Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND)

Start application

Apply for funding for the early-stage development of an intervention that seeks to address a UK or global public health challenge.

You must be a researcher employed by an eligible research organisation.

MRC will fund up to £150,000, for a maximum of 18 months.

Funds requested by UK research organisations will be funded at 80% of the full economic cost, in which case the full economic cost of your project can be up to £187,500. Overseas costs will be funded at 100% of the full economic cost.

The start application link will not appear until the opportunity opens 25 January 2024 9:00am.

Who can apply

Before applying for funding, check the Eligibility of your organisation.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new UKRI Funding Service.

For full details, visit Eligibility as an individual.

Who is eligible to apply

To be eligible to apply for this opportunity you must:

  • show that you will direct the project and be actively engaged in the work
  • focus your application within the science area of early-stage development of interventions that seek to address either UK or global public health challenges

For applicants who do not have a contract of employment for the duration of the proposed project, by submitting an application the research organisation is confirming:

  • contracts will be extended beyond the end date of the project
  • appropriate laboratory space and access to facilities to carry out the research will be provided
  • all necessary support for the project and the applicants will be provided, including mentorship and career development for early career researchers

International co-leads

You can include international applicants as project co-leads if they provide expertise not available in the UK and make a major intellectual contribution to the design or conduct of the project. You must justify in your application why their expertise is required, see ‘Applicant and team capability to deliver’.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all funding applicants. We encourage applications from a diverse range of researchers.

We support people to work in a way that suits their personal circumstances. This includes:

  • career breaks
  • support for people with caring responsibilities
  • flexible working
  • alternative working patterns

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at UKRI.

What we're looking for

Aim

We are looking to support the early-stage development of interventions that seek to address either UK or global public health challenges. This might include qualitative and quantitative primary research and the development of theory and logic models. However, emphasis should be placed on developing the intervention.

This funding opportunity supports the incorporation of systems thinking in addressing public health challenges. It is justifiable to focus on just aspect of a system as long as the wider systems context is recognised, for example, in the framework for evaluation.

It also strongly encourages the use of interdisciplinary teams and co-production with users and other relevant stakeholders, such as policy makers.

Scope

Population level interventions, with a focus on non-health care settings. Examples of the focus of health-related population level interventions include:

  • transport
  • education
  • employment
  • leisure
  • the built environment

For the purposes of this funding opportunity, ‘population’ is defined as groups of individuals for which an intervention may subsequently be delivered and evaluated. For example, this includes organisations such as schools, prisons and workplaces, or settings such as:

  • neighbourhoods
  • communities
  • regions
  • countries

Projects should demonstrate potential for improved health of general, high-risk or vulnerable populations.

The creation of new interventions, where active components of existing interventions are combined to create a new intervention, is allowable within the scope.

The following activities are not within the scope of this funding opportunity:

  • NHS interventions
  • interventions treating clinical conditions or improving health services delivery
  • standalone systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • standalone feasibility studies and pilot studies
  • the wholesale transfer of a proven intervention to a new context, setting or target population

The application

You should address the following points about the proposed intervention, including:

  • its definition
  • a clear theory behind its mechanism of action
  • an indication of its forms and functions
  • its likely components and their inter-relationships
  • its continued refinement and sustainability
  • its scalability

The application should demonstrate a pathway to further development and evaluation of the intervention, and criteria for its progression to the next stage of development.

Engagement of potential commissioners and users of an intervention is often crucial to its potential success. You should be able to identify potential beneficiaries of your intervention, who would be delivering the intervention and who would commission it.

Your application will be strengthened by demonstrating that users and the target population will be willing to participate in the development study (and potentially further testing and evaluation).

It may be helpful to refer to the MRC and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) guidance for developing and evaluating complex interventions. This supports the development or identification, feasibility testing, evaluation and implementation of complex interventions.

Duration

We will fund projects lasting up to 18 months.

For information, MRC has previously funded awards with a shorter duration of eight and 10 months, however, successful awards typically span anywhere from 12 to 18 months in duration.

Funding available

The full economic cost of your project can be up to a maximum of £187,500, however, you should note that MRC will only fund a maximum £150,000 per application.

What we will fund

You can request funding for costs such as:

  • a contribution to the salary of the principal investigator and co-investigators
  • support for other posts such as research and technical
  • research consumables
  • equipment
  • travel costs
  • data preservation, data sharing and dissemination costs
  • estates and indirect costs

A limited amount (approximately 15%) of the overall cost may be allocated to some acceptability and feasibility research, to:

  • further develop the intervention
  • help cement a collaboration
  • underpin further work to help the case for a future grant application

You can also request costs for work to be undertaken at international organisations by international project co-leads. We will fund 100% of the full economic cost.

The total of such costs requested for international applicants from developed countries (those not on the OECD DAC List of ODA Recipients), India and China must not exceed 30% of the total resources requested.

There is no cap on costs requested for international applicants from DAC list countries.

For more information on international costs and what we will and will not fund see costs we fund overseas and the Collaborate with Researchers in Norway guidance.

What we will not fund

We will not fund:

  • research involving randomised trials or clinical interventions
  • costs for PhD studentships
  • publication costs
  • funding to use as a ‘bridge’ between grants
  • time spent developing applications for further funding

Team project partner

You may include project partners that will support your research project through cash or in-kind contributions, such as:

  • staff time
  • access to equipment
  • sites or facilities
  • the provision of data
  • software or materials

Each project partner must provide a statement of support. If your application involves industry partners, they must provide additional information if the team project partner falls within the industry collaboration framework.

Find out more about subcontractors and dual roles.

Who cannot be included as a team project partner

The individual named as the contact for the project partner organisation cannot also be a named applicant, such as all those with a role of ‘investigator’ and any other named member of staff.

International collaboration

If your application includes international applicants, project partners or collaborators, visit UKRI’s trusted research and innovation for more information on effective international collaboration.

Find out about getting funding for international collaboration.

How to apply

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

If the lead research organisation is an NHS organisation, check it is available in the Funding Service. You are encouraged to check this early as there may be additional steps for the organisation to be set up before you can apply.

The project lead is responsible for completing the application process on the Funding Service, but we expect all team members and project partners to contribute to the application.

Only the lead research organisation can submit an application to UKRI.

To apply

Select ‘Start application’ near the beginning of this Funding finder page.

  1. Confirm you are the project lead.
  2. Sign in or create a Funding Service account. To create an account, select your organisation, verify your email address, and set a password. If your organisation is not listed, email support@funding-service.ukri.org
    Please allow at least 10 working days for your organisation to be added to the Funding Service.
  3. Answer questions directly in the text boxes. You can save your answers and come back to complete them or work offline and return to copy and paste your answers. If we need you to upload a document, follow the upload instructions in the Funding Service. All questions and assessment criteria are listed in the How to apply section on this Funding finder page.
  4. Allow enough time to check your application in ‘read-only’ view before sending to your research office.
  5. Send the completed application to your research office for checking. They will return it to you if it needs editing.
  6. Your research office will submit the completed and checked application to UKRI.

Where indicated, you can also demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. If using visual elements, you must:

  • use images sparingly and only to convey important information that cannot easily be put into words
  • insert each new image onto a new line
  • provide a descriptive legend for each image immediately underneath it (this counts towards your word limit)
  • files must be smaller than 5MB and in JPEG, JPG, JPE, JFI, JIF, JFIF, PNG, GIF, BMP or WEBP format

Watch our research office webinars about the new Funding Service.

For more guidance on the Funding Service, see:

Deadline

MRC must receive your application by 19 March 2024 at 4.00pm UK time.

You will not be able to apply after this time.

Make sure you are aware of and follow any internal institutional deadlines.

Following the close of the funding opportunity, your application cannot be changed and applications will not be returned for amendment. If your application does not follow the guidance, it may be rejected.

Personal data

Processing personal data

MRC, as part of UKRI, will need to collect some personal information to manage your Funding Service account and the registration of your funding applications.

We will handle personal data in line with UK data protection legislation and manage it securely. For more information, including how to exercise your rights, read our privacy notice.

Publication of outcomes

MRC, as part of UKRI, will publish the outcomes of this funding opportunity at Public health intervention development scheme funding decisions.

If your application is successful, we will publish some personal information on the UKRI Gateway to Research.

Summary

Word limit: 550

In plain English, provide a summary we can use to identify the most suitable experts to assess your application.

We may make this summary publicly available on external-facing websites, so make it suitable for a variety of readers, for example:

  • opinion-formers
  • policymakers
  • the public
  • the wider research community

Guidance for writing a summary

Clearly describe your proposed work in terms of:

  • context
  • the public health challenge the project addresses and its potential impact
  • aims and study objectives
  • potential applications and benefits

Core team

List the key members of your team and assign them roles from the following:

  • project lead (PL)
  • project co-lead (UK) (PcL)
  • project co-lead (international) (PcL (I))
  • researcher co-lead (RcL)
  • specialist
  • professional enabling staff
  • research and innovation associate
  • technician
  • visiting researcher

Only list one individual as project lead.

MRC policy only allows one person to be named project lead within your Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND) application. Applications that include more than one project lead will be rejected by MRC.

Find out more about UKRI’s core team roles in funding applications.

Application questions

Vision

Word limit: 1,000

What are you hoping to achieve with your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how your proposed work:

  • is of excellent quality and importance within or beyond the field(s) or area(s)
  • has the potential to advance current understanding, or generate new knowledge, thinking or discovery within or beyond the field or area
  • is timely given current trends, context, and needs
  • impacts world-leading research, society, the economy, or the environment

Within the ‘Vision’ section we also expect you to:

  • identify the potential direct or indirect benefits and who the beneficiaries might be
  • describe the strategic public health priorities and public health outcomes being addressed
  • explain the evidence gap being addressed with this intervention, referring to relevant literature and what is already known, including what has previously been tested and why a new intervention is needed. Please reflect on:
    • utility
    • applicability
    • affordability
    • feasibility

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Approach

Word limit: 3,000

How are you going to deliver your proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Explain how you have designed your approach so that it:

  • is effective and appropriate to achieve your objectives
  • is feasible, and comprehensively identifies any risks to delivery and how they will be managed
  • uses a clearly written and transparent methodology (if applicable)
  • summarises the previous work and describes how this will be built upon and progressed (if applicable)
  • will maximise translation of outputs into outcomes and impacts
  • describes how your, and if applicable your team’s, research environment (in terms of the place and relevance to the project) will contribute to the success of the work

Within the ‘Approach’ section we also expect you to:

  • fully justify the target population identified in your application, with clear consideration of the potential for differences according to:
    • socioeconomic status
    • ethnicity
    • gender
    • age group
    • other characteristics
  • provide the expected number of focus groups, participants, people completing a survey and so on, where applicable
  • clearly describe how the intervention content will be developed from the data collected, including justification for the approach taken
  • highlight any novel aspects of this project or proposed approach
  • outline how co-production with relevant stakeholders will be embedded into development of the intervention and throughout design and delivery of the study
  • discuss how systems thinking has been applied to the design of the research study and ensure you evaluate the potential for unintended consequences, both positive and negative, explaining what you could put in place to mitigate risks and capture positive outcomes using a systems approach
  • provide a project plan including milestones and timelines, in the form of an embedded Gantt chart or similar (mandatory)
  • you also have the option to provide an embedded logic model to describe the anticipated mechanism of action, delivery, key components and their inter-relationships, outputs and outcomes of the intervention (optional)

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Important information

Please do not use the Gantt chart to include information which should be detailed in the other sections of your application.

All applicants should be aware of the following:

  • if your application does not include a project plan, your application will be rejected
  • MRC will not be returning applications for amendment and will not accept late submissions
  • successful PHIND applications clearly describe robust methods. For example, if you are using focus groups, specify the number of sessions that will be involved and justify group or sample sizes. You should also define the selection criteria and recruitment strategy for your study participants

Future development phase

Word limit: 400

What are the next steps for the development and evaluation of the intervention after the proposed PHIND project has been completed?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

This question refers to future development and evaluation phases that would be informed by, or could lead on from, the proposed intervention development study. Include criteria for progression, the pathway to the next stage of evaluation and give an indication of what the intervention would likely involve.

It’s important to demonstrate:

  • the pathway to the next stage of intervention development and evaluation
  • what the intervention would likely involve, such as the type and format of the intervention, clearly describing the system context, where applicable

Be as clear as possible about the future plans, including an outline of the design of a full-scale evaluation.

While you’re not expected to know the outcome of your research, a strong application will provide:

  • an indication of the anticipated intervention’s form and function (for example, specifying that you intend to develop an online alcohol reduction programme would give the panel a clearer picture of what you envisage than simply referring to an educational resource)
  • relevant programme theory to underpin and explain the intervention and its likely effects
  • how the proposed research will feed into the development and refinement of the intervention and inform whether it is likely to be affordable and feasible to deliver

Not all PHIND projects will necessarily be developed into feasible interventions and high-risk high-impact projects are encouraged. Either way, results will be valuable for informing future research and should be appropriately disseminated.

You should also detail the criteria you’ll use to determine whether the project should progress to the next stage of evaluation. This may be related to uptake of the intervention, its feasibility or scalability, or practicality of delivery. It’s not essential to provide figures but you should give the panel an indication of what you’ll be looking for.

Applicant and team capability to deliver

Word limit: 1,500

Why are you the right individual or team to successfully deliver the proposed work?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Evidence of how you, and if relevant your team, have:

  • the relevant experience (appropriate to career stage) to deliver the proposed work
  • the right balance of skills and expertise to cover the proposed work
  • the appropriate leadership and management skills to deliver the work and your approach to develop others
  • contributed to developing a positive research environment and wider community

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the service.

The word count for this section is 1,500 words: 1,000 words to be used for R4RI modules and, if necessary, a further 500 words for Additions.

Use the Résumé for Research and Innovation (R4RI) format to showcase the range of relevant skills you and, if relevant, your team (project and project co-leads, researchers, technicians, specialists, partners and so on) have and how this will help deliver the proposed work. You can include individuals’ specific achievements but only choose past contributions that best evidence their ability to deliver this work.

Complete this section using the R4RI module headings listed. Use each heading once and include a response for the whole team, see the UKRI guidance on R4RI. You should consider how to balance your answer, and emphasise where appropriate the key skills each team member brings:

  • contributions to the generation of new ideas, tools, methodologies, or knowledge
  • the development of others and maintenance of effective working relationships
  • contributions to the wider research and innovation community
  • contributions to broader research or innovation users and audiences and towards wider societal benefit
Additions

Provide any further details relevant to your application. This section is optional and can be up to 500 words. You should not use it to describe additional skills, experiences, or outputs, but you can use it to describe any factors that provide context for the rest of your R4RI (for example, details of career breaks if you wish to disclose them).

Complete this as a narrative. Do not format it like a CV.

UKRI has introduced new role types for funding opportunities being run on the new Funding Service.

For full details, see Eligibility as an individual.

Data management and sharing

Word count: 1,500

How will you manage and share data collected or acquired through the proposed research?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Provide a data management plan which should clearly detail how you will comply with MRC’s published data management and sharing policies, which includes detailed guidance notes.

Provide your response following the MRC data management plan template.

The length of your plan will vary depending on the type of study being undertaken:

  • population cohorts; longitudinal studies; genetic, omics and imaging data; biobanks, and other collections that are potentially a rich resource for the wider research community: maximum of 1,500 words
  • all other research, less complex, the plan may be as short as 500 words

References

Word limit: 1,000

List the references you have used to support your application

What the assessors are looking for in your response

You should include all references in this section of the application, and not in the rest of the application questions.

You should not include any other information in this section.

We advise you not to include hyperlinks, as assessors are not obliged to access the information they lead to or consider it in their assessment of your application.

If linking to web resources, to maintain the information’s integrity, include persistent identifiers (such as digital object identifiers) where possible.

You must not include links to web resources to extend your application.

Project partners

Add details about any project partners’ contributions. If there are no project partners, you can indicate this on the Funding Service.

A project partner is a collaborating organisation who will have an integral role in the proposed research, for example a charity partner or, if applicable, a supplier of the project intervention. Project partners do not include project co-leads. This may include direct (cash) or indirect (in-kind) contributions such as expertise, staff time or use of facilities.

Important note: If your application includes industry project partners, you will also need to complete the Industry Collaboration Framework (ICF) section. Find out more about ICF.

You must ensure that any third party individual or organisation you include within the Funding Service as a project partner, also provides you with a supporting email or letter of support (see next section ‘Project partners: letters or emails of support’).

The individual (including their organisation) named as the project partner contact, cannot also be included within your application as an applicant, such as project lead or any other core team role.

You cannot include a different department based within the same organisation as a member of your core team, as a project partner.

Add the following project partner details:

  • the organisation name (searchable via a drop-down list or enter the organisation’s details manually, as applicable)
  • the project partner contact name and email address
  • the type of contribution (direct or in-direct) and its monetary value

If there are specific circumstances where project partners do require funding for minor costs such as travel and subsistence (these project partner costs should be claimed and justified within the resources and costs section of your application).

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

If an individual or organisation outside the core team is responsible for recruitment of people as research participants or providing human tissue for this project, list them as a project partner.

Important information when completing the project partners section within the Funding Service

When completing your application in the Funding Service, if you discover that you have entered project partner information incorrectly and you have saved the entry, you should remove the specific project partner record and re-add it with the correct information.

Project partners: letters or emails of support

Word limit: 10

Upload a single PDF containing the letters or emails of support from each partner you named in the ‘Project partner’ section.

If you do not have any project partners, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

What supporting statements we are looking for

Important note: MRC are only looking for you to provide letters or emails of support from the following:

  • a third party individual
  • a third party organisation

You must ensure that any third party project partners providing a supporting document, are also added to the ‘Project partners’ section within the Funding Service.

For audit purposes, UKRI requires formal collaboration agreements to be put in place if an award is made.

What supporting statements we are not looking for

MRC are not looking for you to provide any supporting emails or letters related to any individual or organisation already included within your application (this includes other departments within the same organisation). Any individual or organisation included in your application with a core team role cannot also be a project partner.

Check the opportunity specific roles available in the core team section for the definitive list.

Do not include any additional documents, email communications or any other type of information we have not requested, including supporting statements (letters or emails), simply expressing supportive opinions (we only expect to see emails or letters of support from third party project partners uploaded to this section).

If you include any information not requested by MRC your application will be rejected.

Supporting document guidance for third party project partners

Each third party project partner supporting letter or email you provide, should:

  • be no more than two A4 pages
  • confirm the partner’s commitment to the project
  • clearly explain the value, relevance, and possible benefits of the work to them
  • describe any additional value that they bring to the project
  • include the name of the project partner organisation and contact information (this should match the partner contact and organisation name details you must add to the separate ‘Project partners’ application section)

Project partners letters and emails of support are not required to be on headed paper or include handwritten signatures (electronic signatures are acceptable from the nominated partner contact).

Project partner responsibility for the recruitment of people

If the project partner is responsible for the recruitment of people as research participants or providing human tissue their email or letter of support should include:

  • agreement that the project partner will recruit the participants or provide tissue
  • confirmation that what is being supplied is suitable for the proposed work
  • confirmation that the quantity of tissue being supplied is suitable, but not excessive for achieving meaningful results (if applicable)
Multiple project partners

If you have multiple project partners, you should:

  • ensure each separate email or letter of support does not exceed two pages of A4
  • consolidate all the supporting documents provided by each project partner into a single PDF file before uploading
  • ensure the PDF does not exceed the maximum file size of 8MB

For the file name, use the unique Funding Service number the system gives you when you create an application, followed by the words ‘Project partner’.

The Funding Service will provide document upload details when you apply.

Industry collaboration framework (ICF)

Word count: 1,500

Does your application include industry project partners?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If industry collaboration does not apply to any of your project partners, or you don’t have any project partners, simply add ‘N/A’ into the text box.

If your research project involves collaboration between an academic organisation and an industry or company you are likely to need to follow the industry collaboration framework and answer this question, check using the ICF decision tree.

By ‘industry or company’ we mean an enterprise that puts goods or services on a market and whose commercial activities are greater than 20% of their overall annual capacity.

The assessors are looking for information relating to the nature, goals and conditions of the collaboration and any restrictions or rights to the project results that could be claimed by the project partner.

Find out more about ICF, including:

  • collaboration agreements
  • definitions of basic or applied research
  • internationally based companies
  • subsidy control
  • Intellectual property (IP) arrangements
  • fully flexible and gated contributions
  • the ICF assessment criteria

In addition to the project partner information completed in the previous section, confirm your answers to the ICF questions in the text box, and repeat this process for each ICF project partner:

  1. Name the industry or company project partner considered under ICF.
  2. Indicate whether your application is either basic research or applied research.
  3. Explain why, in the absence of the requested UKRI funding, the collaboration and the planned research could not be undertaken.
  4. State whether your application is under the category of either fully flexible contribution or gated contribution (based on the IP sharing arrangements with the ICF partner).
  5. Outline the pre-existing IP (‘background IP’) that each project partner (including the academic partner) will bring to the collaborative research project and the terms under which project partners may access these assets.
  6. Outline the IP that is expected to be developed during the collaborative research project (‘foreground IP’) and briefly outline how it will be managed, including:
    • which project partners will own this IP
    • what rights project partners will have to use academically-generated foreground IP during and after the research project, for internal research and development or for commercial purposes
    • any rights of the academic partner to commercialise the foreground IP (including foreground IP generated by project partners)
  7. Outline any restrictions to dissemination of the project results, including the rights of the project partner to:
    • review, approve or delay publications (including the time period associated with such rights)
    • request or require the removal of any information
  8. Declare any conflicts of interest held by the applicants in relation to the project partners and describe how they will be managed.
  9. If applicable, justify collaborating with an overseas industry or company under ICF.

Failure to provide the information requested for industry partners under ICF could result in your application being rejected.

You are recommended to discuss the goals and conditions of any collaboration with an industry or company project partner with your university technology transfer or contracts office before applying.

Ethics and responsible research and innovation (RRI)

Word limit: 500

What are the ethical or RRI implications and issues relating to the proposed work? If you do not think that the proposed work raises any ethical or RRI issues, explain why.

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Demonstrate that you have identified and evaluated:

  • the relevant ethical or responsible research and innovation considerations
  • how you will manage these considerations

Consider the MRC guidance on ethics and approvals

You may demonstrate elements of your responses in visual form if relevant. Further details are provided in the Funding Service.

Research involving human participation

Word limit: 700

Will the project involve the use of human subjects or their personal information?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing research that requires the involvement of human subjects, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the number and the diversity of the participants involved, as well as any procedures.

Provide details of any areas of substantial or moderate severity of impact.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Research involving human tissues or biological samples

Word limit: 700

Does your proposed research involve the use of human tissues, or biological samples?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If you are proposing work that involves human tissues or biological samples, provide the name of any required approving body and whether approval is already in place.

Justify the use of human tissue or biological samples specifying the nature and quantity of the material to be used and its source.

If this does not apply to your proposed work, you will be able to indicate this in the Funding Service.

Resources and cost justification

Word limit: 1,200

What will you need to deliver your proposed work and how much will it cost?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

Justify the application’s more costly resources, in particular:

  • project staff
  • significant travel for field work or collaboration (but not regular travel between collaborating organisations or to conferences)
  • any equipment that will cost more than £10,000
  • any consumables beyond typical requirements, or that are required in exceptional quantities
  • all facilities and infrastructure costs
  • all resources that have been costed as ‘Exceptions’

Assessors are not looking for detailed costs or a line-by-line breakdown of all project resources. Overall, they want you to demonstrate how the resources you anticipate needing for your proposed work:

  • are comprehensive, appropriate, and justified
  • represent the optimal use of resources to achieve the intended outcomes
  • maximise potential outcomes and impacts

Where you do not provide adequate justification for a resource, we may deduct it from any funding awarded.

You should identify:

  • support for activities to either increase impact, for public engagement, knowledge exchange and/or to support responsible innovation
  • support for access to facilities, infrastructure and/or procurement of equipment
  • support for preserving, long-term storage, or sharing of data
  • support from your organisation or partner organisations and how that enhances value for money
  • support for international co-leads, demonstrating this is within the 30% costs cap for co-leads from developed countries, India and China. There is no cap on costs requested for international applicants from DAC list countries
  • NHS research costs, when they are associated with NHS studies

Related applications

Word limit: 500

Is this application related to another application to MRC or other funding organisation?

What the assessors are looking for in your response

If yes, explain how this new application is related to the other application.

If the related application was submitted to another funder you should identify the name of the funder and when you applied.

If this is a resubmission describe how it differs from the previous application and how feedback on the previous application has been considered and acted on.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

We will assess your application using the following process.

Examination of applications

Following the close of the PHIND opportunity, all submitted applications will be examined by MRC to ensure the proposed project is within science remit of the PHIND opportunity.

Following our completion of the application examination process, all those with an application outside of the science remit of the PHIND scheme will be advised their application has been rejected shortly before the advertised expert review panel meeting planned for May 2024.

Applications within the science remit of the PHIND scheme will be taken forward to the expert review panel meeting planned for May 2024.

Expert review panel

A panel of experts, including independent academics and public health practitioners, will collectively review your application against the criteria of the PHIND opportunity, which is to support the early stages of development of interventions that address an important UK or global public health issue.

Applications will rank alongside other applications after which the panel will make a funding recommendation.

The expert review panel will use the following criteria to assess your PHIND application:

  • vision: the quality and importance of the proposed research, potential for impact and the need for an intervention to address the public health issues described, taking account of the current landscape and literature
  • approach: the proposed approach including study design and use of appropriate methodology, feasibility, novelty, research environment, application of systems-thinking and plans for engagement and involvement of users, key stakeholders and target populations
  • future development phases: plans for progression and the pathway to the next stage of intervention development and evaluation
  • research team and capability to deliver: evidence that the research team has the relevant experience, skills and expertise to deliver the proposed work
  • plans for data management and sharing
  • resources and cost justification: justification that the costs requested are comprehensive, appropriate, represent optimal use of resources and maximise potential outcomes and impacts

Timescale

We aim to complete the assessment process within three months of receiving your application.

The expert review panel meeting will take place approximately eight-12 weeks after the closing date.

Principles of assessment

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) supports the San Francisco declaration on research assessment and recognises the relationship between research assessment and research integrity.

Find out about the UKRI Principles of Assessment and Decision Making.

Contact details

Get help with your application

If you have a question and the answers aren’t provided on this page

Important note: The helpdesk is committed to helping users of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Funding Service as effectively and as quickly as possible. In order to manage cases at peak volume times, the helpdesk will triage and prioritise those queries with an imminent funding opportunity deadline and/or a technical issue. Enquiries raised where information is available on the Funding Finder opportunity page and should be understood early in the application process (for example, regarding eligibility or content/remit of a funding opportunity) will not constitute a priority case and will be addressed as soon as possible.

Contact Details

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

For questions related to remit and scientific aspects of this specific funding opportunity please contact: publichealth@mrc.ukri.org

For remit queries, you are advised to develop a one to two page summary of your proposed research that outlines the aims and objectives of your project and attach to your email enquiry.

Please include the following in the subject line of your email: PHIND March 2024 enquiry.

We aim to respond within 10 working days.

For general questions related to MRC funding including our funding opportunities and policy please contact rfpd@mrc.ukri.org

Any queries regarding the system or the submission of applications through the Funding Service should be directed to the helpdesk.

Email: support@funding-service.ukri.org

Phone: 01793 547490

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

To help us process queries quicker, we request that users highlight the council and opportunity name in the subject title of their email query, include the application reference number, and refrain from contacting more than one mailbox at a time.

You can also find information on submitting an application here: Improving your funding experience.

Sensitive information

If you or a core team member need to tell us something you wish to remain confidential, email the Funding Service helpdesk on publichealth@mrc.ukri.org

Include in the subject line: [the funding opportunity title; sensitive information; your Funding Service application number.

Typical examples of confidential information include:

  • individual is unavailable until a certain date (for example due to parental leave)
  • declaration of interest
  • additional information about eligibility to apply that would not be appropriately shared in the ‘Applicant and team capability’ section
  • conflict of interest for UKRI to consider in reviewer or panel participant selection
  • the application is an invited resubmission

For information about how UKRI handles personal data, read UKRI’s privacy notice.

Additional info

Research disruption due to COVID-19

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities. We are committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career, such as:

  • breaks and delays
  • disruptive working patterns and conditions
  • the loss of ongoing work
  • role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic

Reviewers and panel members will be advised to consider the unequal impacts that COVID-19 related disruption might have had on the capability to deliver and career development of those individuals included in the application. They will be asked to consider the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

Where disruptions have occurred, you can highlight this within your application if you wish, but there is no requirement to detail the specific circumstances that caused the disruption.

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have some quick feedback or help us improve your experience by taking three minutes to tell us what you think of the UKRI website.