Identifying important research questions: Have your say!

HealthThrough the commissioned workstream, the HTA Programme identifies and prioritises NHS evidence needs and advertises calls for research proposals to address these.
In order to identify important research questions the HTA consult widely with stakeholders within the NHS and NIHR, external organisations representing health professionals and patients and carers and, with policy-makers. If you have a suggestion, please visit the HTA website and complete the electronic research suggestion form.

What makes a good research question?

• Important to the NHS
• Focused on patients, clinical outcomes and quality of life
• Supported by current evidence (e.g. a systematic review)
• Timely, so that the research will continue to be needed following completion of the study
• Structured to provide a clear, well defined research question (e.g. using the PICO format)
If you would like to find out about opportunities for getting involved in identifying topics for HTA research, please contact Faye Gowing or call her on 02380 597701.

suggest research button

Update on Future ERC Calls for Proposals (2014)

ERCAs you know the EU’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) will finish at the end of this year and the main European Research Council (ERC) calls for proposals under FP7 are already closed. The next ERC calls will be made under the future programme, Horizon 2020, that will take over from FP7 for 2014 to 2020. Horizon 2020 is still under negotiation however the ERC has issued a preliminary schedule for 2014 – as with previous transitions from one framework programme to another this is likely to differ so should be taken on a purely indicative basis only:

  • Publication of the provisional schedule for the new calls (ERC Work Programme 2014), late in 2013;
  • Opening and submission deadlines of new ERC calls throughout 2014:
    – Opening and submission deadline for Starting grants; first and second quarter of 2014
    – Opening and submission deadline for Consolidator grants; second quarter of 2014
    – Opening and submission deadline for Advanced grants; fourth quarter of 2014
  • No further calls for Synergy grants in 2013 and 2014;
  • Normal schedule for Proof of Concept grants (one call with two deadlines in 2014). Although no final decision has yet been taken by the EU, the ERC Scientific Council provides, without any commitment, this provisional information for the convenience of the scientific community.

No further information is available at this stage on the calendar, budget or rules of the next calls, however updates will be released on the ERC website and the Participant Portal.


New JRF calls for proposals

Gender and poverty: evidence and policy review

(Part of the JRF programme to develop an anti-poverty strategy for the UK)

Closing Date: 23:59pm on 13th February 2013

Employment, pay and poverty: evidence and policy review

(Part of our programme to develop an anti-poverty strategy for the UK)

Closing Date: 23:59pm on 6th February 2013

Disability, mental health, impairments, long-term conditions and poverty: evidence and policy review

(Part of our programme to develop an anti-poverty strategy for the UK)

Closing Date: 23:59pm on 13th February 2013

Institutional care and poverty: evidence and policy review

(Part of our programme to develop an anti-poverty for the for the UK)

Closing date: 23:59 on 13th February 2013



Funding Opportunities with the Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme

*Commissioned call for proposals*

Applicants are invited to submit proposals on the following commissioning briefs by 1pm on 17 January 2013.

12/177 – New research on community hospitals – activity, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness

12/178 – Evaluating interventions to identify and reduce avoidable mortality in hospitals

The commissioning briefs, application forms and guidance notes for these topics are all available on the HS&DR Programme website.

British Academy Skills Acquisition Awards

The British Academy have just announced a call for proposals for an entirely new scheme offered by the Academy for Quantitative Skills Acquisition Awards.

These awards, for early career scholars (within 10 years of the award of their doctorate) who are in established academic posts, are intended to develop and enhance the award-holder’s quantitative skills by providing an award to enable early career researchers to spend some time with a mentor in a research group specialising in quantitative methods. The award, of up to £10,000 over up to 12 months, may be used to cover some short-term teaching relief, the time of the mentor, and travel, accommodation and related costs to enable the partnership to be developed between the award-holder and the mentor.

Further information is available on the Academy’s website at and in a series of Frequently Asked Questions at as well as in e-GAP.

The awards are offered as a pilot round of competition, after which the scheme will be evaluated, and the deadline for applications is on 31 October. Application forms are available now in the e-GAP system. Decisions will be announced by 31 March 2013, for awards to begin between 1 September 2013 and 1 January 2014.

Any questions not answered by the Frequently Asked Questions, or in the Scheme Notes (downloadable from the e-GAP system), may be addressed to