The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) commissions and fund NHS, social care and public health research that is essential for delivering our responsibilities in public, health and personal social services. The role of the NIHR is to develop the research evidence to support decision making by professionals, policy makers and patients, make this evidence available, and encourage it’s uptake and use for example, through NHS Evidence (Link to website), which provides clinical and non-clinical evidence and best practice, to make informed decisions. It is for other organisations, such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), to provide national guidance on promoting good health and preventing and treating ill health. The NIHR fund research, not implementation or service development.
The system for processing research funding applications and the commissioning of research are currently standardised. A number of the NIHR programmes are co-ordinated and managed by the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (NIHR CCF) and the NIHE Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC).
CCF managed programmes
PgfAR are prestigious awards directed towards leading researchers who can demonstrate an impressive track-record of achievement in applied health research
The RfPB programme is national response-mode programme for high quality investigator-led research projects that address issues of importance to the NHS. It funds research into everyday practice in the health service.
The i4i programme aims to support and advance the development of innovative medical technologies for the benefit of patients in the NHS in England and Wales.
NETSCC managed programmes
The HTA programme funds research to ensure that healthcare professionals, NHS managers, and the public and patients have the best and latest information on the costs, effectiveness and impact of developments in health technology.
The PHR programme commissions research to provide new knowledge on the benefits, costs, acceptability and wider effect of non-NHS interventions, eg. prevention of obesity in children and speed humps for the prevention of road traffic accidents.
The HS&DR programme funds a broad range of research to produce rigorous and relevant evidence on the quality, access and organisation of health services, including costs and outcomes, to improve health services.
The EME programme is broadly aimed at supporting ‘science driven’ studies with an expectation of substantial health gain and aims to support excellent clinical science with an ultimate view to improving health or patient care.
The NHSC appraises new technological developments to provide the Department of Helath and policymakers with information on their implications to the NHS both in clinical and economical terms. The centre’s appraisals include new medicines, medical devices, diagnostic tests and procedures, surgical and other interventions, rehabilitation measures and new public health promotion messages.