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).

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.

Broad research area EME HS&DR HTA i4i PGfAR PDG PHR PRP RfPB SR
Public health Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Health services and organisation No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Clinical evaluation and translation Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Technology development No No No Yes No No No Yes No No
Social care Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

Types of evidence EME HS&DR HTA i4i PGfAR PDG PHR PRP RfPB SR
Evidence synthesis No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Evidence generation Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Programmes of research No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes

Key for the tables:
EME – Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (In partnership with the Medical Research Council (MRC)).
HS&DR – Health Services and Delivery Research
HTA – Health Technology Assessment
i4i – Invention for Innovation
PGfAR – Programme Grants for Applied Research
PDG – Programme Development Grants
PHR – Public Health Research
PRP – Policy Research Programme
RfPB – Research for Patient Benefit
SR – Systematic Reviews

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.

  EME HS&DR HTA i4i PGfAR PDG PHR PRP RfPB SR
Calls and competitions (number of opportunities to apply per year)
Researcher-led 3 3 3 3 3 3 3* N/A 3 1*
Commissioned 3 3 3 1* N/A N/A 3* 3* N/A N/A
Themed Frequency as advertised

 

  EME HS&DR HTA i4i PGfAR PDG PHR PRP RfPB SR
Funding amounts and periods
Funding limit** No limit No limit No limit No limit No limit*** £100k No limit No limit**** £350k £400k##
Period of funding No fixed period No fixed period No fixed period Up to 3 years# No fixed period*** 0-18 months  No fixed period No fixed period**** Up to 3 years Up to 3 years

KEY:

* Subject to change.
** Applicants must fully justify all costs.
*** 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 the requirements of the research specification.
# For i4i Connect, the funding limit is £150,000 and the maximum duration is 12 months. For Challenge, the maximum duration is five years.
## 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.

Related pages

External links