Dementia Highlight Notice

NIHR – Dementia


Dementia is a growing challenge that has become one of the most important health and social care issues facing the world. In the UK it is estimated that dementia affects around 850,000 people. Commitments under the Government’s Challenge on Dementia and the G8 Dementia Summit have highlighted the need to boost dementia research, led by the research community. Since the Dementia Themed call in 2011, the NIHR has funded an extensive portfolio of dementia research and the Clinical Research Network has supported the delivery of a large number of projects.

Specific requirements for this call

We need to continue building the evidence base, to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. We need more research focused on meeting the needs of underserved populations. Applications are welcomed which include populations with a high disease burden and which have been historically under-served by NIHR research activity (see appendix below), and which address equality, diversity and inclusion.

To increase capacity and capability in this important area, we would particularly welcome applications that will support network and partnership activities specifically to facilitate and enable those individuals and organisations who have historically been less research active. Applications should include co-applicant representation within the core team from at least one geographical area demonstrating a mismatch between care and research activity.

Applications should be co-produced with service commissioners, providers and service users wherever appropriate to better ensure findings are of utility in policy and practice. Applicants may wish to consult the NIHR INVOLVE guidance on co-producing research.

Specific areas of interest for research

Research could involve any aspect of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, support or care, and related health and social care services. Applications which involve investigators spanning a range of specialties are encouraged and partnership with national charities welcomed.
Some examples of potential areas of interest are given below, but this is not exhaustive list. Other research within the remit of the participating NIHR funding programmes and relevant to this call will also be considered.

It is important that dementia as an area of research continues to grow in terms of capacity, and ability to deliver evidence to inform policy, services, and practitioners. We therefore also welcome proposals which build on knowledge from the NIHR Dementia Themed Call and aligned initiatives.

How to apply

Research proposals must be within the remit of at least one participating NIHR Programme. The Programmes involved in this call are:

Please note that:

  • Proposals for both primary and secondary research are welcome. Both retrospective and prospective research studies are in scope for this call.
  • Applicants should justify the importance of their proposed research and its potential impact on care.
  • Applicants should clearly state how their proposed research addresses an explicit evidence gap and how the research adds value to the existing NIHR research portfolio.

Contact Information

Deadline for proposals

Application forms will be available from participating programmes’ websites from 24 March 2021 until Autumn 2021. Please note that open and close dates vary and completed forms must be submitted by the date specified on the relevant programme pages.

The funding arrangements for the participating NIHR research programmes contributing to this call are described on their individual webpages.


Visit funding web page

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