An NIHR implementation group has been formed to take forward the requirement for a good quality plain English summary in NIHR funded research from 14 May 2015.

Members of the implementation group are:

Duncan Barron Research Design Services (RDS), Angie Borzychowski Central Commissioning Facility (CCF),Sarah Buckland INVOLVE,  Jo Ellins INVOLVE member, Alison Ford NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC), Helen Hayes INVOLVE, Caroline Magee Trainees Coordinating Centre (TCC), Lesley Roberts INVOLVE member, Una Rennard INVOLVE member, Tom Smith Health Research Authority (HRA), Doreen Tembo Research Design Service (RDS), Philippa Yeeles Central Commissioning Facility (CCF).

We plan to monitor and assess the impact this new requirement has on the quality of plain English summaries in NIHR funding applications.

We are asking panel and board members reviewing proposals to provide a one off score of each plain English summary at their next meeting.

The funding programmes will  be asked to collect information on:

  • how many outline applicants submitting outline proposals received feedback on summaries – grouped by whether or not they were approved to proceed to full application?
  • for full applications how many were identified as ‘fund with changes’ for their plain English summaries?
  • any additional feedback raised during the discussion of the plain English summaries.

We plan to repeat this exercise in 18-24 months time.  In addition we are proposing a review of the quality of a sample of plain English summaries (taking a baseline sample of abstracts prior to implementation).

November 2014