NIHR research outputs and publications guidance
The NIHR tracks research outputs from funded research projects and researchers throughout the research and for a number of years afterwards.
NIHR-funded researchers are expected to publish their main study findings in a peer-reviewed, open access journal.
Five of our research programmes - Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME), Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR), Health Technology Assessment (HTA), Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR) and Public Health Research (PHR) - also require researchers to publish research outputs in the NIHR Journals Library.
Findings from clinical trials should be published in a peer-reviewed journal within 24 months from study completion. Read more in our policy on clinical trial registration and disclosure of results.
It is a contractual requirement that NIHR-funded researchers provide notification and final copies of all of their research outputs to the NIHR at least 28 days before they enter the public domain. Research outputs include research papers and press releases.
Research outputs should appropriately acknowledge all NIHR funding and support received for the research and include the NIHR disclaimer. Outputs may display the ‘Funded by NIHR’ logo, where appropriate.
Types of research output
A research output is any item arising from NIHR-funded research that enters the public domain.
Outputs can be written, verbally presented, audio/visual or electronic.
The NIHR takes a broad definition of what constitutes a research output. Key examples for reporting research findings are shown below.
|Research papers and abstracts||Oral presentations||Research posters||Websites|
|Press releases||Speaking to the media, including media interviews||Presentation slides||Blog posts|
|Research reports||Speaking at events||Newsletters|
|Books or book chapters||Social media accounts|
Other examples of research outputs include:
- training materials such as manuals or DVDs
- checklists, scales, protocols, questionnaires, toolkits
- service guidelines or similar
- service innovations or new service delivery models
- research tools such as data analysis techniques, assays, cell lines, antibodies, biomarkers
- patentable inventions such as new therapeutic products, equipment, diagnostic test or medical devices
- participant materials.
If you are not sure whether something qualifies as an output, please get in touch with the relevant research programme or Academy funding scheme.
Open access policy
The NIHR supports the principle of open access to the outputs of research, which can offer both social and economic benefits, as well as aid the development of new research and stimulate wider economic growth of the UK economy. The NIHR is also committed to adding value in research, one aspect of which is ensuring that research results are published in full in an accessible and unbiased report.
NIHR Journals Library
The NIHR is the world’s first health research funder to publish comprehensive accounts of its commissioned research within its own publicly and permanently available journal series.
The NIHR Journals Library comprises a suite of five open access peer-reviewed journals reporting results from a range of health research areas.
Studies funded under the following research programmes are required to submit a final report for publication in the relevant NIHR journal:
- Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)
- Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR)
- NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
- NIHR Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
- NIHR Public Health Research (PHR)
Although publication in the NIHR Journals Library meets the requirements of the NIHR open access policy, the NIHR encourages researchers to also publish in other high impact peer-reviewed journals.
More information on submitting your final report is available on the NIHR Journals Library website.
Media activity that should be notified to the NIHR includes:
- A press release being issued through the researchers’ host or partner institution
- A press release being issued by the journal, funder or partner in the research
- A researcher taking part in interviews for press or broadcast
Best practice is to give the NIHR at least 28 days’ notice of an intention to issue a press release or plan any media activity.
Please get in touch with the comms team in the relevant NIHR coordinating centre as soon as you and your institution's media team have decided to issue a press release or prepare for media activity. Please supply a copy of the research paper/report, where appropriate.
Once the press release or media materials have been prepared, please send a draft to the relevant coordinating centre 14 days before the planned issue date. The coordinating centre will review the press release and share it with the relevant staff at the NIHR and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). All embargoes and confidentiality requirements will be respected by the NIHR and DHSC.
What to include in the body of press releases
Acknowledge the NIHR
Press releases must acknowledge NIHR funding or support for the research by naming and linking to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), ideally in the first or second paragraph of the body of the press release.
- Researchers funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
- Research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
- Researchers at the University of Bristol funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
- NIHR research(ers) at the University of Leeds...'
- An NIHR study at ....
What to include in the ‘Notes to Editors’
Add our boilerplate
Please include the following NIHR boilerplate in the notes to editors section of your press release:
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation's largest funder of health and care research. The NIHR:
- Funds, supports and delivers high quality research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care
- Engages and involves patients, carers and the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research
- Attracts, trains and supports the best researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future
- Invests in world-class infrastructure and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services
- Partners with other public funders, charities and industry to maximise the value of research to patients and the economy
The NIHR was established in 2006 to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research, and is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. In addition to its national role, the NIHR supports applied health research for the direct and primary benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries, using UK aid from the UK government.
You may also wish to include in the notes to editors additional information about the specific NIHR programme or training scheme that the press release relates to.
Acknowledge the role of patient data
The NIHR recognises and values the role of patient data, both in underpinning and leading to improvements in research and care.
Examples of types of patient data used in research include:
- GP records
- Clinical audits, for example the National Diabetes Audit
- Disease registers, such as the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service
- Hospital Episode Statistics
- Diagnostic imaging datasets
- Prescribing databases
- Patient surveys, for example Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs)
- Information collected during clinical trials and cohort studies
- Data in large patient cohorts, such as the NIHR BioResource and the UK Biobank
We ask researchers who use patient data to acknowledge it by incorporating a data citation, developed by use MY data, in publications and stories that would not have been possible without access to this data. This expectation also extends to press releases on such research.
Please use the following patient data citation after the NIHR boilerplate in press releases:
This work uses data provided by patients and collected by the NHS as part of their care and support and would not have been possible without access to this data. The NIHR recognises and values the role of patient data, securely accessed and stored, both in underpinning and leading to improvements in research and care. www.nihr.ac.uk/patientdata
Please use this citation in all press releases, unless you feel that the research does not use patient data in any form.
Use of the NIHR logo
The NIHR logo (including Funded/Supported by NIHR logos) should not be used in press releases issued by a researcher, research team, or private company. Such press releases should use the researchers’ host institution’s logotype.
Only press releases issued by the NIHR’s Press Office or an NIHR Coordinating Centre may use the NIHR logo.
Notifying NIHR of upcoming research outputs
All NIHR-funded researchers are required to notify the NIHR of any outputs from their research ahead of them appearing in the public domain, as a contractual obligation of their research contract with the NIHR.
The NIHR checks output for funding statements, acknowledgments, disclaimers and branding accuracy. We do not, however, approve the content of research outputs or check accuracy of the research or the science contained.
Researchers funded by NIHR research programmes
The NIHR tracks research outputs from funded research projects throughout the research progress, and for three years (for those studies with contracts issued prior to April 2012) to five years (for contracts issued after April 2012) after publication of the final report.
It is a contractual requirement that you provide notification and final copies of all of your research outputs at least 28 days before they enter the public domain.
You should submit notification of research papers and items for conferences at the time of submission or or at least 28 days before the publication date, whichever is earlier.
If you are unable to provide us with the full final version of the output at that time, please submit a draft at notification and send through the final version as soon as it becomes available.
How to submit your output
How to submit notification and a copy of your research output varies by research programme.
Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME)
Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR)
Health Technology Assessment (HTA)
Public Health Research (PHR)
Please keep us updated about the progress of your output (e.g. from submission to acceptance/rejection or acceptance to publication) by updating the MIS.
Invention for Innovation (i4i)
Policy Research Programme (PRP)
Programme Grants for Applied Research (PGfAR)
Programme Development Grants (PDG)
Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB)
Please submit output notification directly to the research programme:
- Invention for Innovation
- Policy Research Programme
- Programme Grants for Applied Research
- Programme Development Grants
- Research for Patient Benefit
Please keep us updated by email of the progress of your output.
Researchers funded by the NIHR Global Health programme
For research funded by the NIHR Global Health Research programme, it is a contractual requirement that you provide notifications and copies of all your project outputs at least 14 days before publication or presentation.
To submit an output notification for a Global Health Research Unit or Group, please login to the MIS. Please keep us updated about the progress of your output (e.g. from submission to acceptance/rejection or acceptance to publication) by updating the MIS or by emailing us.
To submit a research output for the NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme, please submit by email.
Researchers who hold training or career development funding awards
Researchers who hold training or career development awards from the NIHR Academy need to submit their outputs 28 days before publication.
Outputs should be submitted by email to the NIHR Academy Communications Team. The team will contact you within 28 days to inform you whether your publication is approved or requires additional amendments.
Acknowledging the NIHR in research outputs
All written and oral research outputs should acknowledge the NIHR funding in full and include the NIHR disclaimer. For research papers, the acknowledgement and disclaimer should be added to the funding or acknowledgments section of the manuscript
Please acknowledge all types of NIHR funding, support and affiliations, such as:
- research programme funding
- whole or part funding or support by research centres or units
- use of clinical research facilities, centres or units
- fellowship awards
- professional training awards
- Senior Investigator awards
- Research Professorship awards.
Studies supported by the Clinical Research Network should be encouraged to acknowledge the support provided by the Network.
Please note that although the Department of Health and Social Care funds the NIHR, the Department should not be named as the funder. The NIHR should be accredited as the funder.
Chief investigators/lead researchers should refer to their funding contract to ensure that they comply with the specific terms and conditions regarding naming and acknowledging the NIHR appropriately in research publications.
Wording for researchers funded by NIHR research programmes
All research programmes (except EME)
This study/project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [name of NIHR programme (project reference xxx)/name of part of the NIHR]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
This project (project reference xxx) is funded by the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme, an MRC and NIHR partnership. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the MRC, NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Wording for researchers funded by the NIHR Global Health Research programme
This research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (project reference) using UK aid from the UK Government to support global health research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the UK Department of Health and Social Care.
Wording for researchers who hold training or career development funding awards
(Name of the researcher) is funded by a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR),
(Award name e.g. Doctoral Research Fellow) for this research project.
Branding research outputs
The ‘Funded by the NIHR’ logo (see below) is available for use on research outputs funded by an:
- NIHR research programme
- NIHR Academy programme
We encourage you to use the 'Funded by NIHR' logo on visual and digital outputs, such as research posters, research slides and websites (but not in original research papers or your host institution's press release about your research). It should be positioned along with an acknowledgment and a disclaimer as follows:
- On websites above the fold but not in the header i.e. so that it is visible without scrolling down the page
- In print, such as on your institution's templates for research posters and patient leaflets, below the fold/in the bottom half of the page
- In research slides, use the ‘Funded by NIHR’ logo on the first slide and the appropriate acknowledgement and disclaimer on the final slide.
For research posters, as an alternative you can use an NIHR poster template, to which you can add your host institution logo.
Should your research study have its own logo, this can also be used on outputs, providing the NIHR acknowledgement is also in place.
If your project is part of the MRC Clinical Trials portfolio, special arrangements apply (please contact EME to find out more).
Download the 'Funded by NIHR' logo
Funded by NIHR logo - colour
Funded by NIHR logo - black
Funded by NIHR logo - white
Researchers funded by the NIHR Global Health programme
Projects funded by the Global Health Research programme should refer to the Global Health identity guidelines.