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Principal Investigator Pipeline Programme (PIPP)

The Principal Investigator Pipeline Programme (PIPP) offers research delivery nurses and midwives the opportunity to develop as Principal Investigators on NIHR portfolio studies.

Overview

Who’s it for? 

Research delivery nurses or midwives

Duration

12 to 18 months

Cost

Free if you’re eligible

Format

Live virtual lessons, online learning and hands-on experience

Key dates

Cohort 1

  • applications closed
  • programme starts in January 2024

Cohort 2 

  • applications open from 15 April 2024
  • deadline for applications 31 May 2024
  • programme starts in September 2024

Introduction

The Principal Investigator Pipeline Programme (PIPP) offers research delivery nurses and midwives the opportunity to develop as Principal Investigators on NIHR portfolio studies.

PIPP runs twice a year in two cohorts. Each cohort has 15 places.

Watch the video below for an overview of what to expect from PIPP.

Core elements

There are four core elements to the programme which take 12-18 months to complete:

  1. An overview of the role and the responsibilities of the Principal Investigator (PI) on a NIHR portfolio study and why the role is important in the delivery of high quality research. This is largely theory based.
  2. Supervised experience in the PI role, which helps you develop practical knowledge and skills in a safe environment.
  3. You assume the PI role on a NIHR portfolio study. This builds on the practical experience gained in Element 2.
  4. You mentor other learners who are at an earlier stage of the programme or on other PI development schemes, eg  Associate Principal Investigator scheme

See full programme details

Eligibility

You can apply to PIPP if you are:

  • a registered Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) nurse or midwife, or a General Dental Council (GDC) registered dental nurse
  • employed by the NHS or another organisation funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)
  • based in England

You also need to:

  • work in research delivery at least 50% of the time
  • have enough experience in research delivery to develop your role into a PI. There are no specific requirements based on your pay band or length of time working in research
  • have the support of both your line manager and a local PI(s)
  • can commit to the time frame of the programme
  • can identify NIHR portfolio studies to act as PI on

If you already have PI experience

You can also apply if you:

  • have taken on the role of PI in the past and want to consolidate your learning
  • want to act as the PI on a type of study that you don't have experience on

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture.  We encourage applications from research delivery nurses and midwives working across a range of settings, including primary, secondary, community and social care.

Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion at NIHR.

How to apply

You can apply to Cohort 2 2024 from 15 April 2024. We will update this page with a link to the application form.

Full programme details

Element 1

Element 1 consists of four virtual half-day sessions. They are run by an experienced Research Nurse Facilitator over a two-month period. 

It covers various topics including:

  • the reasons to become a nursing and midwifery PI
  • qualities of a good PI
  • characteristics of a good research protocol
  • quality assurance in research study setup
  • identification of research studies
  • roles and responsibilities in research
  • PI oversight
  • safety reporting

Check Element 1 virtual session dates

Element 2

You will work alongside a local PI to practice what you learned in Element 1.  

We recommend you spend about half a day per week for three months on Element 2.

The topics covered include:

  • expressing interest in a study
  • conducting feasibility assessments
  • study setup
  • governance
  • informed consent
  • safety considerations

Element 3

Element 3 builds on the knowledge and practical experience you gained in Elements 1 and 2. 

You will take on the role of a PI for a NIHR portfolio study. 

Before you start this element, you will need to find a suitable study. Your CRN Study Support Service, Research Delivery Managers or Specialty Group Leads can help with this.

We recommend you spend about half a day per week for three to six months on Element 3.

We will also invite you to a PI Masterclass and recommend further learning activities.

Element 4

During Element 4 you will mentor other learners who are at an earlier stage of the programme or on other PI development schemes, eg  Associate Principal Investigator scheme.

We will provide resources, guidance materials, and support workshops to help you understand and fulfill the role of a mentor.

The topics covered include:

  • the role and expectations of a mentor
  • ongoing support for mentors

You should spend up to two hours per month for three to six months on Element 4.

Element 1 virtual session dates 2024

Cohort 1

  • Session 1: Thursday 18 January, 9am - 1pm
  • Session 2: Tuesday 23 January, 9am - 1pm
  • Session 3: Tuesday 20 February, 9am - 1pm
  • Session 4: Wednesday 28 February, 9am - 1pm

Cohort 2

  • Session 1: Wednesday 11 September, 9am - 1pm
  • Session 2: Thursday 19 September, 9am - 1pm
  • Session 3: Tuesday 1 October 2024, 9am - 1pm
  • Session 4: Thursday 10 October 2024, 9am - 1pm

Contact for more information

Please email nursingandmidwifery@nihr.ac.uk