National Institute of Health Research

Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme

The EME Programme funds ambitious studies evaluating interventions that have the 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 to improve the understanding of the mechanisms of both diseases and treatments.

We encourage studies with novel methodological designs that deliver results more efficiently, reduce the study timeline, and maximise the knowledge gained.  We welcome collaborations with academic and clinical groups, industry and charities.

We support translational research into a wide range of new or repurposed interventions. These may include diagnostic or prognostic tests and decision-making tools, therapeutics or psychological treatments, medical devices, and public health initiatives delivered in the NHS. 

We support clinical trials and studies with other robust designs, which test the efficacy of interventions, and which may use clinical or well-validated surrogate outcomes. We only support studies in man and where there is adequate ‘proof of concept’. We also support studies that evaluate diagnostic or prognostic tests in a clinical context.

We encourage hypothesis-driven mechanistic studies, integrated within the efficacy study, that explore the mechanisms of action of the intervention or the disease, the cause of differing responses, or improve the understanding of adverse effects. We will also fund similar mechanistic studies linked to studies funded by any NIHR programme.

We work closely with the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) translational funding programmesLink open in a new window, the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme and the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Programme. We play a key role in translational research.

We are funded by the MRC and the NIHR, with contributions from the CSO in Scotland and NISCHR in Wales and the HSC R&D, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland. The EME Programme is managed by the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) based at the University of Southampton.

More details of the EME Programme’s remit are on the Remit page.

Looking for funding?

Find out about our researcher-led funding or attend one of our webinars for advice on making a successful application.


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