How to submit research suggestions to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

2.45 - 4.15pm


Cochrane Review Groups report the various methods by which they prioritise systematic reviews that will be undertaken by their group in their annual report to NIHR. However, due to the capacity constraints of the number of new reviews a group can support, there are often titles that remain vacant. The majority of Cochrane Reviews contain research recommendations, and where these say more than “further research is required” these are captured by NIHR as a standard process.

NIHR encourages researchers to suggest topics to be prioritised, and if considered an important NHS focussed topic, will advertise them to enable researchers to bid for funding. CRGs are invited to attend the workshop to understand how to put topics forward, and to consider whether they may then want to bid for additional funding to conduct the research, in addition to their current infrastructure funding.

The workshop will provide an overview of the remit for each of the NIHR Programmes hosted at NETSCC, all of whom accept topics for research recommendations. Attendees will be invited to work through the Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome (PICO) process when formulating future research questions. Finally, the workshop will demonstrate how to submit the finalised research question to NETSCC via our website.

Target audience

The workshop is open to anyone, but likely to be more suitable for junior researchers, who would like to learn how to suggest research topics to NIHR and understand the process that leads to the advertising of these.


Sally Bailey; Natalie Shearwood-Porter

Sally Bailey

Sally has worked for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), previously the Health Technology Assessment Programme, since 1996. During this time she has worked in all aspects associated with the management of health research projects, including: topic identification and prioritisation; commissioning; monitoring; and the editorial process. Since 2009 she has been working with the Cochrane research community, and has enjoyed the opportunity this has provided to explore and develop the links between the two organisations, with the aim of promoting a mutually beneficial working relationship.


Natalie is part of the Identification team at the NIHR Evaluations, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC), based at the University of Southampton. Her role is to identify and develop potential research questions for future funding calls by engaging with the clinical community, patient groups and other stakeholders.

Prior to joining NETSCC Natalie completed a PhD investigating the properties of bone cement used in hip and knee replacements.