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Researchers in Northern Ireland to access further NIHR research funding

From autumn 2023, the number of funding opportunities created by the HSC R&D Division investment in National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funding opportunities is increasing.  The Evidence Synthesis programme, Invention for Innovation (i4i), Research for Social Care (RfSC), Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (PHfAR) and Programme Development Grants have been added to the suite  of programmes accessible to NI Chief Investigators.

The announcement expands the list of NIHR research programmes that are available to researchers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The move will boost cross-UK research and help increase access to research for people in the three devolved administrations.

The NIHR, through DHSC, has had an arrangement with the DAs 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 (Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR), Public Health Research (PHR), and Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)) that would otherwise only be open to English research hosts.

Professor Ian Young, Chief Scientific Advisor and Director of Health and Social Care Research and Development said “The extended access to NIHR funding programmes represents a welcome increase in opportunities for Northern Ireland-based researchers to lead studies across the range of health and social care priorities, and, importantly, for more of our citizens to participate in an expanded range of research initiatives. I look forward to our research community building on the successes to date, producing evidence on which to base future practice, and to our indigenous SMEs benefitting from the new opportunities specifically provided by the i4i Programme.”

Professor Danny McAuley, Scientific Director for Research Programmes at NIHR and based at Queen’s University Belfast, said: “This important change to our programmes’ eligibility criteria will mean researchers across the three devolved administrations of the UK will have increased access to health and social care research funding through NIHR. Ultimately, it will also allow more people to take part in world-class research in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This update to our funding processes recognises the fact that the best research happens across borders through collaboration and diversity.”

To read more see the NIHR website.