Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) and Programme Development Grants (PDG) assessment committee member

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We are pleased to announce an excellent opportunity has arisen to participate in Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) and Programme Development Grants (PDG) assessment committees. These prestigious appointments offer senior applied health researchers the chance to take part in and gain experience of making recommendations to NIHR for large scale, high quality programmes of research for the benefit of patients and the NHS.

We have a number of vacancies for 2024/25. We would welcome applications from a range of applied health researchers who have the enthusiasm and vision to work with the Director and Committee Chairs to build on the success of the PGfAR scheme and to take it forwards in diverse and exciting ways.

In this round, we are specifically looking for statisticians and health economists.  

No individual should be a standing member of more than one NIHR Research Programme Funding Committee at one time, other than in very exceptional circumstances when no other person is available to cover the role. Those people who are involved in awarding NIHR Research Training and Leadership Programme funding (NIHR Academy Programmes) can also be a member of an NIHR Research Programme Funding Committee so that they have insight into the research pathway.

Sub-committee members are expected to be recognised nationally and internationally as leaders in applied health research across a range of methodologies. Generally this means that they will be at Senior Lecturer / senior research fellow level or above.

Successful candidates will have significant experience in applied health research as demonstrated through publications, research funding, impact of research on patients, carers or service users, the NHS and social care system, and other measures of peer esteem.

We do advise applicants to have permission and support from their host institution prior to applying, as committee membership involves a significant time commitment.

The Role


    General methodological experts act as Lead Assessors for assigned PGfAR and PDG applications.

    In addition to committee meetings, generalists are often asked to help review documentation from funded programmes from time to time (on average once every two months). This might include reviewing checkpoint reports to allow a programme to continue to the second phase of funding, large variation to contract requests and changes to research plans.

Methodologists (Statisticians, Health Economists and Qualitative/Behavioural)

    The methodological experts provide an assessment of PGfAR proposals from their particular disciplinary perspective, as well as being expected to contribute to the discussion about the overall strength and value of the applications. 

    Methodological experts will also be expected to be involved in the review process prior to Stage two sub-committees, and assessing Stage one applications shortlisted to Stage two, through completion of brief assessment forms.

    In addition to committee meetings, methodologists are sometimes asked to help review documentation from funded programmes (on average once every six months). This will primarily be significant changes to research plans.

All sub-committee members

    All sub-committee members will be expected to complete an assessment form prior to the meeting, present views orally at sub-committee meetings, make corporate funding recommendations, and approve the post-feedback changes made to applications before they are funded.

    Participating in the critical evaluation of every application (even if not formally assigned to do so) and to share responsibility for all decisions of the sub-committee as a whole. Thus, there is a large volume of application paperwork to be considered by each member, requiring several hours of preparation time before each meeting.

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