Description of the goods or services required
19/101 Health Technology Assessment Programme Researcher-led (evidence synthesis)
The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The secretariat function of the Programme is managed by the NIHR Evaluation Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) based at the University of Southampton under a contract with the Department of Health and Social Care.
The HTA Programme is funded by the NIHR, with contributions from the CSO in Scotland, NISCHR in Wales, and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.
The NIHR HTA Programme funds research to assess the effectiveness of technologies within the NHS. In this researcher-led workstream, grants are available for primary research and evidence synthesis on topics proposed by the researchers.
Proposals should normally evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a health technology. For diagnostic technologies, researchers may suggest equivalent evaluations.
We are interested in receiving proposals addressing any health problem in areas not otherwise well covered in our portfolio. Please note that proposals should be within the scope of the HTA Programme. Proposals to investigate the organisation of health services, or services entirely outside the NHS will not be eligible.
Technologies to be investigated
The HTA Programme undertakes research for the benefit of patients and the NHS. Health technology covers any method used to promote health, prevent and treat disease and improve rehabilitation or long-term care. 'Technologies' in this context are not confined to new drugs or equipment, but include procedures, devices, tests, settings of care, screening programmes and any intervention used in the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of disease. They should be currently used in the NHS, or likely to be used if supported by the results of the research. Technologies being evaluated should have had some assessment of efficacy already. For less well evaluated technologies consider the EME Programme. Proposals to evaluate public health interventions in other settings may be eligible to apply to the Public Health Research Programme.
The Programme does not restrict the study designs it will consider, but they must be the most suitable to answer the specific HTA research question. Applicants should justify their design and note that we are unlikely to support single centre studies that are less likely to give results applicable in a large number of NHS settings.
For primary research projects, which generate new data, the most suitable study design is often a randomised controlled trial, but this is not the only type of trial we fund. Other study designs may be appropriate, for instance cohort or other observational studies, or adaptive designs. All should be adequately powered and the results should be relevant across the UK population.
Feasibility and pilot studies are eligible only when they are specified in commissioning briefs.
Evidence synthesis projects are also eligible. These should investigate clinical and cost-effectiveness. They are likely to include one or more systematic reviews and economic analysis, but other well designed studies are eligible. Researchers can also apply to the Research for Patient Benefit Programme for evidence synthesis. Researchers should justify why the HTA Programme is the most appropriate to fund this study, rather than other Programmes.