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Health Professionals

This section provides information for Health Professionals and Practitioners.

In this UK-wide scheme, NIHR wishes to fund research on current public health interventions, in timescales that are relevant to local government, with the aim of informing practice and policy decisions. We are particularly interested in population level, non-clinical, transdisciplinary interventions that impact upon the health of the public and inequalities in health.

Our approach is collaborative and responsive. We look to build productive working relationships with local authorities, commissioners and their local partners so that our evaluations meet their needs, and the evaluations will also be relevant and important to wider public health community. We work with local authorities and wider stakeholders to co-produce evaluation designs. This can be done in different ways, but the approach is participative and seeks to build consensus about the aims and outcomes of the public health intervention, and about the aims, research questions and approach of the evaluation.

Each project has its own research design and we always look for opportunities to co-produce research with people who use or deliver services and with other local stakeholders. This might involve peer researchers, service user groups, and funding local practitioners to be embedded in the evaluation team. These approaches help build local capacity in research and evaluation, potentially leaving a longer-term legacy from the evaluations we undertake.

Public involvement and engagement (PIE) is central to our approach, it is important to consider PIE is embedded in the development and implement of the intervention. Within the PHIRST evaluation teams it happens at a strategic level through the work of PIE advisors on our advisory boards. We have lay co-applicants in our teams. PIE also runs through each of our evaluation projects. You can find more about this on the Public Partnership section.

We are actively working to mobilise the knowledge arising from each of our evaluations. This involves working with local, regional and national stakeholders to understand who the users of the research will be, what they will need from the evaluation and how best we might engage them. This runs from inception of the evaluation, co-production of the design, defining key findings and dissemination. We look for opportunities to sense-check interim findings with local stakeholders. We undertake post-evaluation reviews with key stakeholders to explore how evaluation recommendations are being taken forward. We look to foster collective learning for all interested parties, and we will reflect across our projects on wider learning for the public health system.

If you are interested in PHIRST undertaking an evaluation of a public health intervention in your local authority the deadline date for the next call will be announced soon.

NIHR will review your expression of interest alongside those from other local authorities. If it is assessed to be appropriate for PHIRST, your project will be allocated to a team with the most relevant skills and expertise for the topic area of the intervention

If your work doesn't fit the remit of PHIRST, details of other NIHR Public Health Research funding can be found on the NIHR website.

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