Trial Planning Phase

The Funding Proposal station follows the R&D Consultation and precedes the Peer Review station. The process occurs in parallel with the Protocol Development. The Funding Proposal is a standard process which is relevant to all trials. This station is part of the ‘trial planning phase’ group of stations.

Trials are typically a major financial investment, and as a result securing funding can be a lengthy process. Major Funders will need to be assured that the proposed research is important and addresses a clear need, well designed, feasible and scientifically valid, and offers value for money.

The time required to secure funding should be considered in wider development and planning activity, and many Funders publish timetables for funding opportunities to assist with this task.

It is recommended that the eligibility requirements of the precise funding scheme are checked before submitting an application, and many Funders offer resources to enable researchers to confirm suitability ‘in principle’ at an early stage.

Researchers are likely to be asked by their funder to demonstrate commitment to involving patients and the public in their team. It may also be a requirement to include a plain English summary, so that the funding proposal can be clearly understood by public contributors.

Funding for responsible data sharing may be requested from trial funders as part of the funding proposal. A Data Sharing Guidance document has been produced as part of an MRC Hubs for Trials Methodology Research funded research project. This summarises good clinical practice principles to follow when sharing individual participant data from publicly funded clinical trials.  

In addition, several Funders offer key documents and resources to explain ‘tips’ to applicants which address key aspects required for success.

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