Funding for local authority research

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. 

Support to develop applications is available through our Public Health Research Applications and Design Advice service.

Browse current public health funding opportunities

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

For funding research specific to social care,  you have a number of options.  

If you would like advice or support in applying for funding our Research Design Service is here to help.  

Browse current social care funding opportunities

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. 

Submit a research suggestion

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Related pages

External links


Current funding opportunities

NIHR Pre-doctoral Fellowship Round 4

The Pre-Doctoral Fellowship provides career development funding for aspiring research methodologists.

NIHR Pre-doctoral Local Authority Fellowship Scheme Round 2

The NIHR Pre-doctoral Local Authority Fellowship (PLAF) scheme supports the academic ambitions of individuals wishing to develop as health and/or social care researchers whilst remaining employed, or at least engaged, within local authorities or local authority supporting services.

22/10 Social Care Needs Assessment

The Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) Programme is accepting stage one applications to this funding opportunity.