You can access a range of funding, support and advice through NIHR designed to help local government evaluate new or existing interventions and services that seek to improve the health and wellbeing of the public. Getting involved in research will help build a strong evidence base and help inform organisations like yours in making the best decisions in designing, commissioning and delivering services in the interests of local people.
Funding for public health research
If you have a proposal for a research project that has the potential to inform the delivery of non-NHS interventions, our Public Health Research (PHR) Programme accepts applications from local authorities throughout the UK. The programme also commissions research in particular areas of need. Alongside individual research projects, the PHR programme also funds Health Determinants Research Collaborations in order to build local government capacity and capability to conduct research that addresses the wider determinants of population health and health inequalities.
Support to develop applications is available through our Public Health Research Applications and Design Advice service.
Academic support for evaluating public health interventions
Alongside the options for research grants, we can support you with the evaluation of interventions that you already have in place, developing research evidence to meet local government needs.
Our Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Teams (PHIRST) scheme links up academic teams with local authorities in order to find out what impact interventions have on the health and health inequalities experienced by local populations. Help to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of innovative public health initiatives can also be accessed though our School for Public health Research Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme.
Further support is available from our Health Protection Research Units (HPRU) work with local authorities on research across a range of topics, such as infectious disease control and surveillance (e.g. sexually transmitted, gastrointestinal and healthcare acquired infections and COVID-19), vaccine delivery, health economics and modelling, and preparedness and response for healthcare emergencies and chemical and radiation threats. You can find out more about the HPRUs and contact those working on topics of interest to your local authority on our public health and prevention webpage.
Funding for social care research
There are a number of social care-specific research funding options:
the researcher-led workstream of our Health and Social Care Delivery Research Programme is open all year round.
our bi-annual Research for Social Care call funds research which generates evidence to improve the way social care is delivered for users of care services, carers and the public
the Health Technology Assessment Programme funds different social care research projects
Find out more about the help and support available for social care research.
Prevention, early intervention or behaviour change in the North East
If you are looking for expertise, advice or ideas to develop research proposals, or support you in evaluating interventions, our Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria supports local authorities from this geographical area. Find out about their work focusing on prevention, early intervention or behaviour change and contact them for more information.
Tell us your research idea
Perhaps you’ve identified a need for research through public health work you’re involved in, or a lack of evidence to support a decision making. If you have an idea for future research we would like to hear about it.