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NIHR Standard Application Form guidance changes

Please note changes to the NIHR Standard Application Form guidance.  A new resource has been made available via a link from the Guidance for applicants on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for study participants, The INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework. This aims to help trial teams think carefully about which ethnic groups should be included in their trial for its results to be widely applicable, and what challenges there may be to making this possible. INCLUDE is an NIHR initiative, funded by the CRN.

Current Stage 1 and stage 2 EDI guidance section / wording 1 and stage 2 EDI guidance section / wording 

Guidance for applicants on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for study participants

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 and Access to health or social care.  Useful links to the toolkit for increasing participation of BAME groups in health and care research and the INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework, which aims to improve trial delivery for under-served groups.  All NIHR applications are expected to include information about how this data will be collected. 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.

Helpful links: and

NIHR issues guidance to ensure research protected in a ‘second wave’

The NIHR has issued guidance to protect both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 research during a ‘second wave’ of high COVID-19 activity.  The guidance states that research staff funded by NIHR should not be deployed to front line duties except in exceptional circumstances. This is in contrast to the ‘first wave’ when many staff from the NIHR’s Local Clinical Research Networks and Clinical Research Facilities were deployed to the clinical front line in anticipation of heightened need.

100,000 participants enroll in urgent COVID-19 research

Over 100,000 UK participants have now enrolled in COVID-19 urgent public health research supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) – at NHS hospitals and care settings across the United Kingdom.

NIHR launches new UK wide funding call for longer-term COVID-19 research

The NIHR has launched a new call inviting applications to better understand and manage the health and social care consequences of the global COVID-19 pandemic beyond the acute phase, to help mitigate the impact of subsequent phases of the pandemic and its aftermath. Read more

Celebrating nurses and midwives as they adapt to the COVID-19 crisis

International Nurses’ Day was celebrated around the world on 12 May, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Dr Sharon Barrett, Associate Director of Nursing at the NIHR Clinical Research Network marks this day by reflecting on the way research nurses have responded to the global pandemic.

RDS Blogs: From the RDS desk

Each month, the Research Design Service, brings you handy tips, insights and experiences of the funding application process. The blogs touch on various themes in the design process and highlight what you need to know before you make a research application.

This month’s blog: This month’s blog Using health and social care data for research discusses how routinely collected data contains large quantities of health and social care information, usually covering whole populations and often spanning prolonged time periods. Such data can be repurposed and underpin new research whilst reducing costs, time and resources. Until recently accessing this data has been a big challenge, but joint efforts are underway to improve this.

Check out the previous blogs below:

October 2020: Innovative research design in action: how the Research Design Service can help

September 2020: The RDS Model of Support for Social Care Research 

August 2020: The COVID-19 pandemic creates a myriad of research questions and ideas: An economic perspective

July 2020: Working in partnership to develop public health research – An RDS perspective

June 2020: Equality, diversity and inclusion in health and social care research: COVID-19 and beyond

May 2020: Public involvement during a pandemic: how we are supporting researchers