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Our governance

How we are managed

NIHR's work is directed by the Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), who is also NIHR's Chief Executive Officer, and by the Director and Senior Management Team of DHSC's Science Research and Evidence (SRE) Directorate.

DHSC contracts directly with a number of NHS Trusts, universities and life science organisations that together host our 2 coordinating centres:

  • NIHR Coordinating Centre (NIHRCC), hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Southampton and LGC
  • NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre (CRNCC), hosted by the University of Leeds and Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

These 2 coordinating centres share operational responsibility for the NIHR.

The Executive Directors of NIHRCC and and the CEO of the NIHR Clinical Research Network sit on NIHR's Centres Executive Board (CEB). This also includes the NIHR Director for Public Voice, the NIHR Chief Digital Officer and the NIHR Director of Communications.

CEB is the decision-making body 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 in conjunction with the Director and Senior Management Team of DHSC's SRE Directorate.

DHSC also contracts directly with the Dean of the NIHR Academy and the Research Programme Directors. These individuals are all members of the NIHR Strategy Board, as are the members of CEB. Their relationship with DHSC is therefore advisory as well as contractual. The NIHR Strategy Board advises on strategic issues relating to the management of the NIHR and the implementation of NIHR’s plans.

It is important to note that NIHR brought 5 centres, each with its own DHSC contract, under the name NIHRCC in March 2023 as part of a programme of work to make it easier for stakeholders to understand and work with us. These 5 centres were previously named as follows:

  • NIHR Academy Executive, hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC), hosted by the University of Southampton
  • NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination (CED), NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) and the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI), all hosted by LGC

The separate contracts are still in place and host institutions remain unchanged. The name NIHR Academy will remain, referring to career development and recognition programmes that support or recognise those on an Academy career pathway and the associated membership community.

NIHR Coordinating Centre

Leaders of NIHRCC have 5 key responsibilities:

  • They manage NIHR's funding programmes (research programmes and NIHR Academy programmes) and provide support funding to Clinical Trials Units
  • They manage NIHR's research expertise, collaborations and specialist facilities - part of what we call our 'infrastructure'
  • They manage NIHR's research schools, research units and other centres of expertise - also part of our infrastructure
  • They manage NIHR's global health research initiatives in low and middle income countries
  • They manage pan-NIHR strategic functions such as communications, digital, data and technology and public partnerships

NIHR Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre

CRNCC leaders manage the NIHR Clinical Research Network. This comprises 15 Local Clinical Research Networks, 5 Patient Recruitment Centres for late phase commercial trials, and specialty therapy area experts who work to ensure that studies are delivered successfully.

The Network funds over 12,000 research support and related staff in NHS Trusts, GP practices, care homes, hospices, local authorities, dental surgeries, schools and prisons. It also provides research delivery workforce and support services for late-phase and social care studies as part of the NIHR 'infrastructure'.


To contact NIHR, please refer to the Contact Us page.