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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 seven 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, the National Director for Dementia Research, the National Director for Patients, Carers and the Public, 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 seven 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

Academy Executive Leadership Team 

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 awards. 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:  

Central Commissioning Facility Leadership Team

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.

Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre Leadership Team

INVOLVE was established in 1996 to support active public involvement in NHS, public health and social care research.

Funded by the NIHR since 2006, INVOLVE is one of the few government funded functions of its kind in the world, and is considered an international authority on involvement and engagement of patients and the public in health and care research.

INVOLVE brings together expertise, insight and experience in the field of public involvement and engagement in research, to advance it as an essential part of the process by which research is identified, prioritised, designed, conducted and disseminated.

INVOLVE works with regionally, nationally and internationally with patients  and the public, NIHR units and centres, industry, charities, regulators and others to raise aspirations, drive up standards, provide guidance and facilitate partnerships.

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

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by INVOLVE?

INVOLVE plays a key role in delivering NIHR’s patient and public involvement strategy Going the Extra Mile. INVOLVE leads on public shaped, collaborative programmes of work with other NIHR coordinating centres and national stakeholders.

INVOLVE Leadership Team

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:  

NETSCC Leadership Team

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:

NOCRI Leadership Team

The NIHR Dissemination Centre helps clinicians, commissioners and patients to make evidence-based decisions about which treatments and practices are most effective and offer the best use of resources.

The centre critically appraises the latest health research, from both within the NIHR and other research organisations, to identify the most reliable, relevant and significant findings.

The NIHR Dissemination Centre is based at the Wessex Institute at the University of Southampton.

Which areas of the NIHR are managed by the NIHR Dissemination Centre?

The NIHR Dissemination Centre disseminates health research as actionable, accessible, and trustworthy information in the form of:

The NIHR Dissemination Centre also manages the Discover Portal, which provides decision makers with a searchable selection of all Signals and other sources of evidence.

Dissemination Centre Leadership Team