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How to apply for project funding

Decide which programme to apply to

Any applicant that considers that they can carry out high quality clinical, applied health or social care research is likely to be eligible for NIHR funding, either directly or with a partner.  We fund research through our broad range of funding programmes, which cover many different types of research.

Find out which funding programme is suitable for you on our funding programmes page.

Make a strong application

We offer expert advice and support to help you develop the best possible application for funding, including the importance of involving patients, carers and the public at every stage of your project. Don't hesitate to contact us if we can help.

Read our advice on how to prepare a strong application.

Plan your pathway to impact

We want to ensure that the research we fund has the maximum benefit for patients, the public and the NHS. Generating meaningful research impact requires engaging with the right people from the very beginning of planning your research idea.

Find out more in our advice on planning your pathway to impact

Apply online

Applications for research funding are submitted online, through one of two current application systems, depending on which funding programme you're applying to. The funding opportunities post for the funding call you're applying to will have details of which system to use.

Sign a contract

The NIHR funds research by contracting researchers’ organisations on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to perform individual research projects. We use contracts that differ slightly depending on what sort of organisation the lead researcher is based in.

Read about how we contract with researchers on our contracts page.

More advice