MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

Leave a comment

Research & Innovation in the NHS Long Term Plan

Last week the NHS released their long term plan with funding of £20.5 billion backing the new plans up to 2023, of course research and innovation features within the plan which is summarised below.

Research and innovation are key to both the NHS and UK economy. ‘Research-active’ hospitals have lower mortality rates with patients benefiting from earlier diagnosis, more effective treatments and faster recovery. The government plans to treble it’s industry contract and R&D collaborative research with the NHS over the next ten years to nearly £1 billion.

The NHS will be working to increase the number of people registered to participate in health research to 1 million by 2023/24, one way of doing this will be by allowing people to register their interest via an app by 2020.

There is a particular focus on investing in genomics research with the aim to be the first national health care system to offer whole genome sequencing as part of routine care. During 2019 seriously ill children who are likely to have rare genetic disorders, children with cancer, and adults suffering from certain rare conditions or specific cancers, will begin to be offered whole genome sequencing.

Uptake of proven, affordable innovations will be accelerated through a new Medtech funding mandate. This applies to health tech products (other than pharmaceuticals) assessed as cost saving by NICE. The number of NICE evaluations will also be significantly increased giving greater scope for assessment of digital products in particular.

For more information about the NHS long term plan you can visit the plans here.


Leave a comment

The Year Ahead for Biomedical Science & Biotechnology

A version of this article first appeared on Research Professional 04/01/2019.  

biomedical science

The long-term NHS plan is expected to be published within the next month with medical charities, and medical research organisations hoping it will make it easier for clinicians to conduct research. Meanwhile Industry and Government will start to implement the second life sciences sector deal, including the £1.3 billion investment in UK life sciences.

The Nuffield Council for Bioethics will be replacing members of their council, as their terms come to an end – you have until 28th January to apply (have a look here!). Towards the end of the year they will also be publishing a report on the ethical challenges of global health emergencies.

The MRC will be hiring a clinical director and along with the other eight bodies of UKRI will publish their first strategic delivery plans by the spring.

The Wellcome Trust have updated their priority areas – more to follow on this.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is expected to announce their first cohort of “future leaders” this month for their FLIER leadership programme. They will also be hosting a UK-India antimicrobial resistance symposium in February.

The NHS are hoping to sequence 1 million whole genomes in fives years and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics will be exploring the ethical issues with genome editing farmed animals.

Leave a comment

Health Research Authority (HRA) Researcher Training Day


On the 24th February 2017, Manchester Metropolitan will welcome the Health Research Authority (HRA) to conduct training for University staff and students.


• To introduce researchers to the HRA and making applications to undertake research within the NHS
• Series of presentations and interactive sessions designed to give researchers insight into the ethical issues considered by RECs
• To help researchers anticipate the ethical concerns RECs may raise
• To outline guidance on consent and patient/participant information sheets


• Academic researchers, postgraduate student researchers and their academic supervisors from Manchester Metropolitan University only
• Researchers undertaking research with NHS patients or their data

To view the agenda and register for the event, please visit the Eventbrite.

We would encourage you to attend the whole day to maximise your understanding of research ethics and the HRA application process.

Certificates of attendance will be issued at the end of the day.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Please indicate any special dietary requirements when registering. If you have any special requirements in terms of access, please contact Mark Dyer.

Leave a comment

Funding opportunity with the PHR Programme: Public Mental Health

NiHR for Public Mental Health

NIHR are interested in receiving applications for research into the evaluation of public health interventions to improve mental health.

They are looking to fund research on the effectiveness of mental health promotion or mental illness prevention interventions across the life course at a (sub) population level. All areas of public mental health are covered by this funding opportunity.

Areas of particular interest include:

  • workplace interventions to promote mental health
  • interventions to reduce social isolation
  • interventions to prevent bullying

The deadline for applications is 1pm, 30 July 2015. For more information and to watch a webinar about this funding opportunity, please visit NIHR website.

For further assistance with your application  please email: 

Leave a comment

Perceptions of 12 hour shifts on Health Care Assistants

Up to £100,000 is available to carry out research for NHS England. The deadline for any response is 18 February 2015.

To further build on the research findings from the scoping review, focus groups and interviews with Health Care Assistants, NHS England are asking for calls for proposals to deliver two live evidence gathering events to take place in late March 2015.   Initial findings taken from the scoping review, focus groups and interviews will be used in the live listening evidence gathering events.

Aims and Objectives

  • To organise and coordinate two live listening evidence gathering events involving Health Care Assistants, Health/Care professionals, people we care for and other key stakeholders from a range of NHS care provider settings to discuss findings from the reviews of the impact of 12 hour shifts on Health Care Assistants.
  • To facilitate group discussion in the events around areas of divergence and convergence from the findings and engage with participants to identify associated emergent issues and proposed actions for future consideration.
  • To use case studies/vignettes for groups to discuss and validate emergent issues from the scoping review and findings from the focus groups and interviews.
  • To produce an action plan identifying key actions to be addressed as part of a short term delivery plan, and actions to be addressed as part of a longer term workforce strategy.

More details are available here:

If you’re interested in bidding, please let me know (Mike Daw,

Leave a comment

NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) Programme vacancies

NIHR2The Director of Research and Development for the Department of Health wishes to contract with an institution for two part-time positions* (1 day per week):

  • Programme Director of the NIHR PHR Programme
  • Chair of the funding board for the NIHR PHR Programme

The PHR Programme was established in 2008. It is a key component of the NIHR, complementing other NIHR programmes and initiatives. The PHR Programme funds research to evaluate non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. The scope is multi-disciplinary and broad, covering a wide range of interventions that improve public health.

Further details about the individual roles and contact information can be found online.  

*Applications are welcome from candidates who may also want to combine the two roles.

More details about the programme can be found at

Leave a comment

MRC – New Methodology Research Highlight Notices

MRC and NHSThe Medical Research Council, through the MRC-NIHR Methodology Research Programme (MRP), has announced the launch of four new highlight notices, calling for applications addressing strategically important areas of unmet methodological need. These areas, as defined by MRC and NIHR, in consultation with policy partners such as MHRA, NICE, CSO, NISCHR and others, are:

Methods Research to support use of observational data in clinical decision making
Development of innovative methods for identifying, synthesising, interpreting and presenting observational data for use in guidance development and in clinical decision making (at patient and national levels), and in particular, how one may interpret and rationalise data from different sources e.g. RCT vs. observational clinical effectiveness data.

Multiple testing/Subgroup analyses – deriving minimally biased estimates
Development and testing of methods addressing issues of bias in multiple testing and subgroup analyses elements of randomised controlled trials, in particular addressing quantification of the extent of bias created by multiplicity, development of techniques for minimising bias and looking at trade-off between variance and bias.

Methods research for assessing quality of life in carers
High quality methods development research aimed at assessing quality of life of carers of people with cognitive impairment and specifically dementia.

Missing Data and the Use of Propensity Scores
Methods research for dealing with missing data in observational datasets, and high quality methods development research aimed at further understanding the robustness of propensity scores and whether the results of the analysis adjusting for them are robust.

Application process and schedule
Applications are invited through the normal MRC grant schemes and will be considered at the regular Methodology Research Programme Panel meetings. Applications are invited to the 23rd January 2014 deadline, and to subsequent deadlines. It is essential to discuss proposals with MRC Head Office at an early stage. All applications must be approved by the Methodology Programme Manager prior to submission. Please contact:

Dr David Crosby