Our approach to impact

Patient sample tube

Improving the health and wealth of the nation through research

The NIHR invests over £1 billion into health and public health research. Amongst other tools, we use the Adding Value in Research framework to help ensure our research answers the right questions, is delivered efficiently, and the results, methodologies and other project materials are published in full and in an accessible and unbiased report.

The NIHR supports a wide spectrum of activities including research projects and programmes, training and fellowships, research networks and units, and development and capacity building activities. We believe that the way we work as a funder can help to maximise the potential to improve the health and wealth of the nation.

Our approach to impact

In our complex and diverse healthcare environment, it can be hard to link changes with a specific research project or activity. We recognise, as do other funders, that capturing meaningful impact is complex, highly contextual and takes time. Impact is co-produced as many people and funders will be involved in the long journey from idea to benefits for patients, the public, and the economy.

Different funders, universities, NHS Trusts and other organisations have different drivers and views of the value and benefits of their research on healthcare outcomes, what the end result should be, and the types of impacts expected vary.

We are currently developing our approach to impact assessment to best capture what happens as a result of activities which the NIHR supports and enables. Our work is inclusive and takes into account the growing body of research, education and opinion in this area from the King's Policy Institute, the International School of Research Impact Assessment and the Association of Medical Research Charities, among others.

Read about the difference NIHR makes:

The National Institute for Health Research at 10 Years

The impact of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme 2003-13

The NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme

Returns on research funded under the NIHR HTA Programme

The impact of Cochrane Review Groups supported by the NIHR

Models and applications for measuring the impact of health research: Update of a systematic review for the HTA Programme