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Our contribution to research

Since the National Institute for Health Research was established in 2006, it has become widely recognised for transforming the research landscape in the NHS; fostering productive relationships between universities and the NHS to speed translation of scientific breakthroughs into benefits for patients; enhancing the clinical workforce by reversing the decline in clinical academic numbers; and as an exemplar in public and patient involvement.

Our place in the research landscape

We work with government departments that oversee health and care research, Department of Health and Social Care Arm's Length Bodies,  the Government's Office for Life Sciences and Research Councils to strengthen health research in the UK. The independent Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR) oversees this collaboration.

Adding value in research

We have developed an internationally-recognised model to ensure that our research answers the most important questions and is appropriately designed, efficiently delivered, unbiased, published in full, appropriately disseminated, and usable.

Research Capability Funding

Our Research Capability Funding helps research-active NHS organisations to act flexibly and strategically to maintain research capacity and capability and contributes towards the indirect costs of hosting NIHR-funded research. 

How we involve patients, carers and the public

Since NIHR was established, we have aspired to involve patients, service users, carers and the public in every step of the research process. We are now a recognised leader in public involvement, with 100% of all our research and activities involving patients, service users, carers and the public in some way.

Research performance

We publish data on our performance, including how we're improving research delivery and supporting researchers in meeting their targets. We also monitor and publish data on research performance across the NHS.

About Us

We are the nation's largest funder of health and care research and provide the people, facilities and technology that enables research to thrive. We have transformed research in and for the NHS and helped to shape the health research landscape more broadly. Our evidence is used to improve outcomes for patients, shape policy and strengthen the health and care system.

We were established in 2006 under the government’s health research strategy, Best Research for Best Health. We are primarily funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, but also receive UK aid funding to support research for people in low- and middle-income countries. Working in partnership with the NHS, universities, local government, other research funders, patients and the public, we deliver and enable world-class research that transforms people’s lives, promotes economic growth and advances science.

Our Mission

NIHR's mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We deliver against this mission through five strategic workstreams.

Our Governance

The NIHR's work is directed by leaders at Department of Health and Social Care working in partnership with the directors of our seven coordinating centres.

Our Contribution to Research

The NIHR is a central part of the UK research landscape, collaborating in national activities to improve research and supporting NHS research performance.