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West Midlands Conversation Station


Improvement & Innovation (I&I) Conversation Station

The annual NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands Strategic Funding Scheme for Improvement and Innovation in Research is opening in September 2021.

This Conversation Station has been developed to offer applicants a space to ask questions and discover potential collaborations to generate ideas around the West Midlands priority areas listed below. Bids could be submitted that focus on addressing challenges in delivering research in these areas (but not for funding to recruit to existing/planned portfolio studies).

West Midlands Research Priorities:

We have provided below our perception of our regional needs. These have not changed significantly in 2022/23 due to the pandemic, which has itself indicated areas of need; we would welcome applications in these areas, but equally welcome Improvement and Innovation ideas in areas not covered below, where it can be evidenced that they address a local need.

The NIHR has communicated nine healthcare priority areas. Bids could be submitted that focus on addressing challenges in delivering research in these healthcare areas (but not for funding to recruit to existing/planned portfolio studies):

Asthma, Cancer, COPD, Dementia, Diabetes, Heart failure, Mental Health (common), Mental Health (severe), and Stroke.

The West Midlands has high prevalence of some specific health issues (e.g. diabetes, obesity, oral and dental health, stillbirth, neonatal mortality and liver disease) and multimorbidity is a growing public health challenge.

Some health issues are very specific to CCG regions. Bids are welcome where the aim of the project is to address the availability or overcoming challenges in the delivery of research in specific health needs, as long as data is provided that evidences the health need

Developing capacity and capability for research in settings outside the hospital

Engaging under-served populations in research

Improving the participants' experience of research, with a focus on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE)

Engaging and developing new Principal Investigators

Improving our performance in the efficient delivery of research as a region (recruiting a realistic number of participants in the recruitment time-frame)

West Midlands attracts research developed outside of the region in order to offer more research opportunities to its population

Understanding and exploiting the existing strengths within the region (e.g. our informatics expertise - maximising data and digital and Remote Trial Delivery)

Enabling system-wide partner collaboration to design, develop and deliver research that addresses the health and care priorities relevant to the population in this region (developing the ecosystem)

Taking the beneficial new ways of working during the Covid-19 pandemic and expanding on these and/or implementing them more widely across the region (e.g. working digitally, collaborations, flexible workforce)

Understanding and addressing post-covid related issues for example long covid / mental health and wellbeing issues affecting both the population and health and care staff

Please feel free to use this forum to discuss ideas, look for inspiration from others and reduce duplication/strengthen your application by working together.

If you have any questions please contact Pam Devall - or Cathy Foreman -

Please go to theĀ Meridian system to start your conversations.