Our funding programmes

The NIHR has ten different research programmes that researchers can apply to, each of which funds different types of research.

 Types of research, evidence and scale

What programme your research idea might be suitable for depends on your broad research area, whether it will generate new evidence or synthesise existing evidence, and its scale (an individual project or study or a linked programme of research). The Research Design Service provides a free advice service to anyone in England who is interested in NIHR research funding.

Our programmes are open to research of any rigorous study design that addresses a question within their remit, including (but not limited to):

  • evidence syntheses
  • pilot and feasibility studies
  • randomised controlled trials
  • quantitative research
  • qualitative research.

The type of research and evidence within each programme’s remit is shown in the tables below.

NIHR will not accept the same or substantially similar applications to more than one NIHR programme. If two similar applications are submitted, once the overlap is identified, the application that is most advanced through the funding process will continue and the second will not be taken further.
Similar applications will only be considered by two programmes concurrently if:
•    the aims and research proposals are substantially different
•    if successful, NIHR would be prepared to fund both proposals
•    the successful delivery of one project is not dependent on the other

ProgrammePublic healthHealth Service and organisationClinical Evaluation and translationTechnology DevelopmentSocial care
Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Yes No Yes No Yes
Evidence Synthesis (ES) Yes Yes  Yes No Yes
Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Yes Yes No No Yes 
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Yes Yes  Yes No  Yes 
Invention for Innovation (i4i) Yes No Yes Yes No
Programme Development Grants (PDG) Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Public Health Research (PHR) Yes No  No No Yes
Policy Research Programme (PRP) Yes Yes  Yes Yes Yes
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Yes Yes Yes No Yes 

 

ProgrammesEvidence synthesisEvidence generationProgrammes of research
Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) No Yes No
 Evidence Synthesis (ES) Yes No Yes
 Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Yes Yes Yes
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Yes  Yes No
Invention for Innovation (i4i) No Yes No
Programme Development Grants (PDG) Yes Yes Yes
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) Yes Yes Yes
Public Health Research (PHR) Yes Yes Yes
Policy Research Programme (PRP) Yes  Yes Yes
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Yes Yes No

Have a look at our research portfolio to understand what types of research we have funded in the past

Opportunities to apply and funding limits

We list all funding opportunities online, and you can sign up to funding alerts to be notified of new opportunities.

The number of opportunities to apply for funding, and the funding limits for each research programme, are shown in the table below.

Calls and competitions (number of opportunities to apply per year) Researcher-ledCommissionedThemed
Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) 3 3 Frequency as advertised
Evidence Synthesis (ES) 1 (subject to change) N/A Frequency as advertised
Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) 3 3 Frequency as advertised
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) 3 3 Frequency as advertised
Invention for Innovation (i4i) 3 1 (subject to change) Frequency as advertised
Programme Development Grants (PDG) 3 N/A Frequency as advertised
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) 3 N/A Frequency as advertised
Public Health Research (PHR) 3 (subject to change) 3 (subject to change) Frequency as advertised
Policy Research Programme (PRP) N/A 3 (subject to change) Frequency as advertised
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) 3 N/A Frequency as advertised

 

Funding amounts and periodsFunding limit (applicants must fully justify all costs)Period of funding
Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) No limit No fixed period
Evidence Synthesis (ES) Researcher-led period is 9-12 months with funding limit of £5000. Commissioned-led is every 3 years with a funding limit of £400,000 Up to 3 years
Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) No limit No fixed period
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) No limit No fixed period
Invention for Innovation (i4i) No limit Up to 3 years - for i4i Connect, the funding limit is £150,000 and the maximum duration is 12 months. For Challenge, the maximum duration is five years.
Programme Development Grants (PDG) £100,000 0-18 months
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) Period and level of funding depends on nature of proposed work, in particular whether a fully powered evaluative is included – funding above £2.5 million will be unusual. Programmes terminating in feasibility studies will be unlikely to receive more than £500,000. Period and level of funding depends on nature of proposed work, in particular whether a fully powered evaluative is included – funding above £2.5 million will be unusual. Programmes terminating in feasibility studies will be unlikely to receive more than £500,000.
Public Health Research (PHR) No limit No fixed period
Policy Research Programme (PRP) No limit - Period and level of funding depends on the requirements of the research specification. No limit - Period and level of funding depends on the requirements of the research specification.
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) £350,000 Up to 3 years

 

Related pages

External links