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Targeting Health Needs Funding Call 2024/25 Guidance: Closing Date - 12 noon, Monday 11 December 2023



A further call for Targeting Health Needs (THNs) funding is now open to applications for awards in 2024/25.

There are changes to this call which are important to note;

  • an organisation can submit only one bid as the lead organisation up to a maximum award of £30,000. Organisations may wish to collaborate to submit a joint application and in this case the amount will be capped at £30,000 for each collaborating partner.
  • due to contractual arrangements the NENC budget is still subject to DHSC sign off
  • funding will be awarded for a maximum of 12 months for spend by 31st March 2025

The focus of the THNs awards continues to be expanding the reach of NIHR Portfolio studies to under-served communities within the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) - Bringing clinical and applied research to under-served communities with major health needs.

This call will be open to the following regional priority areas:

  • Mental health - including applications that may be hosted outside of mental health teams e.g. mental health in a specialty or following a particular physical health event
  • Dementia care - including applications with a community/social care aspect
  • Improving population health - prevention, early detection and effective management of the biggest causes of premature mortality: cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes, respiratory disease and obesity
  • Deprived (Deep End) and hard to reach communities with major health needs

These areas have been identified following consultation with the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and considering the priorities of the Integrated Care System North East and North Cumbria.

Key objectives of the awards

  • To increase recruitment to NIHR Portfolio studies;
    • Within a geography that has previously been under-served by research activity
    • In more than one regional partner organisation
    • Within at least one setting; hospitals, primary care, community care and residential care

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:

  • Each award will be capped at £30,000 per collaborating organisation
  • Staff grade, WTE/FTE and costs (within the Agenda for Changes - the main NHS pay system/Higher Education Institution salary range) should be provided by each collaborating organisation to identify; the funding request and which organisation funding is to be transferred to if the application is successful
  • Successful applicants are expected to report on the progress of their project (twice during 2024/25) to achieve one or more of the key objectives
  • Funding;
    • Must be used in line with agreed budget plan
    • Must be used within 2024/25 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


Please apply using the online application form. Applications will close at 12 noon on 11 December 2023.


  • Will show likely positive impact on;
    • Recruitment in area of priority health need and/or
    • Work in a new setting or accessing an under-served research population
    • Evidence of engagement and collaboration with relevant:
      • Partner organisations, specialty group,
      • Primary care/Public Health/Social Care/non-NHS organisations (if appropriate)
    • How applicants intend to mitigate risk of underspend
  • Require sign off by R&D Director/Manager, organisational lead or proposed budget holder.

CRN NENC will give preference to bids which:

  • Look to extend recruitment/add new recruitment sites to an existing NIHR Portfolio study which supports the aim of conducting research in areas which have been historically under-served by research activity or where there is an unmet need
  • Target more than one priority area e.g cross specialty/setting working
  • Engage meaningfully with the under-served communities within the NENC region
  • Can show collaboration with other organisations, specialties, NIHR platforms, charities and the voluntary sector to develop their bids
  • Use digital technologies, remote care or digital recruitment strategies to enhance their recruitment potential.
  • Have been co-funded, or are in the process of being co-funded. Research Delivery Awards or other CRN NENC funding sources are not considered as co-funding.

Please note: due to the likely number of applications it will not be possible to provide specific feedback to applicants.


16/11/2023: Targeting Health Needs funding call opens

11/12/2023: Call closes to applications

15/12/2023: Funding review panel convened to consider applications

17/01/2024: CRN NENC Executive decision making board

By 31/01/2024: Applicants, R&D Directors/Managers, Specialty Group Leads, Research Delivery Managers/Research Operation Managers advised of outcome

1/04/2024: Awards commence

31/03/2025: Awards complete spend