The aim of the toolkit is to provide new (and existing) research networks and consortia (and other collaborations with similar forms) with templates and guidance that could be useful when setting up and managing these kinds of groups. The purpose is to share our learning and provide a starting point from which to build sound management foundations to support networking and research activity in academia.

Whilst this toolkit reflects the learning and experiences of the eight project managers and co-ordinators who have previously operated across a range of disciplines, we are not claiming that it outlines the definitive best practice, or that the templates and guidance will work perfectly for all projects or every situation you may encounter. Every multi-disciplinary project is unique and shaped by the needs of the Funder, the Principal Investigator and the wider research team.  This means that there is no one size-fits-all approach and so not all of the recommendations, policies or strategies outlined below will be appropriate for every project.

The aim is to provide a set of guidance that enables project managers and leadership teams to consider all options and adopt those that are appropriate to their needs.

We hope that having access to the materials in this toolkit, and reflecting on the guiding questions and requirements within your own teams, will enable others to develop governance, contracting, policy and strategy documents that meet the needs of their groups a little quicker and easier than might have been possible alone.


What is a Project Manager?

A project manager is the person with the delegated authority and responsibility for the day-to-day operational, risk and administrative management of a project who ensures that the work is delivered to a high standard and meets the requirements of the funders.

As with many roles, the job description can be, at best, a guide and, at worst, not reflective of reality.  Often the detailed job description for a project manager can vary widely between disciplines and institutions and the tasks expected to be undertaken will often depend on the organisational support available. A project manager will have many masters throughout the duration of a project. However, they are ultimately accountable to their line manager (institutional responsibilities) and the governing body of their project (wider project management responsibilities).   As the key day-to-day point of contact, they should be able to ability to identify and manage any internal politics and divides, which may arise through the duration of the project. The management and resolution of such things can often depend heavily on the many of the interpersonal and soft skills of a project manager.  Undertaking training in conflict management and emotional intelligence amongst others can be very helpful.

An exceptional level of the following skills are beneficial for effective project management:

  • Planning and organisation (including time management)
  • Problem solving
  • Self-starter with ability to function autonomously where appropriate
  • Strategic thinker able to process and solve complex challenges
  • Interpersonal and networking
  • Oral and written communication
  • Risk management
  • Ability to organise, host and manage large scale/small scale meetings and events
  • IT Skills

Things to consider:

  • As soon as you take up your position, meet with your line manager and clarify their expectations around your role
  • Make an effort to hold introductory meetings with relevant people across the project as soon as possible – this includes any Deputy Directors, work package leaders and partner organisations
  • Clarify the financial tracking and invoicing responsibilities for the project – are you expected to manage/track the overview of expenditure and budgets directly or do you have a financial support team in place or?
  • Identify training needs up front.

As a project manager (in a higher education research setting especially), membership of ARMA (UK) – the professional association for research management in the UK – can be useful. ARMA represents research leaders, managers and administrators, offering professional development and opportunities to build networks, knowledge and skills. Their aim is to work with UK-wide and international bodies to influence and understand the changing research management agenda, translating the impacts of that change for their members. ARMA provide a wide range of membership benefits and development opportunities, including regular e-news, social media channels, a member magazine, the Professional Development Framework, a jobs mailing list and an Annual Conference.

For those based in a clinical setting, the NHS R&D Forum connects, supports and represents those in research and development roles who are working to benefit patients and the public by enabling healthcare research and innovation to happen in the UK. The Forum shares and develops resources, creates standards, supports colleagues, and provides a quality learning and development programme that includes training, symposia, networking opportunities, events and roundtable discussions.

NB: Occasionally ARMA and NHS R&D Forum hold joint events.

Collaborative Group Governance

What is Governance?

When setting up any kind of multi-sector, multi-disciplinary research collaboration the first step is often to establish the governance structure for the collaboration, which will vary depending on the size and complexity of the collaboration. Governance relates to the system of organisation and logistics used to ensure appropriate and effective management of a project as a whole.

An appropriate and clear governance structure or framework allows responsibilities to be allocated, accepted and carried out within an effective project management framework and should be considered during the development phase of any collaboration.

In short, governance makes clear who is in charge, who has the authority to make decisions and how those within the project will be held accountable in order to ensure the successful execution of a project (or projects) to achieve its objectives within previously agreed parameters such as time, cost, quality, scope.


A number of committees or working groups can included and configured within the governance structure of a project or programme of work.


There will be a main oversight and decision making body, which may be referred to as the Strategic Management Group, Steering Group, Board or Executive Committee or other similar (henceforth in this document referred to as ‘Group’).  This Group should empower and guide the members of the Collaboration to a successful and pre-agreed endpoint.  The Group should provide strategic oversight, identify and manage risks, make decisions and provide advice as required.

The terms of reference (also referred to as a Charter in the case of UKPRP Networks) for this Group should outline the responsibilities, the membership, meeting frequency, voting rights/system and how to document the actions and discussions of the group.

Key considerations:

  • What is the clear purpose of the Group?
  • Who will Chair the Group?
  • Who should be members of the Group?
  • Are there any observers or stakeholders expected to attend the Group on a regular or an ad hoc basis?
  • What support is required with respect to the logistics of arranging and documenting meetings for this Group?
  • How often should this meeting convene?

Working Groups

Working groups tend to be designated to specific themes or discrete projects as part of a wider Collaboration.  They should meet regularly to review progress towards objectives or milestones, share information, identify and deliberate any challenges or risks to progress whilst adjusting their plans to ensure delivery of outputs in line with the previously agreed parameters and scope. Similar to the Steering Group, a Chair or Lead for the group should be identified appointed by the Steering Group during the collaboration set up phase.

When setting up this group, the Steering Group should provide a clear remit and explain the resources available to support the Working Group.

Key considerations:

  • What outputs are expected from the working group
  • What is/is not the scope of the working group
  • What expertise and knowledge is required to deliver the planned work
  • What support is required for the logistics of arranging and documenting meetings for this group?
  • Will they meet in person or via digital means?
  • To whom will this group be accountable?
  • Who will approve the terms of reference?

Advisory Groups

Advisory Boards or Committees are a means of obtaining independent, non-binding strategic advice regarding the management and progress of a Collaboration.  They may address issues around strategies for training, research, impact, evaluation, knowledge exchange and engagement (amongst others) as requested.  Members of any advisory group must have a significant level of relevant experience and knowledge and are appointed by the Steering Group/Strategic Management Group.

Key considerations:

  • Who will constitute the Group?
  • Who will Chair the Group?
  • How often should this Group meet?
  • Consider whether there are financial resources available for travel and sustenance
  • What support is required for the logistics of arranging and documenting meetings for this Group?
  • Will they meet in person or via digital means?

Ethical & Regulatory

Any research which involves people or animals will require ethical review and such review and approval is often a requirement of the funding body in addition to the Institution in which the research will take place.  This requirement is in place in order to maintain and govern the standards of conduct for scientific researchers and enable appropriate research governance to protect the dignity, rights and welfare of research participants.

The type of review required varies depending on the planned study.

  • Studies involving NHS patients, those with mental incapacity, human tissue or clinical trials will require approval from the National Research Ethics Service.
  • Studies involving healthy human participants will require University/Institutional Ethics Review, or
  • If the host for the consortium is a NHS Trust – e.g. if healthy participants are studied but their primary and secondary care data is linked/used for outcome measures or if the host is an NHS organisation and the researchers have NHS contracts they may need HRA approval

Always check with your Sponsor/Institution if you are unsure.  Most organisations will have internal processes that you should refer to and follow.

Contracts and Agreements

Often a complex array of organisation are involved in multi-disciplinary research initiatives such as the UKPRP Consortiums and Networks.  It is essential that clear structures and agreements be in place that describe the responsibilities, expectations and resource allocations for each partner. Usually the details of resources and the planned work is outlined the grant application and associated award letter from the funding body.  Nevertheless, most funding bodies will encourage those in a collaboration to draw up a collaboration agreement, confidentiality agreement or memorandum of understanding as a minimum.  There are multiple collaboration agreement templates available.

Each Higher Education Institution will have a Research Support Office (RSO) or Contracts Office who will provide legal advice, guidance and support to navigate the processes of putting a research contract or agreement in place. They will normally draft the agreements with input from the Principal Investigator and Project/Consortium Manager as appropriate.  This section of the toolkit provides an explanation of the types of agreements that you might need and references templates and examples that are available.  However, you must not personally enact or share an agreement not legally vetted and approved by your Institution. Always contact your RSO for advice.

Research led from outside HEI setting may not have the same infrastructure to draw upon.  For example, the UKPRP Consortium ActEarly, led by the Bradford Institute for Health Research, has an alternative mode of operation and contracting requirements may differ to those of an academic institution.

It is also worth remembering that it is impossible to foresee and plan for every single eventuality within contracts and agreements. In practice it is key to build up contacts across your Institution (where possible) to draw on for advice and to maintain strong working relationships with those wider teams to avoid falling back on contractual obligations. Drafting an agreement that is acceptable to all partners can be time-consuming – it took some of the UKPRP Consortia 12-months or more to execute a Collaboration Agreement that was acceptable by all partners.   Finally, when existing collaborators exit the project, move to a new employer or new collaborators join, it will be necessary to update the collaboration agreement and this can be a time-consuming process, as all parties will be required to review and approve the changes

Research Collaboration Agreements

The Brunswick Group developed a range of templates designed for use by HEI and not-for-profit organisations and they include Research Collaboration, Studentship and Material Transfer Agreements.    Thus, most Higher Education Institutions will adopt and adapt the Brunswick Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) where appropriate.   The RCA has two versions: a short and a long version universally accepted for use in a collaboration funded by research councils (or a third sector organisation) and the terms of the award have no restrictions in terms of ownership or publication of outputs.  Current versions of the templates are available from the Association of Research Managers and Administrators website.

Conversely, the Lambert Agreement designed by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) – which is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright – for use when HEIs intend to work with commercial partners to deliver a research collaboration.  It can be adapted and adopted as necessary to suit the particular work planned.  There are 7 potential templates available and a decision guide is available to help identify which template is most appropriate. The Lambert agreements and supporting materials should be treated as crown copyright. They are free for universities, institutions and companies to use, adapt and re-use for the purpose of undertaking collaborative research.

Projects funded by the European Commission are often encouraged to use the comprehensive DESCA 2020 (Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement) Model Consortium Agreement for Horizon 2020. Initiated by key FP7 stakeholders and updated for Horizon 2020 in consultation with the FP community, it offers a reliable frame of reference for project consortia.  Again, the template may be adapted to suit the requirements and circumstances of each project.

Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality clauses are usually included in any standard Research Collaboration Agreement.  However, there are occasions where discussions are required prior to the formal engagement of parties in a collaboration.  To enable those involved to speak freely, a Confidentiality Agreement may be considered. The simplest approach is to utilise the Brunswick versions of these agreements, which are available via ARMA.

An alternative agreement that facilitates free discussion and information exchange about an invention or intellectual property in confidence would be a non-disclosure agreement.  Guidance on these agreements is available on the UK Government website.

Industry Collaboration Agreement

Researchers working with industry should set up an Industry Collaboration Agreement before a project starts. A key feature of such an agreement should be flexibility, allowing the level and nature of the industry contribution to vary per scientific need, from cash and time input, to sharing assets and staff. Including a Heads of Terms (HoT) between the academic institution and industry partner, setting out the IP management and revenue distribution arrangements, if relevant, is key.

When engaging with commercial or industrial partners, it is useful to refer to guidance from the relevant particular funding body on this and specifically reviewing any exceptions or exclusions.  For example, the UKPRP do not support collaborations with commercial or other vested interests of the tobacco industry. This includes alternative nicotine delivery system (e-cigarettes etc.) companies and research organisations funded by the tobacco industry.

The purposes of procedures and guidance on this are:

  • to support collaboration between academia and industry when there are benefits from doing so
  • to ensure that collaboration(s) with an industry partner or partners is/are conducted with integrity and that interests are open and transparent and conflicts are managed appropriately
  • to ensure research collaborations conform to EU and UK regulations.

Memorandum of Understanding

Whilst not legally binding, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) is a description of the terms of agreement under which two or more partners who have agreed to collaborate.  It is a statement of serious intent that outlines: the expectations of those involved, what each partner is contributing and expecting in return.  Further detailed guidance on MoUs is available on the UK Government Website.

What is a Policy?

A policy is a deliberate system of principles that form the guidance required to assist decision making in order to realise rational outcomes for your consortium.  Implemented as a procedure or protocol, they are a statement of intent, which outlines and manages expectations whilst reducing risk.  They are a means to promote standardisation and in some circumstances simplification of functions whilst serving as a set of references to guide the management of certain processes or situations.

Polices provides guidance and outlines the expectations and procedures to follow when considering a specific topic. They are one of the main tools used to hold those participating in a collaboration accountable.  Policies will outline the procedures that to be followed to enable the full implementation of that particular policy.

Key Considerations: 

  • Which policies must you have in place?
  • Which policies would be it useful to have in place?
  • What order should your policies be developed and implemented?
  • It is important to review and consider the expectations of the funding body when drafting certain policies to ensure that you do not end up in conflict with the terms of your funding award.
  • Is the policy written in plain English?
  • How will you share your policies and ensure that the most up to date versions are available?
  • How often should your policy be reviewed and updated?
  • Who will review and approve policies?

When undertaking a complex multi-disciplinary collaboration, the following (not exhaustive) list outlines potential policies to consider adopting.

Publication/Authorship policies

In academia, authorship of papers is a key output and the position of authors on a publication can indicate responsibility and accountability with respect to the work described.  Authorship, and style of authorship, of reports and publications should be agreed upon at the start of any study intended to lead to publication. Establishing a clear policy regarding the expectations in terms of publications as soon as possible in any research collaboration is important and can prevent misunderstandings later.  The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors has previously published guidance on how to define authors and contributors which can be very useful when drafting your policies on authorship if you are working in a health-related field though other fields may have different guidance. By clearly setting out the requirements for author status at the outset, it is simpler and easier to manage expectations.

Key considerations:

  • How do you define a consortium-linked publication?
  • How will you decide authorship, recognising that different disciplines have different practices when it comes to authorship?
  • How will you resolve any authorship disputes?
  • Will you give all or part of the team (e.g. the management group) the option to comment on drafts before submission?
  • How will you acknowledge the wider team and the funding body?

A publication policy should also indicate what mandatory acknowledgements should be included and outline the explicit wording for any funding acknowledgements.

Furthermore, it may also be useful to consider including guidance on expectations regarding open access.  RCUK requires peer‐reviewed research articles (including review articles not commissioned by publishers), which acknowledge Research Council funding, that are submitted for publication and which are published in journals or conference proceedings to be made available in an electronic format for search and re-use by others. (See: Open access – RCUK Policy and Revised guidance)

Because UKRI provides individual block grants to Universities to cover article processing charges (APCs) incurred by RCUK-funded researchers in the process of making their research available through open access, funding awards for specific grants and programmes do not include open access fees as an eligible cost.  Each university will have a process to follow when applying to access this block grant and the Frequently Asked Questions on the block grant explains how RCUK envisions the use of the block grant.  Sherpa Romeo is an online resource that aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies and summarises the publisher and open access archiving policies for each one.

Data Management

As a general rule research data should always be kept for a minimum of three years from the end of a project to permit the validation of any outputs. However the MRC/UKRI sets a minimum of 10 years, or 20 years for population health and clinical studies.  Therefore, it is highly recommended that a data management policy focusing on research projects and outputs is implemented and an associated data management plan constructed. See: Guidance for Best Practice Management of Research Data.

DMP Online is a service provided by the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) that can help with the creation, review, and sharing of data management plans that meet institutional and funder requirements. The site also provides blank templates for data management plans based on the specific requirements listed in funder policy documents and holds public DMPs that are available as examples to review.  You should always refer to your funder and institutional guidance to understand the expectations regarding the archiving of research data.

Declaration/Conflict of Interest

In a complex Collaboration involving multiple individuals and institutions, those individuals will have multiple roles both within and outside of the Collaboration. Consequently, current or potential conflicts of interest will arise, often through circumstances entirely beyond the control of an individual or could not be foreseen. Recognising and reporting that a conflict of interest may exist, or seeking advice on a potential conflict or interaction, is entirely proper, and reflects positively on an individual’s integrity.  By having a policy in place, those in the collaboration will be clear on when conflicts may arise, how to declare them and how to manage them appropriately to avoid reputational damage to the Collaborating parties and its associated research.

Social Media

Social media ultimately aims to develop and build communities around central themes or activities by encouraging interactions rather than simply transmitting information in one direction.

A carefully considered social media account can be a positive tool when promoting or highlighting research activities. However, a poorly considered post can lead to complaints about the study and/or those involved in it.  Negative posts can pose a risk to the reputation of the project, its associated researchers, collaborators or funders. The purpose of a social media policy is to provide basic guidance when using social media to highlight the activities of a research group.

UKPRP: Research Innovation Fund (RIF) for Consortia

UKPRP Consortium Awards may include funding to support reactive work that responds to new opportunities and challenges arising during the period of the project aligned to the consortium’s mission. The RIF policy document outlines the process for using and disseminating funding from this category across the Consortium as required.


A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim. There are a number of strategies to consider when setting up a multi-partner project. Similar to policies, it is important to document/track who has been delegated responsibility for the development, approval and implementation of strategies.  Not all of the UKPRP-funded networks and consortia have all of these strategies, and they may not be relevant to your collaboration.

Risk Management Strategy

A risk management strategy is key to strategic management of any organisation or project. In PRINCE2, the definition of risk is:

An uncertain event, or set of events, that should it occur will have an effect on the achievement of the objectives.  A risk is measured by a combination of the probability of a perceived threat or opportunity occurring and the magnitude of its impact on objectives.

The list of risks associated with any project will be many and varied.  A multi-partner, multi-disciplinary project will have its own unique set of circumstances that may introduce risk – which can be a threat to success or an opportunity – throughout its lifetime.  Some risks you may not identify until they are realised.

Understanding the risk tolerance of your project (risk aware, risk averse) risks to your project, how you will evaluate and manage including who is responsible for the management of risk, the tolerances around each circumstance and the reporting requirements are key elements of a risk management strategy.

There are three steps to managing risk:

Identifying risks

Brainstorming potential risks before the project begins helps to map out your initial risks to capture in a risk register and should routinely carried out throughout the duration of the project.  Review similar projects, exchange knowledge and experiences with others to identify any similar risks your project might encounter.

Assessing identified risks

Consider the probability of risk occurring, when it might occur and the overall impact it will have.

Managing the risk

Consider the optimal approach that will minimise the impact of the risk where possible with the aim to either:

  • Avoid
  • Tolerate/Reduce
  • Transfer
  • Share
  • Accept the risk and adjust the plans as necessary

Communication Strategy

Effective communication involves engaging audiences with a concise and clear message.  When carried out successfully, scientific communication beyond peers to other interested stakeholders builds support for research, promotes understanding of the impact of the science on society and can influence future decisions made by funders, policy makers, professionals and others. This means that one of the most important strategies you should consider from the beginning of your project set up is arguably the communication strategy and associated communication plan.

What to think about when writing your communication strategy:

Identify key stakeholders

Who is your audience and who influences them?

Tailor your communications based on whether your audience is:

  • Influential, interested, supportive
  • Influential, interested, opposed
  • Influential but not interested

What is your key message?

Who are your key allies?

  • Whose Twitter feeds can you link with to raise your profile?
  • Ask your academics or those with high numbers of followers to retweet or share links to your communications

What mediums will you use?

  • News media, website, social media, online
  • Lobbying
  • Branding – building a recognisable brand
  • Conferences/Webinars/Events

NB: You can include a specific digital strategy within your communications plan or have this as a standalone. A digital strategy will focus solely on the way you plan to build the online presence for your project.

What resources are available?

  • Is funding available for website development and hosting?
  • Have dedicated staff time been factored in to run social media channels or update web content?
  • Are there any funds to cover brand development such as logos, letterheads, poster templates etc

What is the timeline for your communications?

  • Ideally work backwards from your main objective
  • Create a list of required tasks whilst considering how long each will take
  • Assign clear responsibilities.

What are your objectives? Are they:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Financial Management

Ultimately, the Principal Investigator has overall responsibility for the scientific and financial management of their research project. This includes compliance with the funder’s Terms and Conditions, their Institutions financial regulations, adherence to reporting requirements and the timely communication of significant project changes.   Nevertheless, they will often depend on their Project Manager to assist with these responsibilities.

There are a number of questions, which a project manager may wish to review and consider when a project begins in order to manage expectations and be clear on responsibilities such as:

  • Is there designated financial support available within the Institutions concerned?
  • Is the award subject to Full Economic Costs? If so, what is the rate?
  • Does the award include all costs that were originally included?
  • Is the start and end date as expected?
  • Has the start certificate been returned to and accepted by the Funder?
  • Have the costs be appropriately and accurately categorised?
  • Do all partners agree to the budget distribution as outlined in the award letter and collaboration agreement?
  • What is the frequency of reporting on the financial expenditure of the project?
  • What is the expected frequency for individual partners to report to and invoice costs from the lead institution?
  • Who is responsible for the reviewing and processing of invoices from external partners?

Managing the finances and resources within any project can be complex and the approach may vary depending on the Institution concerned (e.g. Higher Education compared with NHS or Local Authority-led collaborations).  The key concern of a Project Manager in any multi-partner project will be to maintain oversight of the utilisation of finances and resources across all partners in order to be able to report expenditure to the management group and the Funder as and when required.  This can be time-consuming and it is vital to establish contacts with the relevant financial contact at each Partner and set up an appropriate system to collate the information. Having said that, some academic institutions in particular, have designated financial teams who may take responsibility for this particular task and you should discuss internally with the Principal Investigator and the relevant finance teams to agree expectations on who and when this will take place.

It may also be necessary at time to alter the budget for one or more partners as a result of the change to the project or the partners within the project (see contracts section). Any deviation from the original budget awarded outside the Terms and Conditions, should be notified to and approved by the funder prior to the commitment of expenditure.

Collaboration Agreement

A legally binding agreement, between different parties who want to work collaboratively on a project, setting out how the parties will work together and divide the benefits, responsibilities and obligations created by or for the project between the parties.  It sets out what happens if the parties cannot agree or want to stop collaborating on the project and to terminate the agreement.

Commercial Party

A commercial, or industry, partner is a for-profit entity which operates in the private sector and whose primary goal is to realise financial or other rewards, for the benefit of the owners of that entity.


The system of practices, processes and procedures that dictate how a project will be managed.

Heads of Terms

A document that summarises the terms of a commercial transaction or undertaking which agreed in principle between two or more parties.  It is not legally binding, but provides evidence of indent.  It becomes enforceable once adopted into an overarching contract – in this case the Collaboration Agreement (see above).  Also referred to as a memorandum of understanding.

NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN)

Comprised of 15 Local Clinical Research Networks and 30 Specialties who coordinate and support the delivery of high-quality research both by geography and therapy area, the CRN is an organisation funded by the National Institute for Health Research that supports patients, the public and health and care organisations across England to participate in high-quality research, thereby advancing knowledge and improving care.

Non-communicable disease (NCD)

A group of conditions that are largely preventable and are not passed from one person to another.  Also known as chronic disease, NCDs manifest due to a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors.


A deliberate system of principles that form the guidance required to assist decision making in order to realise rational outcomes


A temporary structure that exists to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities required to deliver a set of outcomes and benefits related to the strategic objective of the group.


An enterprise of any size that has a distinct start and end date with an associated plan and established resources in place to deliver a defined piece of research.

Project Manager

The person with the delegated authority and responsibility for the day-to-day operational, risk and administrative management of a project who ensures that the work delivered if of a high standard and meets the requirements of the funders.

Project Management

The process of planning, delegating, monitoring, reviewing and controlling the execution of a project in order to realise the objectives within the relevant time, cost, quality and scope whilst accounting for the associated benefits and risks throughout.


A circumstance that would have an effect on the achievement of objectives or execution of the project should it arise and measured by the probability of occurrence and the potential magnitude of impact it could have.  Risks can be opportunities or threats.


A plan of action or processes designed to achieve a long-term or specific overall aim.

Terms of reference

A description of the objectives, scope, authority, responsibilities and tasks performed by a committee in order to realise the results and deliverables of a collaboration or project.

UKPRP Consortium

A novel combination of partners, including, where appropriate, industry (such as commercial/business partners), representing a range of academic disciplines and undertaking interdisciplinary research addressing a specific challenge in the primary prevention of NCDs. UKPRP Consortia develop research strategies with users, for example policy makers, practitioners, civil society groups, health providers, the public, who may be part of the consortium, for the generation and implementation of new knowledge. The thinking behind consortia is that drawing together teams of experts from different disciplines and sectors, and including users, should enable researchers to capitalise on a range of expertise to develop novel research into high-quality interventions that can deliver change at a population level.

UKPRP Network

New interdisciplinary communities of researchers and users formed around a broad NCD primary prevention research challenge and support networking activity. Networks support interactions between diverse disciplines and users to exchange expertise, scientific insights and capability as the network generates a shared vision around its chosen NCD prevention challenge. A key focus of Network awards are to develop future capacity in the UK to address NCD prevention challenges.

Working Group

A group of people with the specialist skills and expertise required to deliver a task or objective of the project. They will have the delegated responsibility to identify and fulfil all tasks, sharing decision-making as they go and who are accountable to the management group of a project.

This guide was written by Sancha Martin and Lucy Gavens with input and support from Rachael Brierley, Heather Lodge, Angela Mullen, Emma Stewart and Jane West who are either employed directly by, or benefit from, research support arising from UKPRP funding of various consortia and networks.

Feedback and questions about this toolkit are welcome and can be sent to