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Funding for COVID-19 research

From the start of the pandemic, Health and Care Research Wales has worked to support a co-ordinated UK research response to COVID-19. With regards to research funding, we have actively supported and promoted the following UK-wide COVID-19 funding calls:

  • NIHR/UKRI rapid response rolling call (including highlight notices relating to seroprevalence and transmission, mental health and BAME issues);
  • UKRI cross-council rolling call;
  • NIHR recovery and learning call;
  • NIHR/UKRI long COVID in non-hospitalised individuals call.

All Wales-based researchers approaching Health and Care Research Wales for COVID-19 research funding have been directed to these calls, all of which are now closed.

Health and Care Research Wales has not run its own COVID-19 funding scheme. We have taken the view that participating in UK-level activity has offered better coordination and portfolio oversight, made effective use of quickly established rapid turn-around processes, avoided potential research duplication, and helped ensure that the most important, urgent and highest-quality COVID-19 studies have been funded.

We have, however, in our standard funding calls (Research for Public and Patient Benefits, Health Research Grants and Social Care Research Fellowships) incorporated a COVID-related priority brief indicating that we particularly welcome applications addressing:

  • the impact of COVID-19 on non-COVID health and care service provision;
  • learning from the COVID-19 pandemic that can be applied to other conditions or the organisation and delivery of non-COVID health and social care services.

Full applications for ideas submitted to these calls are currently in process, and funding outcomes will be known in May and June.

NIHR continues to offer COVID-19 funding opportunities through its regular research programmes of which the following are routinely open to Wales-based researchers:

  • Public Health Research Programme
  • Health Services and Delivery Research Programme
  • Health Technology Assessment Programme
  • Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme

Opportunities may also be available to Wales-based researchers through the Global Health Research Programme and NIHR Fellowships Programme.

Interested researchers are advised to check the details of each programme before completing their application.

For funding opportunities offered by the Research Councils through UKRI, researchers are advised to check the UKRI website:

Information on opportunities of which Health and Care Research Wales is directly aware will also be posted on this page as and when they appear.