Clinical Research Network performance

In order for clinical research to be current and relevant, researchers need to be able to complete their study within an acceptable timescale. They also need to be able to meet recruitment targets – the number of participants required to make the study results meaningful. These factors are important for all researchers, but particularly so for researchers working on commercial life-sciences studies, as the UK must compete with other countries to host studies that could benefit NHS patients.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) aims to support research delivery by:

  • Introducing effective systems to reduce the length of time it takes for a study to be set up and start
  • Putting a broad-based infrastructure in place, so that researchers have access to the facilities and research support personnel they need to carry out the study activities
  • Being able to direct researchers towards local patient populations and research capacity, so that participant targets can be achieved

Our High Level Objectives

The NIHR CRN measures its effectiveness against a set of High Level Objectives. In broad terms, these objectives include:

  • Increasing the proportion of CRN Portfolio studies that deliver in line with the study’s planned delivery time and participant recruitment targets
  • Increasing the number of research participants
  • Reducing the time it takes for a study to set up and start at each research site
  • Increasing the number of life-sciences studies supported by the CRN
  • Increasing the number of health and care organisations active in research
  • Increasing the number of participants involved in research into dementias
  • Demonstrating to research participants that their contribution is valued

Performance Reports

The CRN reports on its performance on a quarterly and annual basis. These performance reports can be found below.

Each year the CRN also publishes its key statistics.

Latest Report

2019/20 - published end May 2021

A PDF version of  the 2019/20 year end performance report can be requested by emailing:
Dr Andrew Walker, Head of Performance Management CRN Coordinating Centre

Previous Reports 2018/19

NIHR CRN - High Level Objectives: Year end performance report 2018/19

Related pages