Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research

Programme Development Grants (PDG)

Aim: To enable preparatory work to be carried out to strengthen a PGfAR application. Applicants will have to outline the subsequent PGfAR research question they propose to address. PDG may include the following:

  • selection or development of interventions or outcome measures
  • pilot/feasibility studies to determine recruitment and participant retention rates, inform sample size calculations, optimise delivery of the intervention, etc.
  • strengthening existing collaborations with methodological experts necessary to deliver the proposed programme. 

Funding: Awards are between £20,000 - £100,000 over a period of 6-18 months.

Process: Single-stage process. Successful applicants can proceed straight to stage 2 of the PGfAR on completing of the development work. There is no guarantee that the recipient of a PDG will be successful in obtaining a PGfAR. The process takes about 3 months.

Criteria: Applications will be judged on the following:

  • quality of the proposed future programme including its relevance to the priorities and needs of the NHS and likelihood of significant benefit to the NHS and patients within 3-5 years)
  • track-record of applicants (breadth and depth of expertise on the team (multidisciplinary), suitability of lead applicant)
  • strength of the work plan for the developmental phase, particularly the extent to which it will enable applicants develop a competitive stage 2 application
  • value for money.

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