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Sign a contract

We fund research by contracting researchers’ organisations (the ‘Contractor’) on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (the ‘Authority’) to perform individual research projects.

Our contracts

We use standard Department of Health and Social Care contracts. The standard contracts differ slightly depending on whether the lead researcher is based in the NHS, at a university or higher education institution, in a commercial organisation, at a research council or other government agency, or in another organisation. The contracts cannot be amended in any way.

We publish examples of our standard contacts so researchers and their host organisations can view the terms.

The contracting process

Once a researcher and their project team have been notified that their funding application has been successful, they will need to identify a realistic start date and finalise and sign their research proposal.

Approximately one week afterwards, the NIHR will issue a research contract to the institution for signing. Once returned, the contract will be signed by the Department of Health and Social Care and returned to the institution within a couple of weeks.

If you have any questions about contracts, including delays, re-costing or moving institution, please contact your research programme team.

Read more about our approach to intellectual property.

There is additional guidance for the Global Health Research around contracting.