National Institute of Health Research


The remit of the EME Programme includes clinical trials and evaluative studies of novel and repurposed interventions.  The term intervention is meant in the broadest sense and includes any method used to promote health, prevent and treat disease and improve rehabilitation or long-term care.

We support studies in patients which seek to:

  • evaluate clinical efficacy of interventions (where proof of concept in humans has already been achieved);
  • add significantly to our understanding of biological or behavioural mechanisms and processes;
  • explore new scientific or clinical principles;
  • include the development or testing of new methodologies.

The EME Programme WILL support:

  • research which seeks to determine definitive proof of clinical efficacy and size of effect, safety and possibly effectiveness;
  • studies that use validated surrogate markers as indicators of health outcome;
  • laboratory based, or similar, studies that are embedded within the main study, if relevant to the remit of the EME Programme;
  • pilot and feasibility studies where the later main study would be within the remit of the EME programme.

The EME Programme WILL NOT support:

  • confirmatory studies or trials of incremental modifications and refinements to existing medical interventions;
  • proof of concept, proof of mechanism in humans, nor 'confidence in effect' studies;
  • research into 'global health', where 'global health' can be defined as 'areas where the health need is identified in developing countries (i.e. including diseases of developing countries), or where the health need does not yet exist in the UK but might in the future and the problem can be best addressed in developing countries;
  • research involving animals (funding is focused on clinical and applied health and care research. The EME Programme therefore does not itself fund basic research or work involving animals and/or animal tissue. See the NIHR research page for more information).

Applicants should note that the detailed specification document will further define the remit for a particular call. Before applying you must carefully read the detailed call specification to ensure that your proposed research study is within the remit of that call.

See the portfolio page for details of all of the studies that we have supported.  If you are still unsure if your proposed research falls within the remit of the EME Programme please contact us.



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