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CRN North East and North Cumbria Targeting Health Needs Funding Call - Guidance 2022/23



For the last three years the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (CRN NENC) has held annual Targeting Health Needs funding calls. We are pleased to announce a further call is open for applications with funding to be awarded in 2022/23 and 2023/24. The total spend for this call has been capped at £300,000. Unlimited numbers of bids can be submitted, but each bid cannot exceed £30,000 within a financial year.

The aim of the awards is to support the development of research that addresses the unmet health needs of local populations based on two categories:

Category A) Bringing clinical & applied research to under-served communities with major health needs (i.e. specialties, especially: cancer including surgical oncology, diabetes, respiratory, heart disease, stroke, mental health and dementia)

Category B) Building capacity & capability in preventative, public health & social care research (public health, non-NHS and social care)

Key objectives of the awards

  • increase recruitment to NIHR Portfolio studies
    • in more than one regional partner organisation or research alliance
    • within at least one specialty area including primary care, public health and social care
  • increase research capacity/capability
    • through development of investigators in designated area of priority health need
    • by accessing an under-served research population within the NENC (NHS or non-NHS)
    • by developing research activity within anewsettingintheNENC (NHS or non-NHS).CRNNENC defines 'new' as a research setting with either:
      • no previous NIHR Portfolio research or
      • no research within the last 3 years (2019/20; 2020/21; 2021/22)

Funding principles

This funding is part of the CRN NENC core funding allocation. As such, the principles which apply to other elements of infrastructure funding also apply here. The following should be considered before making an application:

  • applicants may submit unlimited numbers of bids
  • each bid must not exceed £30,000 spend within a financial year
  • all costing must be within the Agenda for Change (the main NHS pay system)/Higher Education Institution salary range
  • successful applicants are expected to report on the progress of their project to achieve one or more of the key objectives
  • funding:
    • must be used in line with agreed budget plans
    • must be used within the financial year for which it is provided and cannot be carried over
    • must be used for NIHR study delivery only
    • should not in any way be used to contribute to commercial research

Awards process and timeline


By 19 November 2021 - registering interest (extended deadline)

By 26 November 2021 - CRN NENC points of contact (PoC) will then be nominated to support applicants with their application by

  • directing applicants to relevant SGL
  • helping applicants engage with relevant partner organisations, other specialties, public health or primary care
  • helping applicants access relevant data e.g. through use of NIHR data systems
  • guiding applicants to further resources and opportunities

By 04 February 2022 - all applications must be submitted

Applications will show:

  • how applicants seek to build capacity/capability in the area of health need
  • likely positive impact on:
    • (a) recruitment in area of priority health need and/or
    • (b) development of investigators in designated area of priority health need and/or
    • (c) work in a new setting or accessing an under-served research population
  • evidence of engagement and collaboration with relevant:
    • partner organisations, alliance, specialty group
    • primary care/ public health/ social care/ non-NHS organisations (if appropriate)
  • how applicants intend to mitigate risk of underspend

CRN NENC will give preference to bids which

  • target more than one priority area
  • have been co-funded, or are in the process of being co-funded
  • use digital technologies, remote care or digital recruitment strategies to enhance their recruitment potential
  • engage meaningfully with the under-served communities within the NENC region
  • can show collaboration with other organisations, specialties, NIHR platforms, charities and the voluntary sectors to develop their bids




Targeting Health Needs launch event

  • aimed at those interested in submitting an application

  • provide an overview of the funding call and process

  • include key stakeholders including public health, Research Design Service (RDS), Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), Academic Health Sciences Network (AHSN)

by 19/11/2021

Potential applicants register their interest using the Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

by 26/11/2021

Point of Contact to email those who have registered interest a link to the application form. The application form will be pre-populated with details provided in the EOI form.

Targeting Health Needs funding call opens

by 30/11/2021 Virtual workshop(s) organised to support applicants as they develop projects
04/02/2022 Call closes to applications
by 18/02/2022 CRN NENC signs off applications to proceed to the next stage. Sign off by relevant Senior Management Team member and SGL
by 25/02/2022 Independent academic panel convened to review Category B applications. Successful applications will move forward to the funding review panel
by 11/03/2022 Funding review panel convene to consider all applications
16/03/2022 CRN NENC Executive decision making board
by 25/03/2022 Applicants, R&D Directors/Managers, SGLs, RDMs/Research Operations Managers (ROMs) advised of outcome
01/04/2022 Awards commence
by 31/10/2022 CRN NENC Point of Contact, Senior Management Team and/ or SGL will review the awards with successful applicants
31/03/2023 Year 1 awards complete spend