NIHR SPCR Funding Round 11-IV – Guidance for applications (2023)

Please note to be eligible for this funding call you must be collaborating with co-applicants from one of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) member departments. If you are based outside of the School membership, please ensure the relevant research manager (listed below) is aware of your intention to apply well in advance of the deadline and discuss any queries with them.

This webpage contains information to assist applicants in applying to the NIHR SPCR Funding Round 11-IV. The aim of this funding round is to fund high quality, collaborative research, both amongst SPCR members and beyond the School, that will strengthen the evidence base of primary care. The SPCR has a commitment to strengthen the primary care research sector more broadly, covering sectors such as community nursing and pharmacy as well as general practice.

This funding call is targeted at underrepresented professions and all projects must be led by one of the following professionals:

- Any allied health professional regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council:

- Dentist

- Midwife

- Nurse

- Optometrist

- Pharmacist

All applicants should familiarise themselves with the SPCR business case to ensure their project proposal fits with the aims of the School:

The maximum application value is £250,000.

The deadline for submitting applications is 12 noon Monday 17 July 2023. All eligible applications will be reviewed by the funding panel, who are a mixed group of academics, clinicians and public contributors. All applicants will be informed of the outcome by mid-October 2023.

Applications to this funding round consists of an application form (online), project protocol, costing Excel spreadsheet and a Gantt chart. The SPCR research manager at your affiliated member should be informed of your intention to apply and should assist or signpost to the correct internal procedures for costing.

Nancy Horlick

University of Bristol

Sara Hayes

University of Exeter

Philippa Bailey

Keele University

Rita Chow

University of Manchester

Pam Pepper

University of Nottingham

Kristy Smitten

University of Oxford

Juliet Henderson

Queen Mary University of London

Jane Cousins

Jo Kelly

University of Southampton

Katalin Schwabne Gefferth

University College London

This guide will provide further information on how to complete the online application form and upload the required documents. Please read this document in full before you start planning and writing your application.

For any further questions, please contact the School at

Download a PDF version of this guidance

Section A: Principal Investigator’s (PI) details

Q1 PI name

Name and title of PI.

Q2 PI email address

Email address of PI.

Q3 PI ORCID number

Provide the ORCID of the PI, which can be checked via

Q4 PI affiliation (SPCR Member)

The PI is not required to be employed by one of the SPCR members however the application must be made in conjunction with one of the member departments. Select the location from the list.

Q5 PI’s professional background

Select from the list.

Q6 PI’s research experience

Please summarise your relevant expertise and track record in relevant research, in terms of skills and experience, grant funding and impact on health or social care service provision.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Q7 PI’s top 5 publications or presentations

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Provide details of a MAXIMUM of 5 of your most recent / relevant publications or presentations (in the last 10 years) relevant to this application.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Section B: Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI)’s details

Q8 Are there one or more Co-PIs for this project?

Answering yes to this question will allow you to input their details as listed below. Answering no will allow you to skip to section C.

Q8-a Co-PI(s) name

Name and title of Co-PI(s).

Q8-b Co-PI(s) email address

Email address of Co-PI(s).

Q8-c Co-PI(s) ORCID number

Provide the ORCID of the Co-PI(s), which can be checked via

Q8-d Co-PI(s) affiliation (SPCR Member)

The Co-PI(s) is not required to be employed by one of the SPCR members however the application must be made in conjunction with one of the member departments. Select the location from the list.

If you have more than one Co-PI, please add further information to Q44.

Q8-e Co-PI(s) professional background

Select from the list.

If you have more than one Co-PI, please add further information to Q44.

Q8-f Co-PI(s) research experience

Please summarise your relevant expertise and track record in relevant research, in terms of skills and experience, grant funding and impact on health or social care service provision.

Word limit for this section: 450 words per Co-PI

Q8-g Co-PI(s) top 5 publications or presentations

Provide details of a MAXIMUM of 5 of your most recent / relevant publications or presentations (in the last 10 years) relevant to this application.

Word limit for this section: 450 words per Co-PI

Section C: Research Team

Q9 Details of co-applicants

Co-applicants are those individuals with responsibility for the day-to-day management and delivery of the project. Co-applicants are considered part of the project team and are expected to share responsibility for its successful delivery.

Provide details of all co-applicants: Name, email, job title, professional background and ORCID iD should be provided as a minimum.

Q10 Details of collaborators

In contrast to co-applicants, collaborators normally provide specific expertise on particular aspects of the project, but do not share in the responsibility for the delivery of the project.

Provide details of all collaborators: Name, email, job title and professional background should be provided as a minimum.

Q11 Details of public co-applicant or collaborator

We welcome the inclusion of public co-applicants, where appropriate. Please provide a description of the public co-applicant’s role(s) or specific expertise provided.

Word limit: 50 words per co-applicant or collaborator for this section

For further information please access the'Public Co-Applicants in Research' guidance.

Please include, where feasible: names, job title and relevant experience. Only share e-mail addresses of public co-applicants or collaborators if they have access to a university / professional email account.

Q12 Summary of team expertise

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Briefly describe the expertise that the whole team will bring to the research project.

Q13 Please describe the value of the collaboration in this application

Key to this funding round is to encourage collaborations amongst SPCR members and, where feasible, academics from outside the School. Explain in this section how the team will complement each other and how collaboration is adding value and strengthens the research project.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Q14 Conflict of Interest declaration

Please declare any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest that you or your co-applicants may have in undertaking this research, including any relevant personal, non-personal and commercial interest that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.

Section D: Project Details

Q15 Project title

The project title should state clearly and concisely the proposed research. Any abbreviations should be spelled out in full.The title should also reflect the study research design.

Q16 Project short name

Provide a short project name.

Q17 Plain English Summary

A plain English summary is a clear explanation of your research. Make sure to not use, or explain, any jargon, write in accessible English and use spacing and punctuation to improve the reading-friendliness of the summary.

Both academic and public reviewers use this summary to inform their review of your funding application. If your application for funding is successful, the summary will be used on the SPCR and others’ websites.

For further guidance see the NIHR Plain English summaries guidance.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Q18 Expert Summary

Provide an academic abstract for the research proposal.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Q19 Five key words to describe the project

You can identify any 5 key words that are relevant and will describe your proposed research.

Section E: Project Duration

Q20 Project start date

Projects funded by the FR11-IV competition can start from 1 January 2024 onwards. Please ensure a realistic start date taking any recruitment requirements, data access and contracting into consideration.

Q21 Project end date

Projects must end by 31 March 2026 and no extension can be given beyond this date.

Q22 Duration

State the expected duration of this project in months. The maximum project duration is 27 months eg 1st January 2024 to 31st March 2026.

Q23 Gantt chart

The Gantt chart should provide timelines for the completion of work, including the timing of key milestones and deliverables. If there are several projects or work streams within the application, please specify these within the Gantt chart. You are welcome to use any visualisation software or template that works for your project, but it should be submitted as a PDF or Excel document.

Please name your document using the following format: SPCRMember_Surname_FR11_Gantt

Section F: Project Information

Q24 SPCR theme

The SPCR will only fund research that falls within at least one of the themes. You are welcome to select as many as apply to your proposal. Further information on the themes can be found in the SPCR business case.

Q25 UKCRC Health Research Classification System

Select all classifications that are relevant to the proposal.

Q26 Research Activity Code

Select the research activity code(s) relevant to the proposal. Further information can be found on the UKCRC Health Research Classification website:

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Q27 How does the existing literature support this proposal?

Briefly describe:

  • ­the need for research in this area, drawing particularly from systematic reviews (including NHS context and relevant literature), and the rationale for the particular lines of research you plan to pursue.
  • ­past and current research that justifies the proposed research and shows that it will add distinct value to what is already known, or in progress.
  • ­work undertaken previously by the research team which has led to the proposed programme (e.g. describe any pilot or feasibility data).
  • Applicants should be aware of ongoing research in this area and comment on any other research which might be deemed to overlap with the contents of the proposal.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Q28 Why is this research important in terms of improving the health and/or wellbeing of the public and/or to patients and health care services?

It is essential that you clearly identify the health and care need that your research aims to address. Please outline the anticipated value or contribution the study will provide.

Briefly describe:

  • The importance of the proposed research and its relevance to the research priorities for the SPCR.
  • ­The anticipated outputs, outcomes and impact of the proposed research on the health of patients/service users, carers and/or the public, highlighting the trajectory to patient benefit and quantifying the potential benefits, where possible.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Q29 Does this project proposal relate to a submission for a previous funding call?

We are keen to know if the application has been submitted elsewhere and ask that you are as open about this as possible. Please give details of any previous applications including details of the PI for that submission if not yourself, and explain how the research team has responded to feedback from the funding panel.

Q30 Please upload your proposed project protocol.

Please use this section to explain your proposed research project in detail.Funding panel members that will be reviewing the applications might not have a detailed understanding of the particular primary care research area that your application relates to so it is vitally important that you clearly tell the story.

Ensure that you describe what the problem is that you will address. What are currently the implications of this problem on i.e. the quality of life of patients, patient care or the NHS system. Show that project would fill a demonstrable evidence gap.

Describe the proposed research plan and how it will achieve the project’s aims/objectives, key question(s) and, where appropriate, the main hypothesis. If there are multiple work streams, provide descriptions of each one and detail how they will be integrated into a coherent project. Specify the methodological approaches proposed in sufficient detail to allow them to be assessed by the funding panel, i.e. justification for sample sizes, inclusion and exclusion criteria, recruitment strategy, nature of follow up, techniques of data collection, choice of analysis and why.

Especially for larger projects, clarify the governance/ project management of the study.

Please name your document using the following format: SPCRMember_Surname_FR11_Protocol

The proposed project protocol should be no more than 12 pages, including reference list.

Section G: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Q31 How will you ensure equality, diversity, and inclusion are embedded within your research design?

Every person eligible to take part in research should be offered the same opportunity of taking part in that research regardless of:

- Geographical location

- Age

- Disability

- Gender reassignment

- Marriage and civil partnership

- Pregnancy and maternity

- Ethnicity

- Religion or belief

- Sex

- Sexual orientation

- Socioeconomic status

- Access to health or social care

All applications are expected to include information about how this data will be collected. In addition, applicants should demonstrate how these factors have been considered and addressed in their proposal, including steps taken to ensure the research sample is representative of the population the study is targeted at. Applicants need to explain who they are planning to recruit to ensure inclusivity of study participants and justify and explain any exclusions, for example by completing an Equality Impact Assessment. Additionally, applicants should demonstrate that all potential recruiting locations have been considered and the research is deliverable to those areas.

Please see the NIHR INCLUDE Guidance for more information about how to include under-served groups effectively:

NIHR promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in research webpage.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Q32 How will you ensure your research findings will be relevant to those people who are currently being underserved by primary care research?

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It is of utmost importance that any outcomes from SPCR-funded research will be of benefit for those who are currently being underserved by primary care research. Please describe further information on your plans to ensure that your research outcomes are appropriate to all whom could benefit from it.

Word limit for this section: 450 words

Section H: Involvement and Dissemination

Q33 Describe the involvement of patients and / or the public in developing this application:

Describe how patients or public contributors have been involved in the development of this application. What has been their input in the proposed project or what might have changed due to engagement with relevant communities?

For support in patient and public involvement (PPI) for your application, get in contact with your local NIHR Research Design Service. Alternatively, you can reach out to your local SPCR PPI leads who can provide advice and support or signpost you. Keep in mind that you will need to allow enough time for involvement in your application, so it is recommended to contact them at the early stages of the application development process.

Q34 How will patients and / or the public be involved in your research?

Appropriate patient and public involvement plans are an essential criteria for funding.

Please describe in this section who you would like to involve as public contributors in your research. Provide information such as particular lived experiences public contributors have which is relevant for the research, how you aim for diverse and inclusive recruitment of public contributors and if there are already established relationships. Provide details on how you would like to involve them at different stages of your research.

A list of PPI resources for applicants to NIHR research programmesto assist you can be found on the NIHR website, including:Briefing notes for researchers on how to involve patients/service users, carers and the public andPayments Guidance for researchers and professionals with information on budgeting for involvement.

Q35 What is the planned dissemination strategy throughout this project?

Please describe the expected main outputs from your research project and how they will be presented, disseminated and used. Explain how the findings from the proposed research will be shared with or disseminated to others. If your project recruits study participants, it is important to include details of how you will share the progress and findings of the study with study participants.

We appreciate that your answer to this question will evolve over time.

Q36 What are the likely impacts from this project?

Please describe how you plan to maximise the potential impact of the proposed research. Impact is defined as the demonstrable contribution that research makes to society and the economy, of benefit to individuals, organisations and nations.

Describe who are the likely beneficiaries of the research, when they are likely to benefit and in what ways, and describe how the knowledge will be translated into the real world. Support on how to plan for impact is provided on the NIHR website.

We appreciate that your answer to this question will evolve over time.

Section I: Links and Relationships

Q37 Will this project link to other parts of the NIHR? If yes, please describe how:

Where relevant, explain how this project links to other NIHR infrastructures or grants. I.e., will the project receive match-funding, are co-applicants and / or collaborators based within NIHR infrastructures, is it building upon previous research that was funded by the NIHR.

Q38 Will this project link with the NIHR Clinical Research Network? If yes, how?

If relevant, explain how you will work with the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) to support the recruitment to your research.

Q39 Other key relationships and / or collaborations not already mentioned:

Are there others you will work with during this project beyond previously mentioned collaborators? I.e. are there researchers at other universities who you plan to work with or organisations such as learned societies or colleges, charities, local authorities or healthcare organisations.

Q40 Will this project require Clinical Trial Unit support? If yes, how?

If (part of) your research includes support from a clinical trial unit, provide further information on who and how they will be part of the project.

Section J: Project Funding

Q41 Total funding amount (£) requested

Give an amount of total funding requested, maximum value £250,000.00.

Q42 Brief justification of funds requested

Provide insights and justification on how the total budget came to be. Please do not repeat the information that you have included in the costing spreadsheet.

Projects may have a value of up to £250,000. Applicants should refer to the RfPB Tier system when thinking about the overall cost of their study, we anticipate receiving applications aligned with Tiers 2 and 3:

Q43 Costings spreadsheet

There is a template Excel spreadsheet that all applicants need to include in their application. A copy of this template can be obtained from the SPCR research manager at your affiliated member.

Some guidance points for when completing the spreadsheet:

  1. Complete the Lead University Sheet first, followed by the co-applicants' worksheets.
  2. The Summary sheet will automatically populate as you fill in the other sheets.
  3. Please refer to the Acord guidance for information on recruitment costs that the School can support:
  4. The SPCR will not cover Excess Treatment costs, however, studies are eligible for CRN support:
  5. Enter costs according to the Financial Year in which they will be incurred, i.e. April to Mar, as this is how we report to the NIHR.
  6. Enter all costs as 100% and the spreadsheet will calculate what the School can pay.
  7. Create any additional lines that you need for staff costs.
  8. Open Access costs – these should not be included in the application. Budgets for open access publications from SPCR funded work will be held centrally by the School. The principle paper from each research project will be funded from this.
  9. If you complete the worksheets in the order as above all common information will flow though.
  10. The NIHR requires us to provide names of staff that will be employed on projects funded from this funding call. If not known at time of application, please state TBC.
  11. The NIHR does not expect computer equipment to exceed £650 (however if specialist software is required the limit is £1000).
  12. Non-School members can join collaborative bids. The majority of the funding needs to stay in the School. Costing external collaborators at 5% FTE is a guideline, please ensure a robust justification for higher FTE is provided.
  13. 30% of staff costs can be included as overhead.

Please name your document using the following format: SPCRMember_Surname_FR11_Costing

Section K: Further information

Q44 Any other information you wish to include:

Please use this question to provide any other information you wish to include, or provide additional information to question Q8 d and e.

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Section L: Important information

You may only make one application to either NIHR SPCR Funding Round 10-IV or NIHR SPCR Funding Round 11-IV as either PI or Co-PI and at the end of the application form you will be asked to declare that this is your only application; and that you are happy for a copy of your application to be shared with the SPCR research manager at your affiliated member for their records.

Applications will only be considered if they are accompanied by a Gantt chart, project protocol and a costings spreadsheet (using the SPCR template) uploaded via Q23, Q30 and Q43.

Once you have submitted your application form, select 'print answers' and you will then have the option to download a PDF version of your submission.


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