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Learning and support

Right now the research delivery workforce is helping transform the treatment and care patients and the public receive.

This dedicated group  of skilled and experienced health and care research professionals lead and support the delivery of patient-focused research studies in the NHS and wider community settings. There are currently over 10,000 front-line research delivery staff working throughout the NHS who are funded or part-funded by the NIHR.  

The clinical research landscape is always changing

We want to support learners to better understand new types of science, new innovations in application of technologies and new methodologies associated with research. We do this by through a range of learning and support opportunities.

We are committed to supporting the ongoing professional development of professionals, patients and the public.

NIHR Learn

NIHR Learn is our online Learning Management System (LMS) and the platform we use to deliver our accredited learning programmes. We offer a range of courses to develop your knowledge of clinical research and support you to do what you do best.

Our programmes have been developed by international leaders from the clinical research field and are available to anyone directly employed by the NHS, UK universities and other publicly funded organisations conducting and supporting clinical research.

Log in to NIHR Learn and you can register for our Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training and find out more about our full range of online and face-to-face courses.

Not logged in before? Get started with NIHR Learn.

Improving Healthcare Through Clinical Research (MOOC)

Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research is the NIHR's free four-week online course designed for anyone who wants to know more about modern healthcare and the role of clinical research within it.

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) covers how treatments and cures are discovered; the impact of clinical research; how we undertake clinical research and why we do clinical research.                                         

It will be of interest to students at school or college; undergraduates or postgraduates who are contemplating a career in healthcare or the life sciences; and health and social care professionals and practitioners who want to find out more about the role of clinical research in improving healthcare.

For the latest registration details go to: FutureLearn: Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research

What Is Health Research? (MOOC)

Have you, or someone you know, ever wondered what health research is and what it involves? Do you want to know what the common myths are and explore ways to get involved? Would you like to hear from people who have taken part in health research and learn why they volunteered?

By joining this free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) you will discover how research is improving health care, find out what’s involved in health research, bust the common myths surrounding health research and explore ways to get involved.

The course runs several times a year for three weeks with Lead Educator and Mentor input,  but is available with little to no involvement from Mentors the rest of the time.

To find out more information about the course and to join, please visit the course homepage.

Academic training programmes

For those wishing to follow a clinical academic pathway the NIHR offers a range of academic training programmes

Rethinking your CPD

Have you considered rethinking your approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?

When we think about learning at work and professional development, we often think about formal, structured activities such as courses, qualifications or formal coaching and supervision arrangements. 

Yet there are so many ways to learn and much is written about training and learning, the influence of learning technologies and the ever increasing pace of change within the workplace. Our series of blogs explores the latest developments and trends. 

Read on: Rethinking your CPD blog series

NIHR-AoMRC Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework

Are you looking to develop your research delivery skillset?

The NIHR and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) have worked with Higher Education Institutions to develop a national framework of Master’s level qualifications.

These qualifications are made up of a combination of online modules and practical experience, providing healthcare practitioners from any regulated profession with the skills, networks and confidence to lead and support clinical research delivery.

Find out more and apply


e-Learning for Research

This series of e-learning modules is aimed at individuals with little or no experience of research. Created by NIHR, selected Royal Colleges and their partners, the modules cover a variety of topics to provide you with new skills to feel more confident to engage with research and research opportunities.

All the modules are available on NIHR Learn, our online Learning Management System. Log in to NIHR Learn.