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Industry collaboration opportunities

Researchers can use their NIHR career development award to establish new partnerships with the life sciences industry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s).

The NIHR is keen to develop these collaborations to keep pushing the boundaries of health and care research and see patients and the public quickly benefiting from new interventions.

The NIHR Academy provides opportunities for researchers to partner with the life sciences sector with a career development award. We aim to help researchers and clinical academics become more confident working at the interface of academia, industry and the health and care system.

Benefits of working with industry

One of the strengths of collaborating with a commercial partner is delivering research outputs quickly and helping to push the boundaries of health and care research, which can see patients and the public benefiting more quickly from new interventions.

We’re also increasingly looking to provide additional support and training in areas that will help encourage NIHR Academy funded researchers to consider working with a commercial partner where it will add value to their research.

Researchers awarded a co-funded NIHR/industry career development award become a member of the NIHR Academy - a community that provides them with access to events, networking, leadership development and online training.

The NIHR offers advice and guidance and most universities have a knowledge transfer or enterprise team who can support researchers when collaborating with an industry partner.

The ability to work at the interface of industry, academia and the NHS is an important skill for applied health and care researchers to develop and the NIHR aims to support people achieve this.

Current industry partnerships

Pfizer UK

Biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer UK, jointly funds the NIHR Doctoral and Advanced Fellowships with a focus on research in alopecia areata, chronic pain and atopic dermatitis.

It is hoped by supporting research in these areas we can drive innovation, which leads to breakthroughs that ultimately change patients’ lives.

Videregen Limited, MiroBio and Sonosine

The Development and Skills Enhancement award has partnered with Videregen Limited, MiroBio and Sonosine to provide awardees invaluable experience working with and understanding the viewpoint of industry.

This post-doctoral award for NIHR Academy Members allows researchers to gain specific skills and experience ahead of applying for further funding.

More information on both partnerships can be found in the guidance notes of each round which are published on the NIHR website when they are open for applications.

Find out more information about NIHR Fellowships.

If you would like to explore opportunities further, please get in touch at

New collaborations as part of your award or application for funding

If you’re interested in exploring new collaborations with a commercial partner, as part of your current NIHR Fellowship/research training award, or an application for funding from NIHR, we can support and facilitate new connections with relevant commercial organisations. Find out how we can help by contacting the NIHR Industry team.

Your local Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) can also help facilitate connections with commercial partners. Find details of your local AHSN.