Programme Development Grants (PDG)



Programme Development Grants are designed to increase the rate and number of successful applications for a full Programme Grant.

They are a response to an observation that some otherwise very promising applications had been unsuccessful because parts of the proposed programme were considered to be too insecure and hence would be too risky for a substantial programme grant.

Programme Development Grants provide a mechanism to address and rectify such weaknesses by supporting the completion of the necessary preparatory work to suitably position the research team to submit a competitive Stage 2 Programme Grant application.

Programme Development Grants may include the following:

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

Individual awards are for a maximum of £100k over a period of six to eighteen months. The amount of funding awarded, however, is determined by the scale and nature of the research activity to be conducted.

Applications must:

  • describe the research to be undertaken should a Programme Grant be awarded
  • identify the fundamental limitations that need to be addressed before a full programme could be undertaken, and
  • detail the preparatory work to be undertaken, indicating how this would eliminate the limitations and thus enable the research team to develop a credible application for a full Programme Grant

Successful applicants, on completion of their development work, proceed straight to a Stage 2 Programme Grant application.

A Programme Development Grant will not support:

  • basic science work underpinning a future programme of exploratory research
  • stand alone projects of any type. All constituent projects should be designed solely to inform and strengthen a future Programme Grant for Applied Research application
  • work to enhance future programmes at highly formative stages of development
  • endeavours to formulate teams from initial conception.

Calls/Competitions Researcher-led
Application process One-stage
Website Click here

For a list of NIHR funding deadlines
take a look at our funding deadlines page.
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