NIAA Research Grants: Frequently Asked Questions


Is the NIAA a charity?
The NIAA is a partnership between the Royal College of Anaesthetists (a registered charity - number 1013887) and a number of other partners, most of whom are also charities. As such the NIAA is not a registered charity in its own right, but is the umbrella body that awards anaesthetic & perioperative research funding on behalf of these partners.

How can I find out about previous NIAA funded research projects?
A list of funded projects can be found on our website here.

How do you define overhead costs?
An overhead is the on going expense of running a business. Overheads are the expenditure which cannot be conveniently traced to or identified with any particular cost unit. Overhead expenses include accounting fees, advertising, insurance, interest, legal fees, labour burden, rent, repairs, supplies, taxes, telephone bills, travel expenditures, and utilities.

How does the NIAA support research studies with regards to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio?
The NIAA has been awarded partnership status with the NIHR, which means many studies funded by the NIAA are adopted on to the NIHR portfolio. You can find out more here.

What is considered to be appropriate Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in an application?
We consider it good practice to involve patients in research, and many funding bodies such as the NIHR now ask if this has been part of the process. The NIAA's Health Services Research Centre (HSRC) offers a Patient, Carer & Public Involvement & Engagement (PCPIE) Group to create a partnership between patients, carers and the public alongside researchers, to make the research process more effective. Find out more about our PCPIE Group and how they can help you here.

Are private organisations/limited companies eligible to apply?
We cannot accept applications from private organisations or limited companies.

Can I submit more than one application?
You can submit more than one application in a round of funding, but they must be on different topics. The same application cannot be submitted for different awards.

What funding is available?
Depending on the budgets available, any number of different NIAA funding partners will participate and offer grants in any given funding round. Please check here for details of which partners are participating in the current open round and the funding that is available.

How much should I apply for?
Each participating funder in each round will specify what level of funding they are offering. This will be the maximum that an applicant can apply for. The total budget available for the round, i.e. how many grants each partner is able to fund, is not disclosed until the grant committee meeting and does not have any bearing on the applications that are submitted.

Applicants should apply for the total amount that their project requires, as long as the budget can be justified. All funding decisions are based on the merit of the applications received, not on the amount being requested (as long as the request is within the maximum limit specified by the funder).

Association of Anaesthetists/Anaesthesia Research Grant

Can I apply for overhead costs under this grant category?
Grant applications can include overhead costs (for example, NI and pension payments in the UK for employed staff) but not, for example, travel to meetings to present work. Would not cover estate costs such as electricity. This would be covered by NIHR portfolio funding should the study be suitable.
Example overhead costs: research assistance (i.e. statistician fee or IT/admin support); software; lab fees; pharmacy; sample preparation, storage and transportation; sponsorship costs; MHRA submission fees; archiving costs. NB. The size of the overheads in relation to the requested amount would be taken into consideration as part of the value for money assessment.

What if I am applying for funding from other sources?
You can apply for funding from a number of sources, and we ask, like any other funder, that you tell us in your application what amounts you have requested from whom, and inform us when you are funded by anyone else (partially or fully).

How do you treat intellectual property?
Should your project result in the creation of intellectual property we would expect to enter into an agreement with your academic institution in which the Association's share of the proceeds was proportionate to our grant/award in relation to any other support you received. Such agreements are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. We (the funder, not NIAA) would expect to negotiate a return based on our contribution to the study which led to the IP. For example, our grant might represent 10% of development costs, so the Association would look to own 10% of the rights.

Can this grant be used to cover small items such as mouthwash?
It's reasonable to request cover for this cost if it's crucial to the study.

Association of Anaesthetists/Anaesthesia Small Research Grant

Can an applicant apply for funding for specialist reference manager software?
You can apply for this but should provide detailed costing information to justify the purchase.

Can an applicant apply for funding to support an MD in Pain?
The grant is primarily aimed at supporting projects and not necessarily for fellowships. Therefore success would depend upon the quality of the study which will contribute to the MD.

Association of Anaesthetists/Anaesthesia Departmental Project Grant

The guidance notes state that NI/superannuation should be included for salary costs. Please could you clarify whether salary costs should also include the cost of annual salary increments and/or inflation?
Yes, please estimate your increments along institutional lines (however the maximum value of the award remains).

Does 'department' refer to NHS department, academic department or either? Our project is a collaboration between the two, but we normally administer grants through the University
The grant applies to both academic and NHS departments.

What are R&D costs? Does the grant cover these?
Resolving of scientific or technological uncertainty of a project is R&D. Scientific or technological uncertainty will often arise from turning something that has already been established as scientifically feasible into a cost-effective, reliable and reproducible process, material, device, product or service.

Yes, R&D costs can be covered by this grant.

Association of Anaesthetists/Anaesthesia and BJA/RCoA Small Project Grants

Please explain the documents required for the following items listed in the application:
Confirmation that support facilities are available
Financial confirmation from the institution administering the grant

Applicants should complete the financial summary grid and obtain signatures from the Head of Department and Administrative Officer to confirm that information provided relating to resources and finance are correct.

Would 8 week undergraduate summer research projects undertaken by our medical student be potential candidates for our application?
Yes - but the students must have good supervision, the project must fit within with our research strategy and be of sufficient quality.

Can applicants apply for funds purely for access to a simulation suite and technical support, rather than for salaries/equipment/consumables?
Yes, this is possible

BJA/RCoA PhD Studentship

Can this grant be used to fund an MD student?
Strictly the grant is for a PhD as it funds an MRC value stipend, which would not be sufficient for most medically qualified students. However, we may accept an application for funding an MD student but you would need to provide evidence to the committee of where the additional funding would come from. The application would then be discussed at the NIAA grants committee taking this into account.

BJA/RCoA Project Grant

Can you explain what you mean by dual submission?
The BJA (in common with most grant bodies) will not process an application that is currently submitted elsewhere. However if both applications are clearly distinct then that would be fine. Inevitably most researchers have applications which concern different aspects of the same field, so the question is really whether it is the same project or a different one.

Is it appropriate to use this grant for equipment alone?
Yes equipment costs can be covered. It is important that you justify them in the application. It may be helpful for you to ask someone from the university or your local research development service (RDS) to have a look before you submit.

Are publishing costs covered? Can funds be used to support a nursing post? Can
you define what you mean by clinical role?

• Publishing costs would not be covered by this grant
• The funds could be used to support a nursing post - this would need to be sufficiently justified however
• The definition of clinical role is someone who is paid from the grant who is medical/a clinician.

Can this grant be spent solely on consumables?
It can be used to fund this if it is justifiable. There are stipulations about joint funding so you need to be clear about who is funding what.

DAS Project Grant

Please clarify what you mean by 'strategic aspects' on the application form?
Strategic aspects can take various forms but the idea is to address where this research fits (locally, professionally or nationally) and where it is going. These may be things like fitting with nationally identified priorities (be it from govt, RCoA, DAS etc), links with collaborators (these could be international), setting up a local or national network or as a first step to forming or developing an academic dept. It's really the 'vision' of the proposed research as well as its nuts and bolts.

When costing academic involvement as part of the DAS project grant, do you include university overheads as an eligible cost?
These are not eligible.