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Ear, Nose and Throat

We fund ear, nose and throat research projects through our funding programmes, and support training and career development for researchers in the specialty.

We deliver ear, nose and throat research funded by the NIHR, the life sciences industry and non-commercial organisations such as charities. We support the set up and delivery of this research in the NHS and in public health and social care settings. Our research infrastructure also supports research funded by these partners, offering expertise, collaborations and facilities.

We also provide opportunities for people affected by ear, nose and throat conditions and their families and carers to influence and take part in research.


The NIHR supports patients and the public to participate in high quality research taking place in health and care settings across England, advancing knowledge and improving care.

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) includes 30 specialty groups, who coordinate and support the delivery of high quality research by therapy area. Some of this research is funded by the NIHR, but most of it is funded by non-commercial organisations, such as charities or universities, and the life sciences industry.

The CRN provides researchers with the practical support they need to make research happen. It supports the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings through our Study Support Service, with tailored offers of support for:

Supporting ear, nose and throat research (ENT)

Our specialty covers all conditions of the ears, nose and throat, including hearing and balance. ENT problems impact upon important daily functions including communication, breathing, swallowing, smell and taste. However rare or common these conditions are, they span the age spectrum, from newborns to the elderly. 

Our research includes hearing loss, tinnitus, balance and dizziness, allergies, infections, and head and neck cancers.

A broad spectrum of ENT healthcare professionals support our research including specialist consultants and audiovestibular physicians, audiologists, respiratory physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and research nurses.

We work closely with healthcare professionals in the community across the range of primary care settings, and with clinicians in related fields such as neurology, old age psychiatry, oncology, paediatrics, allergy and respiratory medicine.

Ensuring our studies perform well and recruit the right number of participants in the allocated time is a key priority. In 2019/20 89% of ENT studies achieved their time and met the target requirements.

Audiology Champions

NIHR Audiology Champions primary role is to support the local Clinical Research Specialty Lead in ensuring there is good awareness of current and upcoming hearing, tinnitus and balance studies on the NIHR CRN portfolio within their region and that the ENT specialty broadens its reach to the full range of hearing healthcare professions.

New working group for research on hearing loss and tinnitus

A new working group has been established following a successful round table event in December 2020 which focussed on issues relating to research on adult hearing loss and tinnitus.

The group will identify research priorities and develop an action plan so key players in the sector can work collaboratively to further improve how research can lead to better outcomes for people living with hearing loss and tinnitus.

The group will co-produce plans and actions for the short, medium and long term, and agree how to work together to implement and communicate next steps. Work will be carried out over the remainder of this year (May 2021 onwards). More information and future publications can be found on the NIHR UCL Biomedical Research Centre website.

Who we are

As well as providing research delivery staff, we also bring together highly engaged NHS consultants and clinical academics from top UK universities, bringing both clinical and academic expertise to your research. Our experts in the CRN Specialty Group can advise on delivering your ear, nose and throat study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions. 

Professor Anne Schilder is the CRN National Specialty Lead for ear, nose and throat. Read Professor Schilder’s full biography.

Professor Schilder is supported by Professor Jaydip Ray, in the role of Deputy National Specialty Lead and local specialty leads in each of the 15 NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks.

Our collaborators and stakeholders

The CRN Ear, Nose and Throat specialty group has developed close links with key stakeholders and clinical researchers to input into the delivery of studies and influence the Ear, Nose and Throat research agenda. 

We have established a partnership with ENT UK, the professional membership body that represents Ear, Nose and Throat and it’s related specialties. Within ENT UK we collaborate with the British Otorhinolaryngology & Allied Sciences Research Society (BOARS) to support research in ENT, hearing and balance. 

Doctors and researchers in ENT, Hearing and Balance have worked closely with patients and families to develop a research agenda that will guide ENT research for the next 10 years.

We have close links with the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) and British Society of Audiology (BSA) to recognise the important role audiology and hearing and balance has in Ear, Nose and Throat research studies. Our Audiology Champions represented the NIHR at the BAA conference to promote audiology research and members of the National Specialty Groups are part of BSA.

We also work closely with RNID on the delivery of Ear, Nose and Throat research. RNID actively promote  ENT studies supported by the CRN.

ENT UK research funding applications open

Applications are now open for new research funding grants (up to £2000) for ENT UK members. Preference will be given to peer-reviewed projects that have ethical approval (where applicable) and can be suitable for inclusion in the NIHR portfolio. Up to four pump-priming research grants will be awarded annually. The panel would particularly consider applications that demonstrate collaboration between institutions within the UK or abroad and multi-disciplinary collaboration with audiology, basic scientists, or other allied health professionals but this is not essential.

These awards can be added to other research awards and need not be exclusive. Involvement of trainees is encouraged, and support will be prioritised (but not restricted) to AOT, SFO, WENTS, SAS, YCOHNS members of ENT UK. Further details can be found in the ENT UK guidance document and the ENT UK application form

The deadline for applications is 16 June 2021, with awards due to be announced later this summer.


Our funding programmes fund high quality research in ear, nose and throat conditions that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. We also provide career development funding awards for critical care researchers - see the careers tab for more information.

Our funding programmes

Our commissioned research programmes often seek research proposals on ear, nose and throat conditions.  Most of our funding programmes also run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including research proposals in ear, nose and throat conditions. 

Got an idea for research in ear, nose and throat conditions? The NIHR Research Design Service can help you turn it into a funding application, offering advice on research design, research methods, identifying funding sources, and involving patients and the public. 

Our portfolio of ear, nose and throat research

You can search and view all the ear, nose and throat research we’ve funded on NIHR Funding and Awards.

In addition, a number of our research programmes publish comprehensive accounts of our ear, nose and throat research in the NIHR Journal's Library.


The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in ear, nose and throat to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future.

Our investment in people sustains excellent research capacity and expertise throughout clinical and non-clinical academic career pathways and provides high quality learning and development opportunities for the delivery workforce in our infrastructure. 

Funding research careers

The NIHR Academy is responsible for the development and coordination of NIHR academic training, career development and research capacity development.

There is a wide range of NIHR training and career development awards available at different career stages, from pre-doctoral through to Research Professorships. These awards comprise both personal awards, which can be applied for directly with the NIHR, and institutional awards which should be applied for through the host institution.

For those with an interest in surgical technology, the Advanced Surgical Technology Incubator supports the research community with networking, training and career development support.

Supporting the delivery workforce

INTEGRATE is the UK ENT Trainee Research Network, a group which aims to promote ENT trainee involvement in research both within and outside the CRN portfolio.


The NIHR invests significantly in people, centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities to support health and care research in England. Collectively these form the world-class NIHR infrastructure.

This national research infrastructure is available to use by UKRI, research charities and the life sciences industry as well as NIHR researchers. 

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) are collaborations between world-leading universities and NHS organisations that bring together academics and clinicians to translate lab-based scientific breakthroughs into potential new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies. 

The following BRCs undertake research in ear, nose and throat:

NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative

The NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative (HIC) has been set up to deliver high quality data in key therapeutic areas and make NHS clinical data more readily available to researchers, industry and the NHS community.

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings. Find out more on the delivery tab.


The NIHR funds and supports world-class experts in ENT. In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your diabetes study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.

In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your ENT study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.

National Specialty Lead

Professor Anne GM Schilder is an ENT surgeon and trialist. She is based at University College London's Ear Institute and practices Paediatric ENT at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital.

Read Professor Schilder’s full biography

Public involvement

We engage with and involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of ear, nose and throat research.

Have your say in research

We involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in our national research funding and support activities, including in ear, nose and throat research.

The researchers we fund also involve patients in planning and delivering their ear, nose and throat research.

Involvement opportunities across the NIHR

Our Local Clinical Research Networks involve people in ear, nose and throat research taking place in your local area.

The NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre carries out a range of research into hearing conditions and potential interventions. Through a range of volunteering opportunities, events and activities the centre works with people and patients to inform, discuss, listen and make decisions about their research.

Take part in research

Be Part of Research is an online service that lists opportunities to take part in ear, nose and throat research across the UK.

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