NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Programme - Early Detection Funding

Applications are currently open to the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme, for projects or studies on 'Early detection of disease'.

The EME Programme funds ambitious studies evaluating interventions with potential to make a step-change in the promotion of health, treatment of disease and improvement of rehabilitation or long-term care. Within these studies, EME supports research in the mechanisms of diseases and treatments. EME is a partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Funding for Early Detection of Disease

The EME Programme invites applications to evaluate novel diagnostic interventions which aim to detect disease earlier than conventional techniques, in patients presenting with history or symptoms suggestive of disease.

Applications are welcomed across all areas where there may be a reasonable benefit to earlier detection. This call includes all types of technology for which proof of concept (clinical and technical validation) has been demonstrated, i.e. a signal of diagnostic accuracy in patients.

The focus of applications to this call should be the robust investigation of the diagnostic capabilities of the intervention (i.e. accuracy statistics) and how this translates to earlier detection than current standards (if any). Projects funded from this call are not expected to focus on the clinical action following detection of disease or health outcomes resulting from early intervention.

Examples include:

  • Point-of-care tests
  • Monitoring interventions, with the potential of identifying the relapse of an already diagnosed disease or the development of associated conditions
  • Machine learning for medical diagnosis
  • Evaluating new diagnostic technologies which may be more accessible than current practice.

Excluded are:

  • Studies seeking to evaluate the implementation and delivery of tests, for which the diagnostic performance is already known, are not within remit.
  • Population screening studies identifying unrecognised disease in an apparently healthy, asymptomatic, target population, are not within remit.

The Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme is accepting stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream.

Timescales and funding:

There are no fixed limits on the duration of projects and proposals should be tailored to fully address the questions posed. Applicants should be aware that they are competing for limited funds and proposals should represent good value for money. All funding requested should be clearly justified, but there is no upper limit.

How to apply:

Please visit the Early detection of disease funding page on the NIHR website, where you will find the commissioning brief, Stage 1 guidance notes and EME application supporting information.

Application Deadline: 1pm on 7th December 2021

For help with your application contact

For more information about the funding Programme, visit the EME Page.