Impact of COVID-19: Researcher information.


NIHR today launched a new UK-wide call for longer-term COVID-19 research

This call this new call will sit alongside the joint UKRI/NIHR rolling research call for urgent COVID-19 research, and will have a specific focus on research to inform policy and the recovery of the health, care and public health systems from the pandemic, with outcomes typically within 24 months

Eligibility – the following NIHR programmes are accepting applications from across the UK

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)

  • Evidence Synthesis (ES)
  • Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR)
  • Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
  • Invention for Innovation (i4i)
  • Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
  • Public Health Research (PHR)
  • Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)
  • Research for Social Care (RfSC) 

The NIHR Policy Research Programme and NIHR Academy Fellowships programme will not be accepting Scottish-led bids to this call.

Deadline for applications

The call will close for the first time on Tuesday 23 June 2020, at 1pm. Any applications that are not submitted by this date will be automatically transferred to the second draw-down date of Tuesday 14 July 2020

Further details are available from the NIHR website

Alan McNair

Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office



CSO has published a statement on restarting research paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic 

This refers to the NIHR Restart Framework 

The framework outlines guiding principles for a coordinated restoration of the health and care research portfolio. Scotland and the other devolved administrations have been fully involved in its development and are supportive of the guiding principles and prioritisation criteria. We should note that the NIHR Restart Framework provides guiding principles and not directive local operational instruction. 

On May 21st the Scottish Government published the Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis

This route map takes an evidence-led and transparent approach to easing restrictions and sets out a phased approach towards the future. We wish to stress that the Restart Framework does not in any way supersede the SG guidance around non-essential on-campus University lab work contained within the Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making document. Non-essential, on-campus University lab work should not restart until SG has issued further specific guidance to do so subject to physical distancing as part of the staged implementation of the route map.



A new online booking service will be rolled out for IRAS studies on Tuesday 19 May – replacing the current Central Booking Service (CBS) telephone line. This is part of our ongoing Research Systems programme of work to improve our services for applicants.

Applicants submitting research projects through IRAS will no longer need to call the Central Booking Service to book a Research Ethics Committee, or to enable IRAS Form submission. Instead applicants will access the new online booking service via IRAS to book their application for review. The service is quick and easy to use and, unlike the current Central Booking Service, will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it easier for research applicants. If you need help and support with the new system you can call 0207 104 8008 between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.      

In order to make use of this new functionality, applicants will be directed to a new part of IRAS which hosts the online booking service. A separate login will be required, but support will be provided. You will need to set up a new login and password for this area unless you already have a login for a NIHR system or as part of the Combined Ways of Working pilot (CWoW) pilot. In this case you can use your existing log in details. 

Applicants will need to answer a series of questions online before being able to book a slot. This directs the applicant to the appropriate REC. The questions will be familiar to anyone who has used the CBS. Once you have completed your online REC booking, you will still need to electronically submit your application in IRAS using the normal process.




Online booking service for IRAS submissions



Tom Fardon, consultant Physician in Respiratory and General Internal Medicine at NHS Tayside, and Honorary Reader with the University of Dundee discusses the need for quality research and the FDA approval of  Remdesevir for COVID-19


Archived News

April 2020 

March 2020