Methodology research programme
The MRC/NIHR Methodology Research Programme (MRP) is co-funded by the MRC and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Sections on this page:
- Highlight notices
- Who can apply
- Methodology Research Panel deadlines
- Panel membership
- Contacts and guidance
For the purposes of obtaining funding from MRP, methodology research includes:
- Methods development to underpin the biomedical and health-related sciences, with methodological outputs that are applicable beyond a specific case study.
- 'Methods in research’ for developing methods and their implementation in research standards with the aim of improving quality and consistency in practice, for example consensus statements.
More specifically, it includes:
- Research methods in disciplines underpinning health research including: biomedical, behavioural and social science, experimental and stratified medicine, randomised trials, cohorts and other research designs investigating health, healthcare, health services and health policy.
- Methods for effective regulation (including indices for decision making), approval, adaptation and reporting of new interventions (including behavioural).
- Research methods for valid measures of health, eg health outcomes, exposure and risk (including behaviour, cognition and emotion) and wellbeing.
The research portfolio will cover the following disciplines in relation to medical/health research:
- Health economics and decision science
- Trial design, biostatistics and mathematical modelling
- Bio and health informatics and computational modelling
- Epidemiology and public health (including geography)
- Behavioural sciences and health psychology
- Social Sciences (including sociology and anthropology)
- Organisational/management science
- Ethics and law
We will not fund research aimed at technology development as part of methodology research, but it may support statistical approaches and research methods linked to new technologies.
We encourage applications involving interaction with industry through the MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA) framework.
Researchers seeking funding for biomarker identification and validation should apply through the relevant research boards.
For details of successfully funded proposals click here (PDF, 114KB).
The following highlight notices indicate areas of strategic importance identified by MRP, relating to MRC and NIHR priorities, and those of partner organisations such as MHRA, NICE and the four UK health departments. Applications are invited in:
- Observational data in clinical decision making
- Assessing quality of life in carers
- Methodology for stratified medicine
- Improving cross-sector comparisons; Beyond QALY
- Methodology for Eliciting Expert Opinion
- Methodological Research for Health/Care System Modelling: Identifying and Measuring Spillover Effects
- Methodological Research to Improve the Quality of National Clinical Audits
Applications can be led by academics based at UK Universities, MRC Units and approved independent research organisations. Applicants should follow the normal application process for the type of grant you wish to apply for: research grant, new investigator research grants, programme grants and partnership grants.
A research grant can be awarded for any period of up to five years, but those of two years or less are for proof of principle or pilot work only. All proposals anticipating an MRC expenditure greater than £1 million should be discussed with the programme manager for MRP before submission (see Contacts).
The panel meets twice annually. Application deadlines are usually in June and November. All proposals are assessed by external experts before they are considered by the MRC/NIHR Methodology Research Panel at their meetings in April/May and October/November.
If you have a query about the scientific aspects of your research proposal or whether it is within remit, please contact:
Programme Manager: Dr David Crosby
If your query concerns the MRP panel and peer review process or a current application please contact:
MRP panel team
For queries regarding the Je-S application process, please contact the Je-S Helpdesk:
Telephone: +44 (0)1793 44 4164 (open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday)
You should use the research councils’ Joint electronic submissions (Je-S) to manage your current MRC grant. Please request any changes to the grant through Je-S.
If you wish to contact the Grant Post-Award Team please email GrantsPostAward@ssc.rcuk.ac.uk