developed by the NIHR Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO), collates information from 11 major health databases across the globe and presents up-to-date search results in an accessible format.

This intelligence can help users to better understand where the gaps are in healthcare research, to stimulate innovation and support decision making.