How to apply for infrastructure funding

The NIHR invests significantly in centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities to support research in England. Collectively these form the NIHR infrastructure.

NIHR infrastructure funding provides a platform to enable research, acting as a targeted and strategic investment to create an environment where early stage and applied research can thrive.

Our significant and sustained infrastructure funding awards support the country’s leading experts in world-class research organisations.

Types of research infrastructure we fund


The NIHR invests more than £606 million a year of infrastructure funding for services, facilities and people to support research and its delivery

We invest in centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities in research areas of strategic importance through a number of different five-year infrastructure funding schemes.

We support applied health and care research and implementation science by investing £135 million into NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs).

We support public and industry-funded researchers to develop new medical technologies and in vitro diagnostic tests through our £14.25 million investment in 11 NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives (MICs).

We help to translate innovations in fields outside of healthcare, such as aviation and engineering, into new approaches to improve patient safety through our £17 million investment into three NIHR Patient Safety Translational Research Centres (PSTRCs).

We help researchers run early-phase trials of brand new drugs and treatments by investing £112 million into 23 dedicated, purpose-built NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) for Experimental Medicine.

We support the translation of scientific discoveries into brand new treatments for patients through our £816 million investment in 20 NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs).

How we fund research infrastructure

We award infrastructure funding to world leading NHS organisations and academic institutions with a proven, international track record in health and care research. The funding awards are significant multimillion pound investments.

We award infrastructure funding through a thorough, national peer reviewed funding process that we advertise through the NIHR website and our stakeholders.

Depending on the scope and remit of individual infrastructure schemes, partnerships of organisations can submit funding applications. These are then peer reviewed and considered by panels of experts appropriate to the competition..

Full information about the funding process for each infrastructure scheme is published in the applicant guidance once the competition opens.

Related pages

NIHR blog