19/56 – Health Services & Delivery Research Programme (evidence synthesis)

1. Remit

The NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme funds research to produce evidence to impact on the quality, accessibility and organisation of health and social care services. This includes evaluations of how the NHS and social care might improve delivery of services. The audience for this research is the public, service users, clinicians, professionals and managers.

The HS&DR programme aims to produce rigorous and relevant evidence on the quality, access and organisation of health and social care services, including costs and outcomes. The programme will enhance the strategic focus on research that matters to the NHS including research on implementation and a range of knowledge mobilisation initiatives.

The NIHR HS&DR programme is funded by the NIHR, with contributions from Health and Care Research Wales, the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, and case by case contributions from the CSO in Scotland.

The programme operates two funding streams; researcher-led and commissioned. Researchers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible to apply for funding from either workstream under this programme. Researchers in Scotland may apply to the researcher-led workstream but are not eligible to respond to the commissioned workstream and should contact the CSO to discuss funding opportunities for healthcare delivery-type research.

2. The Researcher-led Workstream

The researcher-led workstream welcomes Stage 1 (and straight to Stage 2 Evidence Synthesis) proposals on topics or research questions identified by researchers within the programme’s remit. The aim is to fund research that will lead to improvements in health services that will be of greatest benefit to the NHS and to patients. We are interested in a range of types of research including primary research and evidence synthesis.

We are particularly keen to see large scale studies of national importance. This means primary research projects which:

• Address an issue of major strategic importance to the NHS, with the cost in line with the significance of the problem to be investigated
• Are likely to lead to changes in practice that will have a significant impact on a large number of patients across the UK
• Aim to fill a clear ‘evidence gap’, and are likely to generate new knowledge of direct relevance to the NHS
• Have the potential for findings to be applied to other conditions or situations outside the immediate area of research
• Bring together a team with strong expertise and track record across the full range of relevant disciplines
• Will be carried out across more than one research site.


If you are planning a project of this type you may wish to refer to the MRC Complex Interventions Framework

Areas of Interest:

The researcher-led workstream has a continued interest in applications for research in areas highlighted as a priority in previous NIHR themed calls as well as previous HS&DR highlight notices (this includes Dementia).

Visit funding web page