Showing 251 - 260 of 265
  • 20 May, 2016 - 16:06
    Funding Information
    Some West Midlands LEPs now have calls open for ERDF Research and Innovation Priority (P1) and/or Low Carbon Priority (P4).  Full details of these calls are available here
    EIT Health Calls
    Two deadlines for EIT Health Calls closed this week, and the remaining open fund is: Arts and Wellbeing Funding Sources
    Following on from a previous update, where I sent a link to a project that is using creative arts to improve the health of its service users: Dance to Health project.  Please see this link, which lists a range of Arts and Wellbeing Funding sources, which could potentially be utilised for creative arts / health projects.
  • 17 May, 2016 - 07:31
    Useful funding sources
    EIT Health KIC Innovation by Ideas
    EIT Health KIC is inviting partners to submit proposals for new Innovation by Ideas projects to be included in the Business Plan to start in 2017. 
    Innovation by Ideas projects are collaborative projects and are driven by societal challenges within the thematic scope of EIT Health. The projects are ‘solution driven’, i.e. a potential solution has been identified that either capitalises on an opportunity or addresses a specific problem presented by demographic ageing of the population. These are considered bottom-up proposals, and the projects can be led by either core or associate partners of any category. A maximum EIT contribution of €500,000 can be sought for each project. 
    The EIT contribution will be provided for a maximum of 12 months, finishing on 31 December 2017 at the latest. The submission deadline is 16 May at 4pm.
    EIT Health KIC Proof of Concept and Headstart funding
    As part of its “Accelerator” activities, EIT Health KIC offers Proof of Concept and Headstart funding for emerging companies and SMEs across the UK and Ireland to develop new healthcare products and services. 
    The purpose of the funding is to accelerate market entry and create new economic activity, and applications to support research will be rejected. Seven awards of up to €50K are available across the whole of the UK and Ireland CLC area, across the two funding streams, and must be spent by 31 December 2016. Companies can apply for less than the maximum. The funding streams are: 
    • Proof of concept funding is suitable for individuals and organisations that have a well-developed prototype and a ready-to-launch product. Applications will be accepted from organisations that are not yet incorporated as companies, but it is expected that a company will be formed within six months of the funding
    • Headstart funding is open to established companies that are already trading in the UK and Ireland but wish to explore new markets.
    In addition to the €350K available, the industry partners will provide access to innovation facilities and networks, as well as mentorship to successful applicants. Proposals must be received by noon on Tuesday 31 May. 
    SME Innovation Fund
    The SME Innovation Fund aims to grow spin-outs to improve healthcare services across the NHS, particularly those in line with the WMAHSN’s core strategic priorities; advanced diagnostics, genomics and precision medicine; mental health: recovery, crisis and prevention; long-term conditions; and wellness and the prevention of illness.
    The fund will provide repayable grants of up to £50,000 to at least ten new innovations each year.  In so doing, the fund will support innovations that have the potential to deliver a high impact for society, grow the reputation of healthcare delivery within the West Midlands, both in the UK and abroad, and support the spread and adoption of patient-focused innovation across the region.
    Mercia Fund Management, a leading investment business in UK innovation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercia Technologies PLC, is collaborating with the WMAHSN on the fund. 
    West Midlands Interactive Healthcare Fund
    Funded by Creative England's Regional Growth Fund and managed by Creative England in partnership with the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and the WMAHSN, this Interactive Healthcare Fund is for creative and digital SMEs who wish to bring innovative concepts and/or prototypes to the NHS marketplace.
    £500,000 is available via investments of up to £50,000 per application. Companies must be based in England, outside of Greater London. Funding will support the development of innovative concepts or prototypes using digital technology to improve patient care and health services, in response to the identified WMAHSN priority areas.
    Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. The fund will close on Friday 30 September 2016. 
    Serendip Digital Health quarter
    Digital health start-up businesses who are looking to accelerate their growth are being sought to join others at the Serendip® Digital Health quarter in Birmingham. Part of Innovation Birmingham’s Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator programme, the Incubator co-locates promising start-up businesses with large commercial partners and there are four sector-specific Serendip® ‘quarters’: Digital Health, Intelligent Mobility, Internet of Things and Eagle Labs. These will be delivered by Innovation Birmingham in collaboration with key partners, with the WMAHSN collaborating in the Digital Health quarter. 
    Within these challenge-led incubators, the commercial partners help to mentor qualifying early stage tech companies and may, in turn, become customers or distribution channels for the start-ups. Those wanting to apply for a place in the Digital Health quarter will need to offer solutions which respond to one or more of the WMAHSN’s digital health challenges. 

    The Serendip® Smart Cities Incubator is open to UK wide start-ups, but they will need to relocate to the iCentrum building in order to be supported by the corporate partners. To apply for the Serendip® Digital Health quarter, please visit the Meridian health innovation exchange. Applications will remain open while spaces are available.
  • 4 May, 2016 - 08:56
    HSJ Value in Healthcare Congress Awards
    For anyone wishing to attend this year’s HSJ Value in Healthcare Congress Awards the organisers have been in touch with details of a deal on block bookings that they can apply across the AHSN Network.  The current per person price is £349 + VAT; and they have a group booking discount of 50% for five or more attendees. For further information contact Bes Selmani via email:
  • 29 April, 2016 - 09:36
    More freezing Friday funding news!
    Strange week this one, I’ve sold items on that well known internet auction site many times but this was my first introduction to having the winning bidder collecting direct from me.  I’d offered to make the exchange either at my home address or anywhere that I cross on my journey into work.  The lucky recipient asked for the latter and I swear, it couldn’t have been any more cloak and dagger than if John Le Carré had written a script for it.  Quite apart from the oddity of the buyer not wanting to talk on the phone but only communicate via the auction site or text, some of the text messages themselves were very ‘when the ducks are flying low over the Moscow skyline’ and me being requested to respond with ‘then will the moon dip below the horizon’ etc .  Thankfully we arranged to meet on campus else I’m sure my colleagues would have insisted on coming with me, as it was I under strict instructions to take a photo of him and his car as I approached.  I thought they were worried about me being abducted but really they wanted to see what he looked like.  Quite what the rather sweet young man who just wanted to add to his collection of gardening tools made of me taking a photo of him whilst I’m sure at least three of my colleagues walked past in their macs and holding up newspapers with spy eye holes cut out, I have no idea.  But I don’t think he’ll ever buy anything off me again.  And he’s not put any feedback on the site yet.
    NIHR Funding
    Research for Patient Benefit, Competition 30 launched  -  RfPB have launched Competition 30 funding round; this will be in the same two stage format as Competitions 28 and 29.  There is no themed call for this competition.  Submission deadline is Wednesday 3 August 2016 and you can find out more here.    A Word template of the application form is also available on the RfPB website and can be found here.
    Tackling antimicrobial resistance: human and animal behaviour – pre-call announcement  -  The Research Councils, along with other UK funders including the NIHR, have been working together to identify a number of research opportunities and challenges to tackle the rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) within four themes.  A call for both smaller pump priming grants and larger collaborative research grants which will address theme four of the cross-Research Council initiative: ‘Behaviour within and beyond the health care setting’ is planned.  An aim of the call is to expand understanding of how behaviour impacts on antimicrobial resistance relevant to both humans and animals across contexts and cultures, and how it can be influenced to create different future scenarios.  Proposals will be invited to address one or more of the following challenges:
    ·         awareness and engagement
    ·         public health as an alternative to the use of antibiotics: preventing infection and transmission
    ·         informal markets and access to antibiotics
    ·         stewardship and appropriate use of antibiotics
    ·         behaviour as it relates to animals and AMR
    Planned deadline for proposals: pump priming: July 2016 / larger collaborative grants: September 2016 and you can find out more here.
    Non NIHR Funding
    Health Foundation Efficiency Research Programme  -  The Efficiency Research Programme is an open call for innovative research ideas into system efficiency and sustainability in health and social care.  The Health Foundation want to fund three to five experienced research teams to explore ways that health, or health and social care services can address the challenge of increasing efficiency and value for money, and providing more for less.  Funding is available for each project to receive between £250,000 and £500,000 for research completed over three to five years.  Four key priority areas have been identified for this programme:
    ·         allocative efficiency: achieving a more cost-effective mix of services within health and social care services to maximise the health of the UK
    ·         aligning incentives: generating the greatest pull to improve efficiency and value for money
    ·         technology and workforce: optimising the role of technology and the workforce to improve efficiency
    ·         diffusion of best practice: optimising the spread and diffusion of efficient practice in health and social care services
    Deadline is 28 July 2016 and you can find our more here.
    JPIAM Call for transnational working groups within The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance  -  The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance JPIAMR  is pleased to launch a rapid action call for leading scientists and experts in the field to establish Working Groups to identify key questions to be addressed or to identify potential solutions to overcome barriers to antibacterial resistance research studies.  Each Working Group can bid for a maximum of €50,000 for support of its activities. Deadline is 6 June 2016 and you can find out more here.
    Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowships  -  Just a reminder about these prestigious personal awards which provide long term support for researchers of international standing.  Successful candidates will have an established track record in research at the highest level.  Applicants can express and interest in this award at any time and you can find out more here.

    Conferences / Training
    Annual Abracadabra Diabetes Nursing Conference  -  6 May at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport.  Free meeting, for healthcare professionals only, further information here.
    And that’s it for me for a couple of weeks, I’m on annual leave now, be mid May almost when I’m back, the nights will be drawing in soon.
    Best wishes

    Administration and Information Officer
    NIHR Research Design Service West Midlands
    G24 Public Health
    University of Birmingham
    Birmingham      B15 2TT
    Tel:    0121 414 8533
  • 22 April, 2016 - 09:17
    Friday Funding News
    Another demonstration of how one simple comment about one thing + an office of mad colleagues = 10 minutes of ever so slightly surreal chat plus the kind of impersonations that will be forever seared into my brain (whether I want them to be or not).  Someone, I can’t even remember who it was, was having a moan about pests nibbling on new plants in their garden.  That led to a discussion on squirrels digging holes in your lawns and borders but we wondered if they ever remembered where their squirrel bounty was.  Suggestion was made that maybe we could make our millions by selling little flags as bounty markers (have to say I’m not sure what the buying power of your average Brummie squirrel is) and that led instantly to a shout of ‘Squirrel Golf!’  Once the animal lovers amongst us had been reassured that the idea of squirrel golf was that the squirrels pot the balls rather than actually being the balls, then the concept was refined.  We could even hope one day to have a squirrel golf Masters Championship, grey squirrel v chipmunks.  Expect to see it on Channel 5 any day now.  Or the BBC if they keep losing terrestrial rights to major sports events.  Once we’d got off the rather lovely idea of squirrels in plus fours the animal theme continued with the cost of owning a dog given that they very often need stuff done to them (the phrase ‘want stuff done to them’ was disputed as it suggested dogs opting for surgical procedures or non-invasive procedures a la chemical peels).  From there we ended up with a very graphic impersonation of what a dog with blocked anal glands looks like when it’s making its way across a carpet ……… suddenly my Instant Porridge didn’t look quite so appealing.
    NIHR Funding
    Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs)  -  The competitive process to renew and refresh NIHR funding and designation for Clinical Research Facilities is open.  Deadline is 22 June 2016 and you can find out more here.
    HS & DR Briefing event for researcher led ball 16/48, Evaluating the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme  -  The Health Services and Delivery Research Programme is hosting a free briefing session for applicants interested in applying to 16/48.  This will be in the afternoon of 5 May in central London, registration via Sam Watson and you can find out more here.
    Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme, Researcher led call  -  Call now open, 15/187 Evidence synthesis, full stage applications.  Deadline is 5 May 2016 and you can find out more here.
    Researcher-led, Evidence Synthesis
    Full 5 May 2016, by 1pm, Access specification document (pdf, 117.5 KB)Access guidance notes (pdf, 586.01 KB)Apply

    Researcher-led, Expression of Interest to Full
    10 August 2016, by 1pm, Access specification document (pdf, 111.82 KB)Access guidance notes (pdf, 586.01 KB)Apply

    Researcher-led, Evidence Synthesis Full    
    10 August 2016, by 1pm, Access specification document (pdf, 111.82 KB)Access guidance notes (pdf, 586.01 KB)Apply
    Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme, Commissioned calls  -  To view all the topics and deadlines visit here.
    Programme Development Grant (PDG)  -  PDGs are designed to increase the rate and number of successful applications for a full Programme Grant by supporting the completion of the necessary preparatory work to suitably position the research team to submit a competitive Stage 2 Programme Grant application.  Competition 16 deadline is 22 July 2016.  More information here.
    Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)  - Competition 21, Stage 1 deadline is 27 July 2016, further information here.
    Proposed research areas for HTA commissioned calls in 2016  -  On the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme website, the HTA lists the planned topic areas for future commissioned research calls in 2016.  Not all the topics will be advertised, but if they are, they will probably be published in mid to late July.  If you would like to be notified when HTA calls go live, please sign up to the HTA bulletin.  If you would like to comment on any of these topics, please email the team  You can find out more here
    Public Health Research (PHR) Commissioned calls  -  The latest PHR commissioned calls, with a deadline 15 August 2016, are:
    15/192 - Interventions to reduce negative health effects associated with noise in the living environment
    16/07 - Outdoor green and blue spaces
    16/08 - Loneliness and unwanted social isolation
    16/09 - Community engagement
    Further information here.

    Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Competition 29 -  Stage 2 (if invited) opens Mid June 2016 with a deadline of late July 2016.  Still awaiting details regarding Competition 30.  More information here.
    School for Public Health Research   - A new, open competition to renew and refresh membership of the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) has now opened.  The School will bring together leading academic institutions in England demonstrating excellence in applied public health research, including evaluations, and place emphasis on what works practically and can be applied across the whole country.  The purpose of the new competition is to enable funding of a renewed and refreshed NIHR SPHR from 1 April 2017. It will enable the School to continue to fulfil its mission by helping to build on the progress made in the initial funding term.  Further information here.
    Non NIHR Funding
    Medical Research Council (MRC), Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND) scheme  -  The MRC Public Health Intervention Development scheme (PHIND) supports the early stages of development of interventions that address an important UK or global public health issue.  Studies funded by the scheme will develop the necessary evidence to underpin the later development and evaluation of novel public health interventions.  Applicants can apply for up to £150K for a maximum of 18 months.  Deadline for proposals is 12 July 2016 and you can find out more here.
    ME Research UK  -  ME Research UK priority is novel clinical and biomedical studies that help to unravel the biology of ME/CFS, and studies that may point towards therapeutic strategies.  Further information here.
    Conferences / Training

    Health Policy, Organisation and Management (HPOM) Collaborative Research Conference  -  The Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning (CHILL) and the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) are holding their Health Policy, Organisation and Management (HPOM) Collaborative Research Conference on 19 May 2016.  The conference will examine ways to build and shape future research agendas with discussions around the themes of Quality and Safety, Professions, Integrated Care and Hybridity.  It will be funded by the Birmingham-Nottingham strategic collaboration fund.  You can find out more here.
    Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research - Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)  -  This free online training course has been designed by NIHR to support public involvement in research. The course has been prepared by the National Institute of Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) working in conjunction with Leeds University and is hosted by FutureLearn. The course starts on the 6 June 2016.  More information here.
    Patient and Public Involvement (PPI),  Patients share their learning from MOOC in “highlights” video  -  The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) released its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in November 2015.  Attracting over 8,000 people from all over the world, patients, the public and healthcare professionals were amongst the thousands who learnt about ‘Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research.’  On the back of the November course success, this free online course is running again in June 2016.  To promote the course and evaluate the value and impact MOOC has had on the people who undertook it, a short highlights video has been produced.  The video features members of the public and patients who registered to undertake the MOOC, which is a four week online course.  They each talk about their experience, and how the course has helped them to be more knowledgeable about research.  You can see the video here and sign up to register for the June MOOC here.
    Programme Grants for Applied Research Information Events  -  Please see the attached flyer re various dates and venues.
    Royal College of General Practitioners’ Research Symposium  -  16 June at Warwick Medical School.  The call for abstracts has just gone live.  You can find out further details about the symposium here and download the symposium flyer here.
    Clinical Trials Gateway  -  The NIHR UK Clinical Trials Gateway enables the public to find out about clinical trials.  It provides easy to understand information about clinical research trials running in the UK and gives access to a large range of information about these trials.  It is designed to enable people to locate and contact trials of interest.  A new technology platform makes the service more reliable and allows the public to sign up to research and for researchers to recruit research participants in line with the NHS Constitution commitment.  More information here.
    Health Education England (HEE) and NIHR Webinar  -  HEE and NIHR hosted a webinar providing an overview of its Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme but also useful hints and tips for applying.  It is a useful resource for those applying for Round 2 competitions for Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowships, Clinical Lectureships and Senior Clinical Lectureships but also for those wanting to take advantage of the hints and tips.  You’ll need to register first before watching the webinar.
    New INVOLVE Director -  Zoë Gray has been appointed the new Director of the INVOLVE coordinating centre and began her post on 4 April 2016.  You can find out more about this appointment here and also check out the resources that INVOLVE offer.
    OCTRU Clinical Trials Course – successfully designing and getting your clinical trial funded  -  Friday 10 June 2016  at Lecture Theatre, Botnar Research Centre, Oxford.  This course is for those wishing to be a chief investigator and will give a greater understanding of how to design and conduct their own clinical trial and the secrets of a successful funding application.  Course objectives: To understand how to develop a good research question  /  To explore the principles of good trial design  /  To know where to apply for trial funding  /  To understand how to write a successful funding application  /  To know how to effectively cost a trial  /  To understand the role of a Clinical Trials Unit.  The cost is £75 and the course is specifically targeted at new investigators who would like to design and conduct their own trial but have not yet successfully applied for funding.  You can find out more here.
    Randomised controlled trial course 2016: A guide to design, conduct, analysis, interpretation and reporting  -  Monday 26 September to Friday 30 September 2016 at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, UK.  This course provides a thorough grounding in the principles and practice of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for the evaluation of healthcare interventions.  It will include talks and practicals to give examples and guidance on the methodology of trials using a problem-based learning approach.  The course fees are £1,350, discounted to £1,250 for those registering before 30 June 2016.  The course is aimed at those planning or actively involved in trials, or individuals interested in furthering their knowledge of trial methodology.  Applications are invited from clinical and non-clinical researchers and other professionals allied to medicine.  The course provides an overview of clinical trials and would benefit those early in their career or serve as a refresher for more experienced individuals.  You can find out more here and direct any enquiries to Jacqueline Wright.
    Research for Patient Benefit  -  Our colleagues in RDS North West recently held a seminar on this programme.   The Programme Director, Professor David Armstrong, gave a really good presentation about this funding stream.  Well worth a watch if you are thinking of applying.
    Role of CTUs in developing an NIHR funding application  -  The NIHR has produced a video highlighting the role the Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) play in developing an NIHR funding application.  
    Using simulation studies to evaluate statistical methods  -  Friday 27 May 2016 at College Court, Leicester, LE2 3TQ .  By the end of this course, participants will be able to:  Explain the rationale for simulation  /  Understand the importance of careful planning  /  Have the tools to code and debug simple simulation studies in Stata  /  Know how to analyse simulation studies producing estimates of uncertainty  /  Present methods and results for publication.  The costs are:  Standard fee: £180.00 / Standard fee with accommodation: £250.00  / Student fee: £100.00 / Student fee with accommodation: £170.00.  This course is recommended for:  Methodological or applied statisticians who need to evaluate the statistical properties of one or more methods  /  PhD students using simulation studies  /  Readers of methodology articles which evaluate methods by simulation.  Participants should be familiar with Stata and know, for example, how to generate data, run a regression command and produce simple graphs.  You can find out morehere and direct enquiries to: Dr Tim Morris ( / Dr Ian White ( / Dr Michael Crowther (

    WMAHSN Celebration of Innovation Awards are now open  -  The WMAHSN has announced that entries for its very first awards, celebrating innovation in healthcare across the West Midlands, are now open.  The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the WMAHSN's annual stakeholder event on 29 June, and reflect the WMAHSN's priorities and themes. There are also special awards for innovative individuals and organisations.  Categories include: Innovator of the Year Award, Innovative Organisation of the Year Award, Digital Health Innovation Award, Person-centred Care Innovation Award, Wealth Creation Innovation Award, Clinical Trials and Evaluation Award, Patient Safety Innovation Award, Education and Skills Innovation Award.  Further informationhere or email Sarah Millard.
    And that’s it for another week, I am about ready for my Easter break now that the weather’s got better.  What?  Oh yeh, gone.  I have to go out and stay out tomorrow as when elder brother asked for help in babysitting the three year old and the six year old, I made my excuses.  He’s still in the dog house (ooooh referencing first paragraph and entirely undeliberately) for his babysitting earlier this year when he thought it would be a good idea to let them play ‘Bear Grylls’ in the back garden.  Their parents came home to find a back garden that looked like demented badgers had been at work on the lawn, the six year old was at the top of his slide just about to come down (on his bike) and both he and younger brother were covered in mud and had it painted all over their faces.  Their shouts of ‘It’s ok, Uncle Ian said as long you smelt it first to make sure it was mud, it’s fine’ didn’t really do much to defuse the situation. 
    Best wishes
    Melanie Guthrie
    Administration and Information Officer
    NIHR Research Design Service West Midlands
    G24 Public Health
    University of Birmingham
    Birmingham      B15 2TT
    Tel:    0121 414 8533
  • 20 April, 2016 - 09:12
    UK Tech Awards 2016
    The UK Tech Awards celebrate success, rewards achievement and raises the profile of the UK tech community. It provides a great showcase for the tech sector and a great networking opportunity, with an expected attendance of over 800 people.
    Award categories include:
    ·         Tech fund manager of the year
    ·         Tech innovation of the year
    ·         Tech journalist of the year
    ·         Tech deal of the year
    ·         Best use of tech in the digital economy
    ·         Tech achievement of the year
    ·         Tech growth business of the year
    ·         Tech CEO of the year
    ·         Tech company of the year
    Nominations open on Monday, 11 April and close Friday, 20 May 2016. Submission forms must be returned by Friday, 19 August 2016. 

    For more information or to enter, visit: 
  • 19 April, 2016 - 11:21
    The WMAHSN has announced that entries for its very first awards, celebrating innovation in healthcare across the West Midlands,
    The WMAHSN has announced that entries for its very first awards, celebrating innovation in healthcare across the West Midlands, are now open. 
    The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the WMAHSN's annual stakeholder event in late June, and reflect the WMAHSN's priorities and themes. There are also special awards for innovative individuals and organisations. The categories are: 
    • The Innovator of the Year Award recognises and rewards those whose game-changing discoveries, research or inventions are driving healthcare innovation forward within the West Midlands. 
    • The Innovative Organisation of the Year Award recognises and rewards those organisations who have truly nurtured an innovation culture and where good ideas are quickly identified and spread within and beyond the boundaries of the organisation.  
    • The Digital Health Innovation Award aims to recognise the most innovative and forward-thinking use of digital technologies in the healthcare industry. 
    • The Person-centred Care Innovation Award aims to recognise the most innovative solution that acknowledges the importance of patient-centred care and about the continuation and continuity of care across health and social care services.  
    • The Wealth Creation Innovation Award aims to recognise those who have created wealth by delivering improvements in health care across one or more of the WMAHSN priority programmes through industry collaboration and attracting inward investment. 
    • The Clinical Trials and Evaluation Award aims to recognise good quality clinical trials and evaluations that have addressed a clearly defined problem and that has addressed implementation at an early stage.
    • The Patient Safety Innovation Award aims to recognise those innovations that demonstrate a strong safety culture that continually reduces avoidable harm. 
    • The Education and Skills Innovation Award aims to recognise those who have looked to develop skills and knowledge among healthcare commissioners and deliverers, industry and patients and the wider population to develop and adopt innovation across the West Midlands.
    A panel of experts will assess the entries, with shortlisted entries invited to attend the ceremony in June. As well as a handsome trophy, winners will receive promotion of their win through print and digital channels, support from WMAHSN communications team to raise their profile, mentoring and support to adopt the innovation across the region and a winner’s logo for email signatures and websites. 

    Tammy Holmes, Innovation and Adoption Programme Manager at WMAHSN, said: "As an AHSN, we have experienced that innovators can come from industry, NHS, academia or third sector. Similarly, those buying and benefiting from innovations are from all sectors. These awards were developed to acknowledge the hard work going on throughout the West Midlands, and reward contributions towards our overall aim of accelerating the adoption of innovation to generate continuous improvement in the region’s health and wealth."

    The closing date for all entries is 12 noon on Friday 27 May. However, if a high volume of entries is received this may close early. If you have any queries, please contact Tammy on or call 0121 371 8061. 

    A number of excellent value sponsorship packages, including award sponsorship, are now available, with discounts for those organisations with WMAHSN enhanced membership. For further information, contact Sarah Millard,Head of Communications and Engagement, on or call 0121 371 8058.
  • 18 April, 2016 - 12:45
    Exciting Opportunities for Start-ups
    Voom 2016: 
    Chance for Start-ups to pitch to Richard Branson and be one of six winners to share £1 million. More info at

    Tech for Good Awards: 
    Applications open for anyone that is using technology to help fundraising for causes and charities. More info 

    Innovate UK Sharing Economy competition: 
    Offering six start-ups a chance to win £30,000 to develop prototypes with major brands including Airbnb, Crossrail, etc. based on novel solutions for six challenge areas: trust, travel & tourism, construction, DIY, innovation and data analytics. Closes 12th April. Info at
  • 18 April, 2016 - 12:32
    Royal College of GPs produces mental health toolkit
    Approximately a quarter of all people will experience a mental health problem in the course of a year, and 23 out of 30 who experience mental health problems will visit their GP. Accessible, high-quality primary care is vital to keeping patients healthy for longer, and a holistic approach is required promoting mental health equally and in partnership with physical health.

    To this end, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has produced a toolkit to support GPs in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. 

    The toolkit offers a primary care orientated directory of resources that GPs and other healthcare professionals may access to assist in their diagnoses, as well as helping them to communicate better with patients. It also provides resources for those concerned about their own mental health issues. Contents include care pathways and clinical guidance, information fact sheets, risk assessments and useful resources. 

    The toolkit can be accessed on the RCGP website
  • 15 April, 2016 - 10:07
    Friday Funding News!
    I love the fact that my colleagues are ever so slightly bonkers; for example we’ve just been treated to one of them doing her impersonation of how the bunch of tulips she bought last night look in her nan’s vase.  Have to say, it was one of the best such impersonations I’ve ever seen, I’d cast her in a show about tulips.  The conversation actually started (and no idea how it got on to tulip impersonations) with a discussion about the secret world of ‘scruffies,’ i.e. those clothes we all change into as soon as we arrive home from work.  I swear that if anyone knocked on my door 10 minutes after I arrived home it would be a case of ‘Is Mel in please?’  I admit it, my face comes out of a make-up bag in the morning and is then disposed of via face wipes when I get in.   And as for the scruffies?  Well, we all admitted to having two lots, the ones we wear and the other ones, the ones we decorate in.  My decorating scruffies (joggy bots and La Femme Nikita T-shirt) are a visual testament to every shade of paint I’ve ever worked with.  Ditto my step ladders.  And if I stand next to my step ladders then I disappear into the paint, there’s seemingly just my disembodied head floating like some sort of 1960s abstract art on an LP cover.  Tulip Girl admitted that her decorating T-shirt actually has a 3D effect on it from when she last roller painted her ceiling.  Nice to think that in years to come someone will have to go through all this stuff when they’re searching for the bank accounts!  Although I must admit, my own main fear is that one night whilst clad in my scruffies, I’ll fall downstairs and need the paramedics.  I know that immediately after calling them I’d be crawling back upstairs to try and change into something better.
    NIHR Funding
    NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme – new researcher-led call  -  The HS&DR Programme is interested in receiving applications which address knowledge gaps in the impact and sustainability of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) in England.  Evaluation proposals must include the whole of the NHS DPP, and can include comparison with services provided elsewhere in the UK.  Please note this is a single-stage assessment process and the deadline is 13:00 on Thursday 23 June 2016.  You can find out more here.
    16/48 – Evaluating the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (one stage, straight-to-full), 23 June 2016, by 1pm, Access specification document (pdf, 217.03 KB)Access guidance notes (pdf, 786.92 KB)Apply
    Invention for Innovation (i4i) – 12th call for Product Development Awards  -  Applications are invited for NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) research proposals for translational R&D projects aimed at cultivating new techniques or technologies into innovative interventions which address existing or emerging healthcare needs.  i4i supports projects developing innovative medical technology including medical devices, active implantable devices and in vitro diagnostic devices.  i4i also supports projects which utilise and develop techniques or technologies from other industry sectors that could have a potential impact if applied in a healthcare setting.  Deadline is 13:00 on Wednesday 1 June 2016, find out more here.
    NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) programme – researcher-led call  -  The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme funds research that evaluates non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public, and reduce inequalities in health.  The scope of the programme is multi-disciplinary and broad, covering a range of public health interventions.  Deadline is 13:00 on Monday 1 August 2016 and you can find out more here.
    16/37 standard outline proposal, 1 August 2016, by 1pm, Access guidance notes (pdf, 679.81 KB)Apply
    16/38 evidence synthesis full proposal, 1 August 2016, by 1pm, Access guidance notes (pdf, 669.22 KB)Apply
    Non NIHR Funding
    Funding for emerging companies and SMEs up for grabs from EIT Health  -  The EIT Health KIC UK and Ireland - of which WMAHSN is a core partner - is inviting partners to submit proposals for new Innovation by Ideas projects.  The ultimate objective of the projects should be the rapid market penetration of innovative healthcare products and services. Innovation by Ideas projects are collaborative projects and are driven by societal challenges within the thematic scope of EIT Health. A maximum contribution of €500K can be sought for each project, with a closing date of 4pm (CET) on 16 May 2016.  
    As part of its “Accelerator” activities, EIT Health KIC has also launched the application process for funding for emerging companies and SMEs across the UK and Ireland to develop new healthcare products and services. The purpose of the funding is to accelerate market entry and create new economic activity, and applications to support research will be rejected. Seven awards of up to €50K are available across the whole of the UK and Ireland CLC area, across the Proof of Concept and Headstart funding streams.  Proposals must be received by noon on 31 May 2016.  For further information, or if you are thinking of applying, contact Paddie Murphy.
    Knowledge Transfer Partnerships    -  The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project.  Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The academic institution employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, brings new skills and knowledge to the business.  A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies.  2016 close dates for submission are:  11 May 2016, 6 July 2016, 7 September 2016, 2 November 2016 and you can find out more here.
    Conferences / Training
    The 16th Annual Worcestershire Palliative Care Conference 14 July 2016  -  Complex Issues: Delivering Best Practice in Palliative and End of Life Care, Worcester Rugby Club, 9am – 4.30pm (registration open from 08.45.  Further information here.
    Randomised controlled trial course 2016: A guide to design, conduct, analysis, interpretation and reporting  -  26 September- 30 September Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Oxford.  This course provides a thorough grounding in the principles and practice of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for the evaluation of healthcare interventions. It will include talks and practicals to give examples and guidance on the methodology of trials using a problem-based learning approach.
    Training courses in trials and methodology  -  The HTMR Network has identified training courses relevant to clinical trials methodology that are offered in the UK and Ireland. For workshops and conferences see here.  The Network, Hubs and external partners offer various training from formal degree courses in clinical trials and methodology, to short skills-specific courses for those already working trials. These listings are provided as information only, and the Network does not formally endorse any particular training courses.
    And that’s it folks, hope everyone has a good weekend.   Apparently snow was at one stage forecast for this weekend (?!) but hopefully won’t happen as I plan to have my patio jet washed.   The three year old seems to be under the impression he’s doing the job seeing as how my jet wash now lives at their house.  He ‘helped’ me carry it in to the garage but then sat and looked at it and called me back.  ‘Melly, there’s a baby spider in it, look.’  And sure enough there was, well a little spider anyway.  ‘Can I keep it please?’  I thought he meant the jet wash, but no, he meant the spider.  Bless. 
    Best wishes
    Melanie Guthrie
    Administration and Information Officer
    NIHR Research Design Service West Midlands
    G24 Public Health
    University of Birmingham
    Birmingham      B15 2TT
    Tel:    0121 414 8533