Aim of the call

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused rapid changes in the way people with epilepsy are able to manage their condition and how health services are able to provide support for assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The utilisation of technology and remote consultations during routine and emergency care has occurred at a pace never seen before. It is anticipated that as time progresses there will be an increase in the number of options available for delivering and receiving healthcare.

Innovations in Healthcare – Urgent Research Call

Epilepsy Research UK is issuing an urgent call for health services research that will generate high-quality evidence that informs the future delivery, quality, cost, or access of care for people with epilepsy. Central to this call, is the acceptability of innovations and delivering outcomes that have been identified by people with epilepsy.

Scope of the call

Applications are welcomed for health services research in the following areas;

Service delivery including:

  • Delivering outpatient services
  • Community healthcare
  • Telemedicine
  • Organisation and coordination of services across primary, secondary, social care, community and third sector

Self-management including:

  • Remote monitoring and seizure management
  • Interventions to ensure people with epilepsy access support when in urgent need

Personalising services:

ERUK and Epilepsy Action are joining forces to commission this area of research including:

  • Patient acceptability and offering patient choice in service models
  • Addressing services of people with epilepsy with additional needs
  • Groups traditionally considered hard to reach by services

Whilst the scope of the call is broad, the list above is not designed to be exclusive and other areas of need may be identified by applicants. We would like to receive proposals that are evaluating innovations, technologies or services that are ‘live’ in the real world or would be soon rapidly deployed.

Studies should include seek to include public and patient involvement in appropriate stages of the research programme.

Applicants must consider the feasibility of their approach (R&D approvals, capacity to recruit etc) and commence the research shortly after notification if successful. Funded projects are anticipated to have outcomes that can help to inform the experiences of care and services that people with epilepsy receive within the lifetime or shortly after of the grant.

Grantholders are expected to publish results in peer reviewed journals. ERUK will work with grant holders to disseminate findings to a broader audience and help in influencing health policy and practice.

Funding, eligibility and costs

Application are invited for up to 18 months duration, to a maximum of £50,000 per application. ERUK anticipates making up to 4 awards.

The Principal Investigator should be an employee of a UK-based university, NHS institution or other recognised higher research institutions. Inclusion of co-applicants or collaborators from other sectors; for instance, local authority, third sector, industry is permitted

ERUK will cover direct costs related to the research only. It is anticipated the costs related to delivery of any interventions should be covered by other means. Where required, costs related to intervention delivery (excess treatment costs) that cannot be negotiated may be included in the grant application.

Out of scope

This research call is not directly related to COVID-19 or its impact of services for which there are other funding sources. We recommend any use of national surveys is carefully considered and justified so as not to be overlapping with other ongoing exercises.

Timeline

  • 1st July: Call for applications opens
  • 12th August: Deadline for applications
  • Mid-September: Expert committees meet to review applications
  • End of September: Funding recommendations and applicants informed

Research should be ready to commence shortly after the award has been made.

Review procedures

Applications will be independently peer reviewed by an expert panel which will include members of ERUK’s Scientific Advisory Committee and other externally co-opted applicants. Applications will also be subject to review by a panel of people with lived experience of epilepsy. The current SAC membership can be found at www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk/research/research-scientists/sac-membership.

The panel will consider the importance of the research question; the feasibility, quality and generalisability of the application, and the potential opportunity of the application to change policy or practice.

Feedback will be provided to applicants after the awards are announced.

Please direct any enquiries to Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett, Research & Policy Manager, Epilepsy Research UK (Email: [email protected])

Link to full Guidance for Applicants

Link to Application Form