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MRC-NIHR Better Methods, Better Research Panel Overview

The MRC-NIHR Better Methods, Better Research Panel (BMBR) is a partnership, co-funded by the MRC and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Programme Aims

BMBR was established to inform research practice, policy and healthcare - improving efficiency throughout the biomedical and health-related research process:

Experimental Design Data interrogation Implementation Knowledge management













Methodology research maximises benefits for researchers, patients and the general population; and ensures health research and policy are built on the best possible evidence.

To fulfil these aims, methodology development supported by BMBR must:

  • Underpin an evidenced research need within the remit of MRC or NIHR;
  • Be generalisable beyond a single case-study;
  • Demonstrate early engagement with a broad range of end-users for developed methodology;
  • Improve best practice, and evidence a pathway to both implementation and sustainable impact.
  • Demonstrate awareness of current gaps in the translation of methodological research:
Diagram showing the stages of methodological translation from original challenge to uptake.
The diagram highlights current gaps in this translational pathway exist between development and dissemination,
and dissemination to uptake.
Assurance of dissemination and broader uptake represents a key component of the assessment process. As such. applicants should ensure that proposals include a summary of research plans and objective that is easily understood by researchers and experts working in other domains.

Structure and activities

The BMBR Panel sets the programme strategy and is the central decision making body for the Programme, including research funding decisions.

The BMBR Guidance Portal represents a central collection of MRC-NIHR endorsed resources to lead best practice in health and biomedical research. Resources developed are all approved by the BMBR Panel as informing the forefront of methodological practice.

The Hubs for Trials Methodology Research are a collaborative network established by BMBR to improve the quality of trials. The Hubs combine research and education regarding the design, conduct, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of clinical trials.

Science supported by BMBR

For details of successfully funded proposals, please see our portfolio page document. 

Case studies of BMBR research can be found on the BMBR webpages.