Trauma and Emergency Care
We fund trauma and emergency care research projects through our funding programmes, and support training and career development for researchers in the specialty.
We deliver trauma and emergency care 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 trauma and emergency care research funded by these partners, offering expertise, collaborations and facilities.
We also provide opportunities for people who have experience of receiving trauma or emergency care 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 trauma and emergency care research
The Trauma and Emergency Care Specialty supports and oversees research studies that encompass an extensive range of conditions which require prompt diagnosis and treatment if the patients are to have the best outcome.
This may involve pre-hospital care, where urgent emergencies require immediate intervention from paramedics on site, or rapid treatment in an Emergency Department or Trauma Operating room at the hospital. Within a non-emergency setting it can also involve some aspects of recovery and rehabilitation after injury.
Our portfolio includes observational studies but concentrates on multi centre clinical trials. They include studies investigating aspects of ‘major trauma’ in road accidents or falls, burns, anaphylaxis (serious allergic reaction), asthma attacks, and cardiac arrest, through to carbon monoxide poisoning, broken bones and sports injuries.
We support and promote research in the following areas:
- Pre-hospital Care
- Emergency and acute care
- Sports injuries
- Rehabilitation after injury
- Trauma orthopaedics
- Poisoning and self-harm
Trauma and Emergency Care is a diverse and rapidly growing area. To ensure that we can provide the right advice and support to the full range of studies, we have created three specialist communities within the specialty. These are:
- pre-hospital care
- emergency department care
- musculoskeletal trauma
Trauma and emergency care studies on the NIHR CRN Portfolio are consistently delivered successfully. In 2019/20 over 53,487 participants were recruited into trauma and emergency care studies, with 100 per cent of all studies delivered on time and target.
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 trauma and emergency care study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions.
Professor Matthew Costa is the CRN National Specialty Lead for trauma and emergency care. Read Professor Matthew Costa’s full biography.
Professor Matthew Costa is supported by local specialty leads in each of the 15 NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks.
Our collaborators and stakeholders
We work with a number of key stakeholders to promote the successful delivery of research studies in the NHS and help plan new studies that will address patient's needs.
As major trauma is uncommon, it is not possible for all hospital emergency departments to have the specialist equipment and doctors needed. As a result, regional Trauma Networks have been set up across England to cope with major trauma services, creating a major opportunity to deliver high quality trauma research in a specialist setting. NIHR-supported research must be integrated within the Trauma Networks and we continue to work to promote and maintain collaboration.
The National Ambulance Research Steering Group
The NIHR Clinical Research Network Trauma and Emergency Care National Specialty Group membership includes representation from the National Ambulance Research Steering Group (NARSG).
British Burns Association
The British Burns Association (BBA) is a non-profit making organisation which aims to take forward activities associated with burn prevention, and the propagation of knowledge on the best treatment and rehabilitation following a burn injury. The NIHR Clinical Research Network Injuries and Emergencies National Specialty Group membership includes representation from BBA.
Society of Acute Medicine
The Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) is the national representative body for staff caring for medical patients in the acute hospital setting. SAM facilitates collaborative research in acute medicine and has a research committee which supports innovation.
Paediatric Emergency Research in the United Kingdom & Ireland
The NIHR has strong links with research networks such as Paediatric Emergency Research in the United Kingdom & Ireland (PERUKI). PERUKI brings together clinicians and researchers who share the vision of improving the emergency care of children through high quality multi-centre research.
Our funding programmes fund high quality research in trauma and emergency care that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. We also provide career development funding awards for researchers in the specialty - see the careers tab for more information.
Our funding programmes
Our commissioned research programmes often seek research proposals on trauma and emergency care. Most of our funding programmes also run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including research proposals in trauma and emergency care.
We have held themed calls on injuries, accidents and urgent and emergency care (2019) and emergency response and preparedness (2019). NIHR themed calls are funding opportunities focusing on a particular research topic, in which all our funding programmes participate.
Got an idea for research in trauma and emergency care? 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 trauma and emergency care research
You can search and view all the trauma and emergency care research we’ve funded on NIHR Funding and Awards.
In addition, a number of our research programmes publish comprehensive accounts of our trauma and emergency care research in the NIHR Journals Library.
The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in trauma and emergency care 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.
The NIHR Incubator for Emergency Care was launched in June 2019 after a proposal by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM). It is a national portal established to coordinate academic training within the field of Emergency Care, and is led by RCEM, in partnership with the College of Paramedics and the National Ambulance Research Steering Group.
Supporting the delivery workforce
The Associate Principal Investigator (PI) Scheme aims to develop junior doctors, nurses and allied health professionals to become the PIs of the future and provides formal recognition of a trainee's engagement in NIHR Portfolio research studies. The NIHR Clinical Research Network has collaborated with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the Royal College of Surgeons of England to create an Associate PI scheme in trauma and emergency care.
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.
- Find out more about working with our research infrastructure as a researcher or a member of the life sciences industry
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 trauma and emergency care:
- NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre
- NIHR Guy's and St Thomas' Biomedical Research Centre
- NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre
- NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre
- NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre
- NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre
NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives
NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives (MICs) build expertise and capacity in the NHS to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially-supplied in vitro diagnostic tests.
The following MIC undertakes research in trauma and emergency care:
NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre
The NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC) is a national centre for trauma research, taking discoveries from the military frontline to improve outcomes for all patients. Multiple studies are run from this centre all year round by scientists and academics from the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Health and Social Care, University of Birmingham and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
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 trauma and emergency care.
In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your trauma and emergency care study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.
National Specialty Lead
Professor Matthew Costa is the NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Trauma and Emergency Care.
Professor Costa’s research interest is in clinical and cost effectiveness of musculoskeletal trauma interventions. He is Chief Investigator for a series of randomised trials and associated studies supported by grants from the UK NIHR, Musculoskeletal Charities and the Trauma Device Industry.
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 trauma and emergency care.
Have your say in care research
We involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in our national research funding and support activities, including in trauma and emergency care research.
The researchers we fund also involve patients in planning and delivering their trauma and emergency care research.
Involvement opportunities across the NIHR
Our Local Clinical Research Networks involve people in trauma and emergency care research taking place in your local area.
The Trauma and Emergency Care Research Group at the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre host a Patient and Public Involvement Group in Musculoskeletal Trauma.
- Find out more about patient involvement in research into the treatment of broken bones and other injuries
The NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre focuses on improving trauma care and outcomes for patients through translational research built on military, NHS and scientific partnership. The Centre has an active patient and public group, who contribute to many aspects of research.
The NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre Surgery & Technology Theme aims to improve the quality and safety of the surgical care pathway through technological innovations, including reducing post-surgical trauma. Patients and the public can get involved in their research in many ways.
Take part in research
Be Part of Research is an online service that lists opportunities to take part in trauma and emergency care research across the UK.
Working with the James Lind Alliance
Trauma and Emergency Care have taken a leading role in promoting patient and public involvement. Partnering with patients and healthcare professionals to deliver JLA Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) has led to some exciting new research projects, the results of which should improve future care for patients suffering trauma and requiring emergency care.
Latest blogs about Trauma and Emergency Care
Our Trauma and Emergency Care research