Themed calls are issued by the NIHR in order to meet an identified health challenge or government priority. These will be promoted in advance whenever possible and clearly advertised on NIHR websites. All research programmes, including NIHR fellowships, will participate in the themed call as far as their remit allows.

Previous NIHR-wide themed calls have focussed on:

  • Applied Health Research in Dementia (2011)
  • Applied Clinical Research on Very Rare Diseases (2012)
  • Applied Health Research in Surgery (2012)
  • Primary Care Interventions (2013)
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (2013)
  • Long-term conditions in children and young people (2014)

More closely defined themed calls may be issued by individual programmes when an area of uncertainty is identified, sometimes arising from a specific event. 


Our latest calls

NIHR themed call: new funding for research into antimicrobial resistance

Following an NIHR Themed call for research in 2013, a number of new research projects looking at reducing the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance and consequent mortality have been funded.

This call for research was part of a coordinated response by the NIHR to the publication of the 2nd volume of the 2011 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer: Infections and the rise of antimicrobial resistance. It also supports the Department of Health-led UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy.

Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a global threat. This is a battle we will lose unless we have more evidence on how to prevent it, or we get new antimicrobials. I am pleased that the NIHR has committed to funding this new research.”

The projects funded from this call cover a wide range of research areas and interventions and were assessed for importance to the NHS, patients and public, scientific quality; feasibility and value for money. Some of them are already underway. 

Following the launch of this call, the NIHR Antimicrobial Resistance Reference Group was established to provide direction and guidance on important areas for future research. Further research priorities were identified and a highlight notice will be issued to indicate NIHR’s continuing interest in receiving research proposals in the area of AMR at any time in order to improve patient and public outcomes and NHS services. For more details on which programmes are participating and how to apply please visit


Multimorbidities in older people 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes applications for research into the evaluation of interventions or services delivered for older people with multimorbidity (defined as the co-occurrence of two or more chronic conditions in one person).

For more information please visit the multimorbidities in older people themed call website.


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