Investigator Initiated Commercially Funded Research Studies (IIT) award guidance 2023/2024

The Award

NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (CRN NENC) aims to:

● Increase the volume of Investigator Initiated Commercially Funded Research Studies (IITs) taking place across the region.

● Support the development of new Chief Investigators

An IIT (Investigator Initiated Trial) is a study led by an Investigators (e.g. NHS, University, Public Health or Social Care staff) with research funding (e.g. financial/equipment/software) provided by a commercial organisation specifically to support that study. NHS IITs are often supported by a commercial company such as a pharmaceutical, biotechnology or devices company. However, for non-NHS settings it could be any type of commercial organisation that provides support via the funding described. For IITs, an NHS Trust or other non-commercial organisation (e.g. University or Local Authority) is the Sponsor of the study.

Since 2017/2018 the CRN NENC Executive Board and MedConnect North have funded a total of 26 IIT projects. The awards aimed to ensure that individuals had recognition of work done to develop IIT research and supported the development of portfolio adopted IITs. In the short term this brought benefit in the form of recruitment and investment and has helped develop research skills, involvement and engagement with portfolio research.

In the longer term we want to further support the development of applicants; specifically to facilitate future CI trials that lead to larger grant-funded or commercially funded projects.

Consequently, the NENC Executive Board and MedConnect North have agreed to run the scheme again. 5 awards of £5,000 will be available to support the development of new IITs, or to support the progression from current or recent IIT to research council funded or commercially sponsored study.

One of the awards is sponsored by MedConnect North and seeks to support an investigator working on a Medical Technology product.

Applications are open to anyone involved in health or social care research including previous applicants. Where an award was received in any of the previous years, applicants are expected to outline the next steps and detail how further funding will be used towards a larger study.

The award will be for a period of 12 months from April 2023 with funding provided to support the scheme up front. We will treat the award as being fully spent in-year however it is up to partner organisations how it is used to support the 12 month programme.

Timelines for Applications

Competition advertised and open to applications30/01/2023  
Closing date for applications10/03/2023
Decision by panel on successful applicationsW/C 20/03/2023  
Funding sent outW/C 03/04/2023  
6 month progress reviewSeptember 2023
Protocol Approval/Study Set-up due byMarch 2024
Final ReviewMarch 2024

The application form can be found here.

Please see the NENC guidance for this call here.