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Supporting research in the field of infection prevention and control in healthcare is a vital HIS activity. In order to encourage a diverse range of research, we offer funding for small scale research and pilot projects and major research projects. We also offer funding to support the professional and career development of our members, as well as grants to support public engagement events and events organised by, or for, healthcare professionals.
AMRC membership as an indicator of quality research funding. We are proud to be a member of this network of research charities to share learning and foster collaborations that deliver benefits to patients sooner.
"Monkeypox virus culture from longitudinal samples from 7 patients to determine risk of onwards transmission"
In May 2022, Dr Catherine Houlihan, a consultant in infection with UKHSA and consultant in clinical virology at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was awarded a HIS Small Research Grant.
The project aimed to investigate the risk of Monkeypox virus transmission using cell culture as a proxy for infectiousness in clinical samples from patients diagnosed in the UK between 2018 and 2021. The project finished in July 2023.
In this blog post we spoke with Catherine to discuss her findings and her experience of being awarded a HIS Small Research Grant.
"A preliminary and comparative study of filtered light analysis and ATP testing for infection monitoring in an NHS hospital"
Dr Sarah Fieldhouse, an Associate Professor of Forensic Science at the School of Justice, Security and Sustainability at Staffordshire University, was awarded a HIS Small Research Grant in November 2022. This project explored the use of a forensic technique for infection monitoring in an NHS hospital. The project finished in June 2023.
In this blog post, Dr Sarah Fieldhouse discusses her research and the impact of the HIS Small Research Grant on her work and career.
"Developing hospital surface sampling protocols for better IP&C"
Dr Lena Ciric, an Associate Professor at University College London (UCL), was awarded a HIS Major Research Grant in 2019 to support a PhD studentship for Sam Watkin. This study investigates microbial communities routinely present on environmental touch surfaces using methodologies readily available to infection control teams, aiming to identify trends in surface microbial contamination. Microbial contamination of surfaces within the hospital setting is diverse, with large variation in microbial loading and populations.
Find our more about their HIS Major Research Grant funding experience in this blog post
HIS has published advice and guidance on applying for grants in a series of blogs. We provide detailed advice on how to approach the writing process, some tips from experts and grant-panellists, and reflections from those who have successfully applied for HIS grants in the past. Find out more about the blog series here
Blog posts include:
We support following the Association of Medical Research Charities ‘Policy statements’ including:
Whilst the Society does not fund research using animals as part of its current strategy, we support the principle of using animals in research when it is necessary to advance understanding of serious health conditions to develop better treatments and there is no alternative that can be used to find out the same information without using animals.
The AMRC are committed to encouraging better practice and the developments of alternatives to animal use wherever possible, and all researchers are required to apply the highest standards of animal welfare in line with strict UK Home Office guidelines. When research is funded internationally, the expectation is that all research is carried out in the spirit of the UK legislation, in addition to being compliant with all required local legislation and ethical review procedures.
We fund people at all career stages from a range of disciplines including medicine, clinical science, engineering and public health, where they have shown an interest in infection prevention and control.
We fund researchers with the most innovative and exciting ideas. Our support can be for individuals or teams, and can include resources and equipment, or support for conferences and workshops.
With the exception of our travel grants, applicants must be based in the public sector within the UK and Republic of Ireland. The eligibility requirements for each funding stream can be found on the individual award pages.
Applications must be for our research grants must be made by, or supervised by those in career grade or substantive positions.
We fund research that has direct impact on clinical practice and the spread of avoidable infections. Your research must address current and important clinical problems in a way that leads to an improvement in patient outcomes. Therefore you must build upon clinical observations and use innovation in research or clinical practice. We have designed our grants to support collaboration between clinicians and researchers.
Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is a scientific approach and practical implementation of methods to prevent harm caused by infection to both patients and healthcare workers. IPC is a multi-disciplinary field which has patient safety and healthcare quality at its core, but also uses evidence from microbiology, epidemiology, engineering and behavioural science. Healthcare associated infections are infections that develop as a direct result of a healthcare intervention or being in contact with a healthcare setting.
The scope of the society’s funding requires that applications be strictly related to healthcare associated infections and demonstrate clinical impact. Applications in the broader fields of microbiology and biological sciences (including but not limited to mechanistic, molecular biology, in vitro and genetic studies) that are not directly related to infection prevention and control do not sit within our remit.
Please also read our Research Strategy for 2020-2025
We will only pay the direct costs of research.
For universities, the UK higher education funding bodies provide funding for directly allocated and indirect costs associated with charity-funded research.
In England, this funding is called the Charity Research Support Fund. Similar funding is provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Northern Ireland government.
For research conducted within the NHS, we follow AcoRD principles for non-commercial studies available here
For non-commercial studies the normal funding arrangements for research, NHS Treatment and NHS Support costs are:
Research costs - are usually met by grant funders through the award of a research grant. However, there are some specific research activities where, in England, the costs will be met by the Department of Health.
NHS treatment costs - met through the normal commissioning process
NHS support costs - met from the research and development budget by the Health Departments of the United Kingdom
For further information please see the costings summary download above.
The host institution and primary grant holder are responsible for administering the award. This includes formal standards, procedures, and audit and control arrangements. The grant must be administered through a research support office or equivalent.
The Society does not co-fund research proposals and would only consider doing so in exceptional circumstances, if a particular joint call for applications was advertised. It is important that applicants state whether any financial support from another funding body is already provided or is being applied for on the application form. Please contact HIS for clarification prior to submitting an application if required.
Further details can be found in our Terms and Conditions of support.
HIS is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial Partner. This means the studies that we fund may be eligible to access NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) support.
The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) has extended support into health and social care research taking place in non-NHS settings.
The change to the policy (from 1 January 2018) means the CRN can support research conducted outside of NHS settings, such as studies running in care homes or in hospices, which will answer important questions for those patient populations. The CRN will also be able to better support research into public health, for example in schools and other community settings. This change is a way in which the NIHR is addressing the evolving health and care landscape and the changing needs of people and patients.
Read the full policy: Eligibility Criteria for NIHR Clinical Research Network Support.
In partnership with your local R&D office, we encourage you to involve your local CRN team in discussions as early as possible when planning your study to fully benefit from the support the NIHR CRN offers as outlined in their Study Support Service. To find out more about how you can apply for this additional support to help deliver your study, please visit www.supportmystudy.nihr.ac.uk
If your study involves NHS sites in England you will need to apply for Health Research Authority Approval. For guidance on submitting an application please visit: www.hra.nhs.uk