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NIHR Funding Programmes


HSC R&D Division make a research and development funding commitment in the form of an annual contribution to National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  This significant investment enables Northern Ireland-based researchers to lead on applications for NIHR research opportunities alongside their colleagues from the United Kingdom (UK). 

The NIHR, through DHSC, has had this arrangement with all the Devolved Administrations since 2008 based on investments from each nation that has allowed research hosts (including universities and research active NHS organisations) in the three nations to apply for NIHR funding from four research programmes:

 Click here for examples of over 45 NIHR funded research awards led by NI researchers>

Expanding the reach of NIHR funding

In 2023 a new partnership funding arrangement has been agreed that will provide greater access to NIHR research programmes, with the door open to further cross-UK working on funded research in future.

Researchers and in some cases SMEs will be able to access five further NIHR research programmes from autumn 2023:

Click here for press release>


Applying for Funding - advice for NI applicants

Applications for these research programmes should be made directly to the NIHR through their website.

Researchers are advised to discuss applications with HSC R&D Division

The NI contact points for each programme are:

  • Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme: Dr Julie McCarroll
  • Health Service and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme: Dr Janet Diffin
  • Public Health Research (PHR) Programme: Dr Nicola Armstrong
  • Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme: Dr Janet Diffin


HSC R&D Division can provide advice for applicants in the area of research costs (see Research Costs). For research activity in Northern Ireland, funding of NHS or HSC Support Costs (Service Support Costs) is the responsibility of HSC R&D Division, subject to satisfactory review and available budget. You should apply for funding of Service Support Costs as early as possible in your application process.


The diagram below provides a suggestion of key organisations for lead applicants in NI to contact for support for their application: (click on the image to download)

NIHR often expect Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) to play a role in developing an NIHR funding application

Find out more about the Northern Ireland CTU>


Suggesting research questions for NIHR

NIHR programmes work with external organisations and individuals to identify research questions which are likely to make the greatest difference to people's health.  Thay are also interested to receive suggestions for research.