Applications are now open for a £1.55m research and innovation budget, administered by Edinburgh Napier University, on behalf of NHSScotland Assure.

You can learn more below and register to attend upcoming events, where you can also find recorded materials from past events. 

The NHSScotland Assure Research Service’s remit is to achieve a coordinated portfolio, supporting the development of evidence-based guidance, to deliver safe healthcare environments that are free from avoidable risk. The service will seek to ensure that the most up to date and robust research is translated into practice as new and emerging evidence becomes available. 

Find out more about the following:



NHSScotland Assure was launched as part of National Services Scotland (NSS), 1st June 2021. It underpins a transformation in the approach to promoting excellence, reducing risks in the healthcare-built environment and ensuring healthcare facilities are safe, fit for purpose, cost effective and capable of delivering sustainable services over the long term. 

In this context, risks refer to those commonly associated with service systems, that is, the provision of water and drainage, air ventilation, electricity, fire prevention and medical gases, with infection prevention and control as a consideration for each to support better outcomes for the population. This is achieved through the provision of expertise and evidence-based advice and guidance that contributes to reducing risk, delivering a sustainable healthcare service, and improving the healthcare experience for Scotland.

Guidance aims to provide advice on how to mitigate risks problems or difficulties and, to enable successful outcomes in the context of the NHS and the planning, design, construction and maintenance of its healthcare environment.

What kind of research will be funded?

The fund will ensure that the most up-to-date and robust research and innovation is translated into practice to improve future health outcomes worldwide. The outcomes must benefit NHSScotland and align with the key priorities of NHSScotland Assure.

Over the duration of the fund, the team are looking for applications and impactful research in the following areas:

  • Water systems, including drainage (design, installation, commissioning and maintenance (DICM))
  • Ventilation systems (DICM)
  • Pathogens, the microbiome, AMR, transmission risks and burden of disease in the hospital environment 
  • Hospital design, including size and single room provision 
  • Lessons learned from COVID-19
  • Human factors/Ergonomics and Infection Prevention and Control 
  • Climate change requirements and the unintended consequences on built environment risks.
  • The role of safety and harms in relation to medical gases, electrical systems and fire safety.

Please review the additional content on Scope before proceeding.


Research should provide new evidence which supports extant or alternative methodologies for complying with guidance by more effective or efficient means. More information on the research themes envisaged for funding can be read under Scope.

Who can apply?

The fund is open to researchers from any country who are looking at ways to deliver safe healthcare environments that are free from avoidable risk. We are particularly interested in applications from consortia and inter-disciplinary teams, though applications from individuals are equally welcome.

We want to nurture an inclusive approach between professional roles within the built environment and across infection, prevention & control (IP&C); healthcare providers; academia; research institutions; and business and industry.

What are the objectives?

The NHSScotland Assure Research, Development and Innovation service is a service whose remit is to achieve a coordinated research portfolio, supporting the development of evidence-based guidance and research, to deliver safe healthcare environments that are free from avoidable risk. Further to the above, the service will seek to ensure that the most up to date and robust research is translated into practice as new and emerging evidence become available.

NHSScotland Assure seeks to implement processes and procedures to achieve the following;

  • increased evidence base in built environment research by stimulating excellent applied and translational research.
  • establish critical mass and promote knowledge sharing between investigators by creating a focused internationally competitive multidisciplinary, multi-organisational group, supporting state-of-the-art research excellence. 
  • increased training, provide support for additional research posts at all levels, promote research career development and extend expertise in research design and methodology. 
  • promoting and support of research leadership and mentoring. 

The service will commission, tender and disseminate research worldwide. This will not only support NHSScotland Health Boards to increase their knowledge to manage built environment risks but will also ensure Scotland is recognised internationally as an expert in the field. 

How to apply

Please do not send in Applications at the current time.

Applications closed for the current round (6) on 31st May 2024. As yet, no date has been confirmed for the opening of round 7.

Prospective applicants should download the Application Form and read the associated Guidelines for the Application Form. The guidelines provide details on how to complete each section of the Application Form.

The Application Form and Guidelines may have changed from previous versions, so applicants are urged to read and adhere to the correct version.  

Completed Application Forms for Round 6 had to be submitted to by 31st May 2024

Additional information for Applicants can be found here and should you have any enquiries please contact

Grants Awarded


The Edinburgh Napier Project team has run events throughout the duration of the fund.

Past Events

8 May 2024 - Round 6 Drop-in Session for potential applicants > Watch

29 November 2023 - Lunch & Learn for anyone interested in applying under Round 5 

Additional materials:

24 June 2022 - Launch Event 

Note that the application process and guidance provided to applicants at the time of the following events is not accurate after 01 October 2023.

Please refer to the process and scope outlined ABOVE for all applications to the Fund after 01 October 2023.

To review the content of a past event, click on the relevant link below.

24 June 2022 - Launch Event Materials

Contact Us

If you have any questions or for more information, please contact us on