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Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria launches IIT funding awards

The NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria recently launched its third round of funding awards for Investigator Initiated Commercially Funded Research Studies (IITs) taking place across the region.

An IIT is a study that has been initiated by staff who work for a non-commercial organisation, such as the NHS or a university, and receives funding from a commercial organisation such as a pharmaceutical company.

Six awards of £5,000 are available to help develop new IITs or progress existing eligible studies. Applications are open to anyone involved in health or social care research, including previous applicants.

Over the past three years, NIHR and MedConnect North have funded a total of 14 IIT awards in the region. The awards have helped to recognise individuals for their work on IITs, increase opportunities for local people to participate in research, boost commercial investment in regional studies, and encourage engagement with NIHR-supported research. Long-term, the aim is to help locally-led research develop into larger, commercially funded projects by providing support to applicants. This work is part of the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria’s strategic theme of “Partnering”, which looks to make the NIHR the partner of choice for the life science industry with the aim of achieving more together.

Applications for the awards are now open and can be submitted via an online application form. Applicants are asked to provide details of the proposal and how it meets the funding criteria, which can be found in the IIT awards guidance document. The closing date for applications is 15 August 2021.

The group leading on the IIT awards is happy to discuss potential applications and applicants are invited to email Angela Birt, Managerial Lead to arrange to speak to a member of the team. Alternatively, applicants can join an online drop-in session hosted on Microsoft Teams on 21 July between 11am and 1pm to ask questions and seek further guidance: IIT drop-in session meeting link

Caroline Wroe, Clinical Director for the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria, said: “We are proud to offer the IIT awards to researchers in the region and to provide tailored support for their studies. In previous years we have seen a rise in participant recruitment and investment into the region from IITs and encouraging this activity is a key part of our strategic work. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team for guidance if you are considering applying for these awards.”