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Annual Statistics

New data from the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) show that during 2022/23 over 100 people in England were recruited every hour to take part in health and care research. That’s enough people to fill Wembley Stadium over 10 and a half times.

An additional 220,000 people*** took part in research compared to pre-pandemic levels* 

Each year the NIHR publishes performance statistics that show how we are supporting research in England.

Please note these figures relate to the period between April 2022 and March 2023.

The number of people taking part in life-changing research reaches almost one million

The 2022/23 CRN annual statistics show research participation levels have increased on pre-pandemic levels*.

Almost one million participants (952,789) took part in clinical research across England. This is an increase of over 220,000 on pre-pandemic levels.

More than one million participants took part in over 5,200 NIHR-delivered, UK-wide studies in 2022/23.

Almost 5,000 portfolio studies recruited participants in England during 2022/23 - giving patients more opportunities than ever to take part in life-changing health and care research.

The CRN supported 6,318 studies in total during 2022/23.

NIHR: Improving the health of the nation

John Sitzia, Acting Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network said:

“Thank you to the many incredible people across the country who have given their time to improve health and social care for themselves and others.

“Without their commitment, breakthroughs that will shape treatments and care could not happen. The benefits that health and care research brings are profound, ultimately leading to the prevention of ill health, earlier diagnosis, faster recovery and better outcomes.

“There are opportunities for everyone to take part in research. The new health and care research ‘match-making’ service from Be Part of Research makes it easier than ever for people to find health and care research across every part of the country.”

Watch Kate Jones, Director of Research Delivery at the NIHR Clinical Research Network share our annual research activity statistics from the last financial year.

Life sciences industry research

The number of commercial studies supported by the CRN continues to grow.

In 2022/23 they increased by almost 200** on pre-pandemic levels* to 1,757. The number of new studies has also increased to 764.

32,328 participants took part in commercial studies sponsored by the life sciences industry.

It’s also positive to see an increase in participants from primary care, giving more people the opportunity to benefit from taking part in commercial research. In 2022/23 18% of commercial research participants (5,961) came from primary care.

Participants’ experience of taking part in research

Health and care research could not take place without the million people who give their time and effort to take part. Ensuring that participants have a good experience of taking part and feel valued for their contribution is of paramount importance.

In 2022/23, a total of 32,603 research participants completed the annual NIHR CRN’s Participant Research Experience Survey. This is more than double the target of 14,000, and is the highest performance to date. These responses help the NIHR improve participant experience of future research.

A total of 30,705 adult responses from all 15 Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRNs) have contributed to the 2022/23 total and represents a 21% increase on 2021/22.

We received a total of 1,898 responses from Children and Young people (defined as being under 16 years of age). This is the second year that Children and Young People responses have been included and they have increased by 653% from 2021/22.

Be Part of Research

Since July 2022 over 150,000 research volunteers have signed up to the new Be Part of Research service. Increasing the number of people taking part in clinical research is vital to help researchers find cures, treatments and breakthroughs.

As we celebrate the NHS 75th birthday on 5 July 2023, the NIHR is calling on people to join its Shape the Future campaign to help shape the NHS of the future through supporting and participating in research studies.

Be Part of Research Service helps people to easily find and take part in studies across the UK.

Register to take part in research in your area at:

Good Clinical Practice (GCP)

53,335 learners used NIHR Learn for their GCP certification in 2022/23, an increase of over 1,000 learners from 2021/22.

In the last five years over 180,000 unique learners have used NIHR Learn (182,288) for their GCP certification.

GCP is the agreed international standard for conducting clinical research. Compliance with GCP provides public assurance that the rights, safety and well being of research participants are protected and that research data are reliable.

* Pre-pandemic comparisons taken from 2019/20 data for NIHR CRN supported studies.

** Data updated on 6 July 2023

*** Data updated 3 August 2023