This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Beta Site: This is a new site which is still under development. We welcome your feedback, which will help improve it.

Feedback form

Join us


Vacancy details

Closing date: 06 September 2019

Other vacancies

Programme Grants for Applied Research - Subcommittee members

We are seeking senior applied health researchers to participate in Programme Grants for Applied Research funding subcommittees. These prestigious appointments offer experience of making funding recommendations to the NIHR for large scale, high quality programmes of research.

RfPB East of England and North West Regional Advisory Committee Chair

We are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity to participate in a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme Regional Advisory Committee (RAC). This appointment offers clinicians and senior applied health researchers the chance to take part in and gain experience of chairing committees and making recommendations to NIHR to fund high quality researcher-led projects for the benefit of patients and the NHS.


The RfPB programme is a regionally-based, responsive mode programme that makes awards of up to £350,000 for projects of up to three years in length. Since the programme was established in 2006, 37 competitions have been completed leading to over 850 awards worth over £200 million in total.   Projects are undertaken by collaborative research groups based in England, with co-applicants from the NHS and academia working together. In all cases, funding is provided to the NHS body or other provider of NHS services involved in the research. The research funded through RfPB is applied and relatively ‘near-term’, with an expectation of clear benefits to patients and the NHS. Here is some further information on the RfPB programme.

RfPB project application process

A two stage application process is used for proposals submitted to the RfPB programme. Following submission of a formative stage 1 application, applicants will be offered feedback on their proposal, and if deemed competitive, will be invited to submit a stage 2 standard application form. Stage 2 forms will be sent for external peer and public review, followed by assessment by the Regional Advisory Committee, normally within the region in which the host NHS body is based.  Each RAC has a proportion of the national budget based on regional population size.

RAC structure

RfPB RACs are based in eight geographical regions across England. Each RAC is made up of between 18-22 members and typically consists of the following:

  • a Regional Advisory Committee Chair
  • individuals with a wide range of skills and with experience of clinical or health services research
  • research methodology experts, covering areas such as statistics, health economics, clinical trials and qualitative methods
  • two to three patient and public involvement members.

To see the current membership of the RfPB RACs, click on the ‘Our people’ tab.


A Chair is currently being sought for the East of England and North West Regional Advisory Committees, with tenure to begin in January 2020.

Candidate profile

Successful candidates will have experience in applied health research in relevant areas as demonstrated through publications, research funding, impact of research on patients and the NHS, and other measures of peer esteem. Experience of taking part in and chairing panels and committees is also desirable.

We do advise applicants to have permission and support from their host institution prior to applying.


RfPB Committee Chair tenure is for two years in the first instance, renewable for a further two years in most cases. Extensions may be exceptionally made for an additional year up to a maximum of five years at the discretion of the Programme Director.

RAC meetings take place three times per year, typically during late January/early February, late May/ early June and late September/early October. Meetings typically last a full day and Committees will be asked to assess both stage 1 and stage 2 applications during each meeting.

All meetings of the RAC take place within the region in which it is based. Chairs receive an honorarium for their commitment to the programme and reasonable travel expenses are reimbursed.

In addition to regular regional meetings, Chairs are invited to an annual RfPB Chairs’ meeting, where programme policies and procedures are reviewed with the Programme Director; these annual meetings normally take place in London during March or April.


During each RAC meeting, the Chair will be required to lead members of the Committee through the discussions of applications submitted to the programme within the region. The full Committee is involved in making corporate decisions on whether applications should be recommended for funding and Chairs are involved in approving changes, where required, to applications before funding is confirmed. Chairs also have a key role in reviewing meeting minutes and feedback to applicants prepared by Programme Managers for applications assessed by the Committee.

Chairs are expected to participate in the critical evaluation of every application and to share responsibility for all decisions of the RAC as a whole. Thus, there is a large volume of application paperwork to be considered by each member, requiring several hours of preparation time before each meeting.

Prior to RfPB meetings, Chairs and Committee members are also encouraged to play a part in identifying potential peer reviewers for applications to be considered and may be asked to carry out peer review themselves.

In addition to RAC meeting work, Chairs may be asked to be involved with assessing requests for time and/or funding extensions that are submitted for projects within their regional portfolio, which may require attending a project site visit.

Chairs also have a role in ensuring that Committees have the appropriate mix of expertise. Working with the regional Programme Manager, the Chair will be asked to help identify new members of the Committee when necessary, advising the Programme Director on suitable appointments.

How to apply and recruitment timetable

To obtain an application form, please send an e-mail to quoting reference CCM-RfPB-08/2019 in the subject line. Completed application forms should be submitted via e-mail to by Friday 6 September 2019.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be scheduled during September/October 2019 and appointment decisions will be made in October 2019.

If you have any queries or would like more information, please e-mail or call the RfPB programme management team on 020 8843 8057.