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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
  • CCF

    The NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) organises competitions and monitors performance for NIHR Programmes, Faculty and Infrastructure on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). It is managed by LGC's Grant Management Group. The CCF supports the NIHR in providing information on recruitment to clinical trials as well as managing the Senior Investigator awards and competitions.
  • CLAHRCs

    The 13 NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) are local partnerships between NHS providers, universities, charities, local authorities, Academic Health Science Networks and other organisations.
  • Clinical guideline

    A systematically developed statement for practitioners and participants about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances.
  • Clinical Research Facilities

    NIHR’s 23 Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) are purpose built facilities in NHS hospitals where researchers can deliver early-phase and complex studies.
  • Clinical Research Network

    The CRN makes it possible for patients and health professionals across England to participate in clinical research studies, in both the NHS and in the wider health and social care environment. The CRN provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research and meets the costs of using NHS staff that support research and provides specialist training so that patients can be confident that research is being delivered by trained, experienced NHS staff. The CRN also meet the costs of using NHS facilities, such as scanners and x-rays that are needed in the course of a study, so that research is not subsidised with funding that has been provided for patient care.
  • Clinical trial

    An experiment to compare the effects of two or more healthcare interventions. ‘Clinical trial’ is an umbrella term for a variety of healthcare trial designs.
  • Clinical trials units

    Specialist units with a specific remit to design, conduct, analyse and publish clinical trials and other well-designed studies. The NIHR provides support funding for a number of UKCRC registered units.
  • Cluster randomised trial

    A trial where clusters of individuals (e.g. clinics, families, geographical areas), rather than individuals themselves, are randomised to different arms.
  • Cochrane collaboration

    The Cochrane Collaboration is an international, non-profit, independent organisation. It ensures that up-to-date and accurate information about the effects of healthcare interventions is readily available worldwide. It produces and disseminates systematic reviews of healthcare interventions, and promotes the search for evidence in the form of clinical trials and other studies on the effects of interventions.
  • Cohort study

    An observational study in which a defined group of people (the cohort) is followed over time. The outcomes of people in subsets of this cohort are compared, to examine people who were exposed or not exposed (or exposed at different levels) to a particular intervention or other factor of interest. A prospective cohort study assembles participants and follows them into the future. A retrospective (or historical) cohort study identifies subjects from past records and follows them from the time of those records to the present.
  • Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care

    The 13 NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs) are local partnerships between NHS providers, universities, charities, local authorities, Academic Health Science Networks and other organisations.
  • Commissioned call

    Calls for proposals based on pre-defined research questions developed to respond to the information needs of decision-makers (typically, but not exclusively, within the NHS).
  • Commissioned workstreams

    Commissioned workstreams start with the information needs of decision makers typically, but not exclusively, within the NHS. These are refined and prioritised by experts in the field, and commissioning briefs are then advertised. Applications are assessed for compliance with the commissioning brief, scientific quality, feasibility and value for money.
  • Commissioning board

    A group of experts who consider the scientific merits of grant applications and make recommendations.
  • Commissioning brief

    A detailed description of a question to be answered by new research. In responding to a commissioning brief, researchers outline what studies they would undertake to obtain the information required.
  • Confidence interval

    A measure of the uncertainty around the main finding of a statistical analysis. Wider intervals indicate lower precision and narrow intervals indicate greater precision.
  • Confounder

    A factor that is associated with both an intervention and the outcome of interest. For example, if people in the experimental group of a controlled trial are younger than those in the control group, it will be difficult to decide whether a lower risk of death in one group is due to the intervention or the difference in age. Age is then said to be a confounder, or a confounding variable. Randomisation is used to minimise imbalances in confounding variables between experimental and control groups. Confounding is a major concern in non-randomised trials.
  • Contamination

    The unintended application of the intervention being evaluated to people in the control group; or unintended failure to apply the intervention to people assigned to the intervention group.
  • Contract Research Organisation

    A Contract Research Organisation (CRO) is a company that is contracted by life sciences industry (pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries) to support the clinical development process once a new molecule or treatment has been discovered. For example, the CRO may lead and manage the planning, set-up and delivery of clinical trials.
  • Control

    A participant in the arm that acts as a comparator for one or more experimental interventions. Controls may receive placebo, no treatment, standard treatment, or an active intervention, such as a standard drug.
  • Cost effectiveness

    A measure addressing the cost implications of achieving health benefits. To facilitate comparisons, health benefits can be quantified in terms of ‘QALYs’ (Quality-Adjusted Life Years), which incorporate both extra life achieved and improvements in quality of life. Knowing the cost associated with each QALY gained can help decision-makers assess whether the introduction of a treatment or service should be recommended.
  • Cost effectiveness analysis

    An economic analysis that views effects in terms of overall health specific to the problem, and describes the costs for some additional health gain (e.g. cost per additional stroke prevented).
  • CRFs

    NIHR’s 23 Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) are purpose built facilities in NHS hospitals where researchers can deliver early-phase and complex studies.
  • CRN

    The CRN makes it possible for patients and health professionals across England to participate in clinical research studies, in both the NHS and in the wider health and social care environment. The CRN provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research and meets the costs of using NHS staff that support research and provides specialist training so that patients can be confident that research is being delivered by trained, experienced NHS staff. The CRN also meet the costs of using NHS facilities, such as scanners and x-rays that are needed in the course of a study, so that research is not subsidised with funding that has been provided for patient care.