Strategic Research Grant

HIS welcomes applications for the Strategic Research Grant on the subject of 'Cost-effective antimicrobial stewardship in the prevention and control of nosocomial infections'.

Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is an organisational or healthcare system approach to promoting and monitoring the judicious use of antimicrobials. It promotes the use of the right antibiotics, at the right dose, route and duration, for the right infection at the right time to improve patient outcome, whilst reducing consequential rises in antibiotic resistance and nosocomial infections.

Infection prevention and control (IPC) is a cornerstone of any robust AMS programme and has been identified as a key element for combatting antimicrobial resistance.  IPC not only includes disciplines such as active surveillance, epidemiology, and outbreak investigation but also practical interventions such as hand hygiene, cohorting and environmental decontamination. The combination of AMS and comprehensive IPC have been shown to limit the emergence and transmission of resistant bacteria.

This new grant funding scheme is for an ambitious project using a minimum budget of £500,000 and a maximum budget of £800,000 (the project duration will be a minimum of 3 years up to a maximum of 5 years). This exciting scheme aims to ensure that clinical practice in IPC is consistent with the latest scientific knowledge. Projects should have the potential to significantly improve upon current practices.

Potential research areas:

Audit, surveillance and monitoring

  • Developing greater use of prescribing software guided by resistance rates AMS and IPC
  • Determining the impact of resistance or antimicrobial consumption surveillance on patient outcomes across healthcare settings

Education and behaviour change

  • The development and the impact of educational solutions / guidelines etc. On patient outcomes
  • The development and the impact of mandatory education on healthcare workers, patient outcomes and resistance rates
  • Innovative promotion of behaviour change science in prescribing across all healthcare setting
  • The impact of single interventions or bundles on healthcare worker practice, patient outcomes and resistance rates


  • Use of existing or new laboratory diagnostics to support better AMS and IPC
  • Testing of near patient or point of care diagnostics in the healthcare setting.  The test results must be able to lead to changes in treatment that facilitate control of antimicrobial resistance.
  • Using prognostic markers to identify bacterial infections caused by resistant organisms
  • Projects must not focus on early stage design, or proof of principle testing.

For organism focused research – projects must focus on nosocomial pathogens and the application must evidence substantial economic & health burden currently.  Projects must not focus on mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis & virulence, genetics or physiology. Early stage in vitro discovery and applied research into areas such decontamination methods will also not be considered.  These projects, although valuable, will not have an impact on patient outcomes in the short-term and do not fulfil HIS’s scientific remit.

For condition focused research –projects must focus on infections caused by nosocomial pathogens or post-infective complications and the application must evidence substantial economic & health burden currently of the condition.  Projects must not focus on biological mechanisms of pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions, host or pathogen genetics or in vitro discovery research such as mining of novel prognostic markers.  These projects, although valuable, will not have an impact on patient outcomes in the short-term.

Projects must include a multi-disciplinary approach and involve clinically active investigators as defined by the Society’s terms and conditions.

All applications will initially be triaged against eligibility criteria and the Society’s scientific remit; therefore, the application must demonstrate concisely how the research will impact the practice of IPC and patient outcomes.

How to apply:

Applications will be via a three stage process. 

Stage 1: Expressions of interest are requested for submission by 11.59 pm  on 3 June 2018 to using this form as a pdf or word document.

Expressions of interest will be reviewed by members of the Grants Committee and shortlisted applicants will be notified and invited to submit a Stage 2: Full application (Deadline: 2 October  2018 at 11.59 pm)

Stage 2: Full applications will be sent for independent external peer review and the Grants Committee will invite chosen applicants from this process for a panel interview (Stage 3)  in late November - mid December 2018.

For further information please contact

Please ensure that you have submit terms and conditions (Word  or PDF) for this award as part of your stage 1  application.