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 stroke research
Stroke is the fourth biggest killer in the United Kingdom, and a leading cause of disability. There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year. Over 1.2 million people in the UK are living with the consequences of stroke.
Stroke research matters. It has meant:
- treatment to remove the clots that cause the most common type of stroke
- new and safer blood thinners to prevent stroke in people with an irregular heart beat
- stroke units offering specialist acute treatment and rehabilitation that significantly reduces death, and increases the chances of living without disability at home.
We have supported recruitment of over 173,232 participants since 2015, into an average of 130 studies per year.
Enabling people with aphasia to participate in research
One third of patients have communication problems after a stroke, this is known as aphasia. People with aphasia are often excluded from participating in research studies due to the difficulties of recruiting patients into studies with this condition. We offer a set of resources to support stroke researchers to help people with aphasia to take part in research.
For more information contact Emanuela Mariani or visit the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists website to access the aphasia research templates to help plan your next project.
We have also worked with the Stroke Association to produce a Clinical trials and stroke booklet (.PDF) answering the most common questions about participating in clinical research.
Hyperacute Stroke Research Centres
The UK has a unique research infrastructure set up to deliver stroke studies across the entire stroke pathway. Sites which are able to provide consistent NHS infrastructure, capacity and capability to support a portfolio of stroke studies requiring advanced neuro-imaging, specialist interventional skills and rapid enrolment of patients have been designated Hyperacute Stroke Research Centres (HSRCs).
The accreditation, supported by the NIHR CRN Stroke Specialty, provides sites with an increased support infrastructure to deliver complex interventions within the first nine hours of stroke onset. This includes drugs and device studies.
The marked impact these accredited centres have had on research performance and patient outcomes, has recently been published in the Health Research Policy and Systems journal.
Stroke Priority Setting Partnership (PSP): Have your say for stroke
Research can find new ways and improve how we stop, spot, treat and support those affected by stroke. In partnership with the Stroke Association, we have recently supported the Stroke Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) - which has identified and prioritised the unanswered questions about stroke. Using a process developed by The James Lind Alliance (JLA), we asked researchers, clinicians, patients and the public to complete the Stroke PSP survey and have their say on what these priorities should be.
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 stroke study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions.
Professor Tom Robinson is the CRN National Specialty Lead for stroke. Read Professor Robinson’s full biography.
Professor Robinson is supported by local specialty leads in each of the 15 NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks.
- Find the local specialty lead in your region
Our collaborators and stakeholders
We work with research charities and patient support organisations to ensure that studies meet patient needs and are successfully delivered in the NHS.
As collaboration with other clinical specialties is integral to service delivery and research into stroke, we work closely with other specialties including Cardiovascular, Injuries and emergencies, Haematology, Primary Care, and Dementias and Neuro-degeneration.
Clinical research is being undertaken across the United Kingdom. We continue to work closely with the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish clinical research networks to support the design and delivery of high quality research.
The Stroke Association
The Stroke Association is a national charity providing support, advice and information to people who’ve had strokes, their family, carers and healthcare professionals. We have partnered with the Stroke Association to support the Stroke Priority Setting Partnership (see above), to help identify the future priorities for stroke research.
British Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation is the nation's heart charity and the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research.
British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP)
BASP is a UK body for stroke physicians specialising in all aspects of stroke to promote the advancement of stroke medicine.
Our funding programmes fund high quality research in stroke that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. We also provide career development funding awards for stroke researchers - see the careers tab for more information.
Our funding programmes
Our commissioned research programmes often seek research proposals on stroke. Most of our funding programmes also run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including research proposals in stroke.
Got an idea for research in stroke? 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 stroke research
You can search and view all the stroke research we’ve funded on NIHR Funding and Awards.
In addition, a number of our research programmes publish comprehensive accounts of our stroke research in the NIHR Journals Library.
The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in stroke 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.
Supporting the delivery workforce
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 Centre (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 stroke:
NIHR Applied Research Collaborations
NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems.
The following ARCs undertake research in stroke:
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 stroke.
In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your stroke study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.
National Specialty Lead
Professor Tom Robinson is the National Specialty Lead for Stroke and was appointed an NIHR Senior Investigator in April 2016.
His research interests include blood pressure management, cardiovascular autonomic regulation and cerebrovascular autoregulation following acute stroke, and predicting disability in an ageing population.
We engage with and involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research in stroke.
Have your say in stroke research
We involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in our national research funding and support activities, including in stroke research.
The researchers we fund also involve patients in planning and delivering their stroke research.
Involvement opportunities across the NIHR
Our Local Clinical Research Networks involve people in stroke research taking place in your local area.
The NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre aims to improve the prevention of diseases of the blood vessels which can lead to stroke and vascular dementia and identify better ways to treat them.They are keen to involve patients and the public across their work.
The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands is carrying out research on stroke, including measuring the performance of an integrated community stroke service model. They provide a wide range of opportunities for stakeholder engagement and participation.
Take part in research
- Be Part of Research is an online service that lists opportunities to take part in stroke research across the UK.