This invitation to tender is now closed.

  • We are seeking a supplier to work with us to develop a UK-wide shared vision for a long-term research agenda in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The supplier will engage across funders and other stakeholders to shape funding strategy across the research ecosystem and support the generation of evidence to inform long-term policymaking in relation to the UK’s pandemic response.
  • The budget for this work is a maximum of £300,000 (including VAT and expenses).
  • The deadline for proposal submissions is 17.00 on Thursday 13 August 2020. The supplier should be able to start the work at pace the week commencing 7 September 2020.

COVID-19 has resulted in substantial and sustained negative health outcomes, and an economic slowdown. Responding to the pandemic, there has been significant action across the UK and international research community to understand the mechanisms for the disease and develop treatments.

Despite this enormous effort and investment, the impact of COVID-19 will stretch far beyond our usual measures for health, with current social, political and economic interventions having – as yet – unknown and far-reaching consequences for long-term health outcomes and the global recovery.

At the Health Foundation, we believe good health and health care are key to a flourishing society. In April 2020 we began discussions with key stakeholders to understand the impact of COVID-19 and identify areas where further action could be taken beyond the initial recovery phase and to look at the broader impacts of the outbreak on inequalities, health service and social care delivery and population health. 

Working with partners, funders, academics, policymakers, NHS and social care leaders, the third sector and the public, the Health Foundation is now seeking to develop a shared vision for the long-term social, political, economic and public health research agenda following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project specification is for a supplier to deliver an overview of the current COVID-19 research funding landscape, followed by a highly inclusive and participatory programme of stakeholder engagement and deliberative events across a broad range of stakeholders (eg research funders, policy leads, academic thought leaders, community leaders and members of the public), to identify, refine and develop the key themes and associated research priorities on which to base future funding programmes and research activity across the UK. This work will seek to inform future funding programmes and decisions, with the aim of supporting policy and practice to respond to the current pandemic and identify learning to improve the UK’s preparedness and resilience to future health shocks.

How to apply

1. Important supporting information

All applicants must read the Invitation to Tender in full before completing the Response form and Budget template. Applicants should ensure they are able to meet the timescale for the commissioning and delivery of the contract before submitting an application.

2. Information call

We held an information call via Zoom about the Invitation to Tender on 30 July 2020. For further information, please see the presentation and FAQs from the call. 

3. Submitting your application

All applications must be completed and submitted via our online system AIMS.

You need to first register on AIMS before you can complete the online application form. It is important that you register as your organisation rather than as an individual. Please include the contact details for the person you wish to be the primary contact for your application.

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.

4. Deadlines

The deadline for proposals is 17.00 on Thursday 13 August 2020. We will not accept late submissions.

5. Interview

We intend to interview shortlisted bidders on Wednesday 2 September and Thursday 3 September 2020 to explore proposals in more depth. Interviews will be held via Zoom. Please ensure you are available for interview on this date.

An invite to interview will be made by 17.00 on Monday 24 August 2020. 

We expect to inform applicants of our final decision by 4 September 2020.


If you have any queries about the application process, please email

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