Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research

Latest News

Government's announcement of up to £86 million support to help innovative UK businesses develop medical breakthroughs that can be used across the NHS

  Created on Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017. Posted in Funding | Industry

The package will allow small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop and test new technologies in the NHS. This could include innovations such as digital technologies to help patients manage their conditions from home instead of a hospital, or to develop new medicines.

Access to this funding will also speed up the time it takes to get new technologies from the lab to patients in the NHS.

The funding is split into 4 packages:

  • £39 million of funding to the Academic Health Science Networks (ASHNs), enabling them to assess the benefits of new technologies and support NHS uptake of those that deliver real benefits to patients according to the local need
  • £35 million Digital Health Technology Catalyst for innovators – this will match-fund the development of digital technologies for use by patients and the NHS
  • up to £6 million over the next 3 years to help SMEs with innovative medicines and devices get the evidence they need by testing in the real world, building on existing opportunities such as the Early Access to Medicine Scheme (EAMS)
  • £6 million Pathway Transformation Fund, which will help NHS organisations integrate new technologies into everyday practices - this will help overcome more practical obstacles such as training staff on how to use new equipment

Health Research Authority (HRA) releases six eLearning modules (ethics and governance)

  Created on Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017. Posted in News Items

The modules are relevant to all four nations of the UK and cover key areas of research regulation. The first three topics to be released are:

Three further modules concerning research involving human tissue, research involving exposure to ionising radiation and confidentiality and information governance considerations in research, are to be released soon.

The eLearning modules will help the research community to better understand the standards that are expected for the conduct of research, supporting applicants to produce better applications that are less likely to raise queries – and get studies up and running quicker.


Electronic vs ink signatures in research approval documents – HRA clarification

  Created on Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017. Posted in News Items


Intellectual Property: What is it and why does it matter?

  Created on Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017. Posted in Design Tips | Industry

What is intellectual property?
Intellectual Property (IP) is used to define the products of human imagination, creativity and inventiveness. It includes literary and artistic works, inventions, symbols, names, images and designs.
In healthcare IP may come from research or clinical practice.  It includes: medical devices; computer software; training materials; service delivery or pathways; project or patient management; tools, scales or instruments; diagnostics; pharmaceuticals; and biotechnology.

How can you protect your idea?
Identifying where Intellectual Property exists is the first step, as unless it is identified, it cannot be captured, protected and exploited. It’s most important keep your ideas confidential from the very beginning. It is very easy to lose IP early on before it has been protected, by publishing research papers, presentations at conferences or meetings and unguarded conversations. Most universities or NHS trusts will have a business or enterprise unit who will help you with protecting and developing your idea. Your research office should be able to advise you who to contact.

What about the confidentiality of your idea when you’re applying for funding?

  • Discussion with RDS staff: Any discussion between RDS staff and researchers will be considered as confidential by the RDS and not related to a third party without your consent.
  • Funding schemes: Funding scheme managers also understand the issues of confidentiality and welcome contact from the researcher at an early stage when completing the application form to discuss any issues.
    You should be clear about the conditions of the funding scheme you are applying to. Funders will want you to publish the results of the research they funded, whereas you may want to keep the results confidential. Commissioned calls may present a particular problem. Again discussion with the funding scheme prior to application may clarify this.

Who owns the IP?
Legislation in the United Kingdom generally provides that Intellectual Property created by you as an employee in the course of your employment is owned by your employer.
If a project has been funded by the NIHR who owns the Intellectual Property Rights then?
“The Department of Health still expects that where possible and appropriate, the Contractor owns IP arising from research. However, this is not always the case in research with collaborators”. (NIHR FAQs on intellectual property

Does your employer have an IP policy?
The NHS trust or university you work for should have an IP policy which sets out the principles of the organization with regard to Intellectual Property. This will cover issues about the ownership, protection and use of materials and inventions created by employees.

How can you protect your IP?
Methods of protecting IP will depend on what it is. They include:

  • Patents: Patents protect inventions, i.e. the technical aspects of products or processes.
  • Registered rights must be applied for to the Patent Office: It gives a monopoly right for up to 20 years (from when the patent is granted not when an invention comes to market). To be patentable a product must be novel or include an innovative step. Obtaining a patent is a costly and slow process. A Patent Agent will be needed to assist you. NB methods of treatment and computer software are not patentable
  • Registered Trademarks: Registered trademarks protect brand names logos etc. You may see one of these two symbols ™ or ®. You must apply for Registered Rights. Registration requirements are distinctiveness, not descriptive, and having no conflict with other marks.
  • Registered Designs: Registered Designs protect the appearance of a product e.g. shape or surface designs, Registered design rights must be applied for. Unregistered design right protection is also possible. Registration requirements are novelty and individual character.
  • Copyright: © Copyright protects artistic and literary works, and includes computer software and instruction manuals. It is automatic, unregistered and no application required. The work must be original.
  • Know-how: Know-how is knowledge which may not fall under more rigorous forms of protection, but which has commercial value. This confidential information may also be referred to as a ‘trade secret’. Commonly know-how is information which identifies how an industrial process or a key technical step can be implemented.

Developing your idea

  • Licences: When you are developing your idea you may want to use existing technology to help with that development. If this is the case you will need permission from the IP owner and for them agree the terms under which you can use it. This may be in the form of a licence.
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements: Collaborations with commercial or other partners may be required during the development process. A non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement should be signed between the IP holder and the third party. This should also be discussed with Funders so that they can help with the process if necessary and understand what is going on. Discussions will be confidential.

For further information


The NIHR 2017 Theme is complex health and care needs in older people

  Created on Monday, 10 Jul 2017. Posted in Priorities

Treatments associated with these conditions account for 70% of NHS expenditure. The aging population and the increase in the numbers of patients with more complex heath needs pose a growing challenge to society and the NHS. Although there is a strong clinical evidence base for the management of individual diseases, there is very little evidence relating to the risks associated with multimorbidity, polypharmacy or the issues of most importance to patients

The NIHR welcomes all relevant applications, and particularly those addressing the key themes identified at the stakeholder workshop:

  • Frailty,
  • Transitions in care, service delivery and models of care,
  • Medicines management/polypharmacy,
  • Promoting healthy ageing/preventing ill health,
  • Patient-centred decision making.

For more information, including opening dates for different programmes, please see the highlight notice.


Consultation: draft national standards for public involvement in research

  Created on Monday, 10 Jul 2017. Posted in Public Involvement | Toolkit/Database

A set of national, core standards and indicators for public involvement (PI) in research that can be used by organisations, research projects and individuals to improve the quality and consistency of PI has been developed. The next stage is to engage a wide range of interested groups, organisations and individuals to help review and improve the draft standards and indicators.

Please visit the project website for more detailed information about the consultation process and to access all the resources that might be needed. The consulation will run intil 1 September.

 


Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Plan 2016/18

  Created on Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017. Posted in Public Involvement

Public contributors bring a wealth of knowledge and insights to research based on their personal experiences as users of health and social care services and treatments. For example, who better to ask if a research question is relevant and important to patients and carers, than its potential beneficiaries? Or whether the frequency and timing of a series of tests proposed by researchers would actually be acceptable to the patients and carers that they plan to invite to take part in the research?

Each of our objectives are summarised in the Action Plan and cover the areas of:

  • Reach,
  • Support,
  • Knowledge,
  • Integration
  • Communication and accessibility

Changes to the fellowship form (Introduction of Stage 1 & Stage 2)

  Created on Wednesday, 05 Jul 2017. Posted in Funding

From this month, (nearly) all fellowship applications will follow a two stage process. This new form will be an adapted version of the NIHR Standard Application Form. Provisionally, the two stages have been divided like this:

Stage 1

  • Application summary
  • CV (this will be extended from previous years)
  • Research background
  • Plain English summary and scientific summary
  • Detailed research plan
  • Training and development plan (this is likely to be extended)

Stage 2

  • PPI
  • Detailed budget
  • Management and governance

Doctoral awards will be invited to submit a stage 2 application after a shortlisting meeting. Post-doctoral awards will be invited to submit a stage 2 after peer review. Feedback won’t be provided between stages and it won’t be possible to revise the research plan between stages.


Research Involvement Toolkit

  Created on Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017. Posted in Public Involvement | Toolkit/Database

About the Toolkit:

  • This is a resource for researchers who want to involve people affected by cancer in their research (at any stage). It is not a resource to support researchers with engagement activities, or with recruiting to clinical trials. 
  • It aims to support researchers to plan, deliver and evaluate Public and Patient Involvement (PPI)
  • It’s designed to be easy to use and to meet the researcher needs surfaced in researcher surveys conducted by CRUK and also the Shared Learning Group for Involvement in Research 
  • The Toolkit has been developed to be open access – a single Username and Password has been created so that any researcher (or member of the public/staff) can access the Toolkit
  • The Toolkit will be reviewed and refined on an ongoing basis in order to respond to researcher needs and feedback.

Log in with the following username and password
Username: CRUK\InvolvementToolkit
Password: CRUKInvolvement


Charities' Funding Contributes to UK Medical Research Excellence

  Created on Tuesday, 20 Jun 2017. Posted in Funding

New figures reveal that AMRC members funded over £1.6 billion of medical research across the UK in 2016, the biggest proportion of public funding, compared to £1.04 billion from the National Institute for Health Research, and £0.93 billion from the Medical Research Council.