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Research funding and priorities

  • Last modified date:
    8 July 2010

Overview of the Department's research and development funding policies, priorities and organisation.

Research Funding

The Department of Health's budget for health research for 2010-11 is £1025.0 million.  £50 million is allocated for capital funding and the rest is allocated to research through a portfolio of national research programmes.

The Department funds programmes of research in the NHS through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  The NIHR programmes fund a broad range of health and social care research and assist with how the research is applied in the NHS across all the healthcare sectors.

Some funds are used to train and educate future health researchers, for example through Fellowship Awards.

In addition, DH spends £33 million per annum, through it’s Policy Research Programme to provide an effective evidence base for DH policy-making.

How DH research priorities are set

The Department keeps its priorities for research under review. Priorities for DH R&D and support for the development of policy are determined through discussion with policy colleagues and Ministers.  In the NHS priorities are identified through widespread consultation with those using, delivering and managing services. They take account of the burden of disease, potential benefits and DH objectives as well as the responsibilities and work of other funders - including the charities.

Working with other funders

The Department is not the only funder of health and social care research in the UK. Industry, funding councils, research councils and research charities all play significant roles.

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