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NIHR Clinical Research Training Programme


Published: 22 July 2021

Version: V1.0

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The NIHR offers a comprehensive training programme designed with NHS doctors* in mind to provide hands-on clinical research training that they may not have access to as part of their usual day-to-day activities in their NHS roles.

*This course is primarily aimed at those working in Hepatology and Gastroenterology specialties initially with plans for expansion across all specialty areas in due course. 

The NHS constitution makes it clear that patients have a right to be involved in research, and so all consultants need to have some understanding of research and how it takes place in the NHS. Like many specialty therapy areas, the Gastroenterology/Hepatology training curriculum does not provide training in clinical research.

Professor William Rosenberg, NIHR National Specialty Lead for Hepatology said:

“Everyone using or working in the NHS benefits from having a well-trained, research ready consultant workforce. Even without active participation in research all clinicians practicing evidence-based medicine have to engage with clinical research to ensure they are giving their patients the best possible care.

“This innovative programme offers comprehensive training in how to understand, participate in, and lead clinical research as a consultant in the NHS - a valuable skill set for the NHS workforce and NHS Trusts.”

The course is delivered by experienced researchers at the NIHR and supported by the British Society of Gastroenterology. 

What the course involves

There are three components involved for completing the course:

  • Hands on involvement with your local research team – gain practical experience in the delivery of NIHR portfolio studies and recruiting patients* 
  • Online learning course through NIHR Learn – covering the principles and practice of clinical research, statistics and critical appraisal.
  • Group event – learning how to convert unanswered clinical problems into research questions

*Practical experience can be achieved via participation in the NIHR Associate Principal Investigators scheme if desired.

Once participants have completed the programme, they will have achieved six months of practical experience in delivering and coordinating research in NHS settings and will receive an NIHR endorsed certificate to support this.

What is the criteria for taking part in the programme?

The course is open to all gastroenterology and hepatology trainees at any stage of training, however at the time of registration, delegates must be on clinical placement in a research active department where they can spend at least 6 months gaining practical research study experience .

The programme opens in November each year, and must be completed by the following July.

Find out if your trust is research active

Your current consultants should be able to point you in the right direction of who to contact. If not, you can contact your trust’s research and development team or your Local Clinical Research Network for advice.

You need to find out:

  • Who is the lead for GI/Hepatology research in my trust?
  • Is my trust participating in any eligible GI/Hepatology studies, including any registered with the NIHR Associate PI Scheme? 
  • For a given study, is the local principal investigator (PI) willing for me to take part and to supervise my involvement?

Sign up and next steps

Once you have confirmed your placement is suitable, you can register using this online form.

Once you have signed up, you can arrange to meet your local Principal Investigator and research team to discuss your involvement in the selected study. If you are joining a study linked to the NIHR Associate PI scheme, you will need to register for that scheme separately.

Before any involvement in clinical research you will also need to complete NIHR Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training, either at an in person course or online.

The next programme will start in November 2021 and complete in July 2022.

Email the team for more information.