Now open for applications

  • £1.5m available for up to 20 teams to test and develop innovative ideas and approaches to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care in the UK.
  • Each project team will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and measurement of the project.
  • Teams should demonstrate how their projects will lead to direct benefits or impact on patients.

Our Innovating for Improvement programme aims to improve health care delivery and/or the way people manage their own health care through the redesign of processes, practices and services.

We support clinical teams to develop their innovative ideas and approaches, put them into practice and gather evidence about how their innovation improves quality.

In this round of Innovating for Improvement we are particularly interested in applications for innovative projects either led by or working in close collaboration with primary care.

Applications can come from any health or health and social care provider organisation in the UK where health care services are delivered free at the point of delivery.

Teams need to demonstrate a clearly identified and convincing problem that they want to address, ie a significant quality issue that is relevant to UK health care. Any potential improvements should be practical and generalisable beyond the chosen health care setting.

Projects must provide robust evidence to demonstrate that their idea is genuinely innovative and corresponds with one of the following four descriptions of innovation:

  • Descriptor 1: Innovations with no previous history in any context – they are genuinely new or novel
  • Descriptor 2: Innovations transferred into health care from another sector such as another public service body, another industry or non-health related field
  • Descriptor 3: Innovations transferred into the UK health care sector from health care systems overseas
  • Descriptor 4: Innovations transferred or adapted from one health care setting to another eg social care to health care

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the Innovating for Improvement programme, please go through the following steps to complete your application.

1. Important supporting information

All applicants must read the Call for applications and the Frequently asked questions in full before completing the screening tool to access the online application form.

2. The application process

You must complete the screening tool to assess whether your proposed project meets the criteria of the Innovating for Improvement programme. Once this is completed, you will be able to access our online application form.

The application form will require you to supply information to meet all the selection criteria outlined in the Call for applications.

Applicants must also provide a declaration of signatures from the lead organisation. This needs to be completed and uploaded to Section 8 of the online application.

Applications for this round of Innovating for Improvement will be piloting our new online system, AIMS. All applications must be completed and submitted online.

Full guidance on accessing, completing and submitting your application via AIMS can be found in the Applicants user guide. We recommend that you keep a copy of this manual to hand to refer to while you complete your application.

3. Information call

We held an information call on Friday 20 May 2016. Information calls offer applicants the opportunity to hear more about the programme and ask questions to clarify understanding. You are strongly encouraged to listen to a recording of the call or read a transcript of the information call.

4. Deadlines

The deadline for all online applications is 16.00 on Friday 3 June 2016. We will not accept submissions after this date.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in mid to late October 2016. Interviewed applicants will be advised of the outcome by early November 2016.

The Health Foundation reserves the right to close ahead of this deadline if the programme is oversubscribed.

Please note: If you have any queries about the programme or application process, email:

If you have a technical issue with the AIMS system please email

Feedback: As this will be one of the first times we have used the AIMS system, we would be interested to receive your feedback on how you found the process and if there are any areas for improvement. Please email: