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Our governance

The NIHR is a virtual organisation whose work is hosted by NHS Trusts, universities and life science organisations. We are centred on England but work closely with the devolved nations. Our scope is broad, encompassing early translational research, clinical trials and applied health and care research.

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.

How we are managed

Our work is directed by the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and by the Senior Management Team of DHSC's Science Research and Evidence Directorate.

DHSC contracts directly with a number of NHS Trusts, universities and life science organisations that host our six coordinating centres. These centres are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NIHR. 

It also contracts the Dean of the NIHR Academy, the National Director for Dementia Research and the Research Programme Directors. Local Clinical Research Networks are contracted to DHSC but managed through the Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre.

The NIHR Strategy Board advises on strategic issues relating to the management of the NIHR and the implementation of NIHR’s plans

The Centres Executive Board (CEB) is the body for decision-making and oversight for certain NIHR-wide initiatives and projects. The members of CEB are part of the 'executive team' that is leading the NIHR at national level and has decision-making authority, in conjunction with the Senior Management Team of DHSC's Science Research and Evidence Directorate.

Members of CEB, the Dean of the NIHR Academy, and the Research Programme Directors are all represented on the NIHR Strategy Board. Their relationship with DHSC is therefore advisory as well as contractual. 

Our structure

The NIHR delivers its activities through its six coordinating centres located across the UK. The centres enable the NIHR to:

  • commission and fund research
  • provide the facilities and people for a thriving research environment within our Clinical Research Network and infrastructure
  • support people carrying out, training and participating in research.


The NIHR Academy Executive manages the NIHR Academy and is responsible for development and coordination of NIHR academic training, career development and research capacity development.

The Academy Executive is hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) and is based in Leeds.

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by the Academy Executive?

The Academy Executive manages the following programmes: 

Other key activities that the Academy Executive leads on, or manages, on behalf of the NIHR are:

  • NIHR Incubators

Who's who

Academy Executive Leadership Team 

Contact the Academy Executive


Telephone: 0113 532 8444

The NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED) makes research representative, relevant and ready for use.

The centre brings together patient and public involvement, engagement and participation with research dissemination, providing coordination and thought leadership across the health and care system.

CED is hosted by LGC's Grant Management Group and is based in Twickenham and Southampton.

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination?

CED focuses on four key areas of activity:

  • Capacity development through support, guidance and training
  • Building and stimulating an evidence user community
  • Producing and sharing evidence summaries across a broad stakeholder community, including via the NIHR Evidence website
  • Running a series of innovation projects to harness the best ideas coming from the community

These activities are underpinned by involving patients, the public and communities throughout.

Who's who

CED Leadership Team

Contact the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination


Telephone: 020 8843 7117

The NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) manages five NIHR research programmes, the Research Design Service and several NIHR infrastructure schemes, as well as the Senior Investigator scheme. It also supports the NIHR by providing information on recruitment to clinical trials, and ensuring patients and the public are involved in the research we manage.

CCF is hosted by LGC's Grant Management Group and is based in Twickenham.

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by CCF?

CCF manages the following research programmes:

CCF also manages the Research Design Service (RDS), to support researchers preparing applications for NIHR research programmes, and the following research schools, centres and units:

For the NIHR infrastructure, CCF manages the following NIHR schemes:

Other key activities that CCF leads on, or manages, on behalf of the NIHR are:  

Who's who

Central Commissioning Facility Leadership Team

Contact CCF


Telephone: 020 8843 8000

The NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre (CRNCC) is the headquarters of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, providing executive and operational leadership, management, and governance of the network.

The CRNCC is hosted by the University of Leeds and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust  in partnership and has offices in Leeds, London, Liverpool, Newcastle and Preston.

Find out about performance and key statistics relating to CRNCC.

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by CRNCC?

CRNCC manages the NIHR Clinical Research Network, which funds and coordinates some 14,000 research support staff in every single NHS Trust in England, in thousands of GP practices, and in numerous other research sites including care homes, hospices, local authorities, dental surgeries, schools, and prisons.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network comprises:

  • 15 Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRNs), each covering a region of England
  • 30 Clinical Research Specialties
  • National Specialty Leads, who act for the individual specialty on behalf of the NIHR CRN as a whole.

Who's who

Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre Leadership Team

Contact CRNCC


Telephone: 020 3328 6700

The NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC) manages identification, prioritising, funding, delivery, publication and dissemination of high quality research for five NIHR research programmes. It also leads on a number of other NIHR initiatives to meet the needs of the public, patients, the NHS and wider care system.

NETSCC is hosted by the Wessex Institute at the University of Southampton.

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by NETSCC?

NETSCC manages the following research programmes:

Other key activities that NETSCC leads on, or manages, on behalf of the NIHR are:  

Who's who

NETSCC Leadership Team

Contact NETSCC


Telephone: 023 8059 5586

The NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI) helps charities, industry and other research funders work in partnership with NIHR and the experts and clinicians it supports.

It also  ensures that NIHR-supported centres, units, facilities and networks can work together to help drive the flow of innovative research to improve patient benefit.

NOCRI is a unique resource for the global life sciences industry - improving the quality, efficiency and success of translational research.

NOCRI is hosted by LGC's Grant Management Group and is based in London Bridge and Twickenham.

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by NOCRI?

NOCRI helps life sciences companies work with the right people within the NIHR infrastructure and makes it easy for infrastructure and industry, charities and other partners to work together.

For  early-phase clinical research, NOCRI provides connections to the country's experimental medicine experts, who can help companies understand the potential of their developmental drugs, devices and diagnostics.

In later-phase research, NOCRI provides rapid links to the NIHR Clinical Research Network, which ensures efficient and effective delivery of larger and multi-centre clinical studies.

NOCRI also supports the establishment of themed national collaborations within the NIHR infrastructure and wider ecosystem, in areas including:

Who's who

NOCRI Leadership Team

Contact NOCRI


Telephone: 020 3794 7380