NIHR development awards announced

Author Helen Mthiyane
Posted 2019.06.04

A series of three complementary research funding opportunities are planned. These have been informed by stakeholder engagement, including the HSRUK-led global HPSR community of interest.

The NIHR Global Health Policy and Systems Research (Global HPSR) programme aims to support research in global health policy and systems research which is directly and primarily of benefit to people in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). This will be driven by effective equitable partnerships between LMIC and UK researchers, who together will:

  • engage stakeholders
  • identify and address priorities for research in health policy and health systems, and
  • develop plans for capacity strengthening and knowledge sharing

A series of three complementary research funding opportunities are planned. These have been informed by stakeholder engagement, including the HSRUK-led global HPSR community of interest.

Development Awards

  • Opening June 2019, up to 9 months, up to £100,000 per award
  • To allow development of equitable partnerships between ODA-eligible LMIC researchers and UK institutions to: identify and engage relevant stakeholders (policy makers and LMIC communities); undertake a needs-assessment and identify local priorities for research, with the aim that Development Awards will support an application for future research funding.


  • Opening September 2019 (tbc), with funding for up to 4 years and up to £4M per award
  • A commissioned funding opportunity, which will be aligned with the WHO campaign to promote universal health coverage towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Opening Sept 2020 (tbc), with funding for up to 4 years, between £2-4M per award
  • This will be an open funding opportunity and will align with the end of the Development Awards (not restricted to Development Award holders)

All applications will require:

  • two joint-lead applicants (LMIC and UK) with funding and contracting via the UK administering institution
  • plans for engagement with key stakeholders such as policy makers, communities, patients and researchers, to facilitate locally relevant research priority setting, needs assessment and a strategy for appropriate research uptake and dissemination
  • assessment of training and capability needs and how to best address them, particularly in low resourced settings.

Applications for the Commissioned and Researcher-led funding opportunities will be expected to consist of up to a maximum of 5 institutions in consortia that are able to support knowledge exchange, relevant capacity and capability development. These partnerships can be established as part of the Development Awards.

Applications will be assessed through open competition, with an international independent funding committee.

To be eligible to receive ODA funding, applications must demonstrate how they meet ODA compliance criteria and outline:

  • which LMIC(s) on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of ODA-eligible countries will directly benefit;
  • how the application is directly and primarily relevant to the development challenges of those countries; and
  • how the outcomes will promote the health and welfare of people in the country or countries on the DAC list.