NIHR Response to COVID-19: Urgent Public Health Research

Wednesday, 1 April, 2020

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research scheme supports 'rapid response' clinical and epidemiological research to better understand and tackle COVID-19 and inform national policy, including:

  • Research into vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests.
  • Real-time collection of samples and data from people undergoing treatment in hospitals.

The initiative is being delivered on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, in close co-operation with Public Health England, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Health Research Authority and other bodies. It is a national single point of entry for prioritising COVID-19 studies and will enable the Chief Medical Officer (CMO)/Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) for England to draw on expert advice to select the COVID-19 studies that hold the most potential for tackling the challenges being faced.

Support is available to prioritise, co-ordinate and deliver these studies, regardless of sponsorship and funding source. The set-up and delivery of studies confirmed as part of the COVID-19 Urgent Public Health Research response by all necessary organisations across the research, health and social care systems will be expedited. For commercial companies, this includes expedited identification of sites to ensure appropriate geographical distribution of Urgent Public Health Research support to maximise recruitment and minimise over-commitment of resources. NHS Trusts, health and care providers and universities should prioritise support for studies that have been nationally prioritised.

The single point of entry for prioritising COVID-19 studies is open to applications from commercial and non-commercial organisations across the research, health and social care sectors.

Support is available to prioritise, co-ordinate and deliver COVID-19 studies and funding is available to support the research. Queries about research funding should be submitted via the dedicated NIHR COVID-19 email address.

The submitted study information will be reviewed by clinical and research experts, who will make recommendations for support via the Department of Health and Social Care to the Chief Medical Officer/Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. Applicants may be signposted to additional resources that may be available for the study (eg funding opportunities or research delivery support).

Applications are open on a rolling basis until further notice.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.

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