It is essential to find out the priorities of any organisations you are applying to if you want to submit a successful research proposal.
Your research question must be relevant to the organisation and you need to clearly articulate how it relates to their priorities.
Each UK country has a health research strategy which identifies priorities for how research funding is used; for example, to support research training, research projects or the dissemination of research findings.
Key topic priorities for healthcare in each country are found in a range of health and social care policy documents.
Putting patients first: the NHS England business plan for 2013/14-2015/16.
Sets out the key priorities for the NHS in England.
Includes patient satisfaction, preventing people from dying prematurely, enhancing quality of life for people with long term conditions, helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury, ensuring people have a positive experience of care.
For more information about England policy see:
Transforming Your Care. A review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. Health and Social Care NI (2011)
Makes recommendations for the future shape of services and an implementation plan in 10 areas of care: population health and wellbeing, older people, people with long term conditions, people with physical disability, maternity and child health, family and child care, people using mental health services, people with learning disabilities, acute care, palliative and end of life care.
A Delphi study to indentify research priorities for the therapy professions in Northern Ireland (2011)
This study was funded by Health and Social Care Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency and was undertaken by the University of Ulster. It identifies research priorities for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, podiatry, nutrition and dietetics and orthoptics in Northern Ireland.
For more information about Northern Ireland policy see;
AHPs as agents of change in health and social care: the National Delivery Plan for Allied Health Professions in Scotland 2012–2015. The Scottish Government: Edinburgh (2012)
Includes professional leadership to drive innovation and delivery, reshaping care and enabling independent living, improving health and well being, supporting early years, maximising workforce engagement and development, driving improvement: delivering sustainable quality.
For more information about Scotland policy see:
NHS Wales Delivery Framework 2013-14 and further plans. NHS Wales (2013).
Sets out delivery priorities for 2013/14.
Includes patient experience and dignity in care, mental health access, reducing the number of emergency admissions.
For more information about Wales policy see: