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Organisations invited to host the NIHR Regional Research Delivery Network

Published: 07 September 2022

From April 2024, the current NIHR Clinical Research Network will be changing to become the NIHR Research Delivery Network. The NIHR Research Delivery Network (RDN) will continue to support the effective and efficient initiation and delivery of funded research across the health and care system in England for the benefit of patients, the health and care system and the economy, with a name that better reflects the scope and purpose of the network to support:

  • Clinical trials and other well-designed health and social care research studies (including studies that are delivered outside of an NHS setting);
  • Public health studies that require the recruitment of individuals within an NHS setting (i.e. acute, ambulance, mental health, community or primary care) or an episode of care which involves contact with the NHS.

The whole of England will be supported through 12 NIHR Regional Research Delivery Networks (RRDNs). These will work with the national Coordinating Centre to provide a joint RDN leadership function so that the NIHR RDN as a whole functions as a single organisation with a shared vision and purpose across England.

Organisations interested in hosting a Regional Research Delivery Network leadership team are now invited to express an interest to become an RRDN Host Organisation.

The NIHR RRDNs will have three key roles:

  1. provide support to research sites to enable the effective and efficient initiation and delivery of funded research across the health and care system in England
  2. enable the strategic development of new and more effective research delivery capability and capacity, including bringing research to under-served regions and communities with major health and care needs
  3. work jointly with the Coordinating Centre in the strategic oversight of the NIHR RDN.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR said:

“The National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) proved itself as a national asset during COVID-19. Its benefits were evident in the way the health system was able to respond so quickly and effectively to deliver the research for new treatments and vaccines to tackle the pandemic. The need for a national research delivery network is therefore more important than ever to ensure nationwide collaboration and remain responsive to the needs of the health and care system.

“This new competition for the National Institute for Health and Care Research Regional Research Delivery Networks (NIHR RRDNs) provides us with the opportunity to further strengthen our national research and development delivery system, and enables even greater alignment with NHS infrastructure and the Integrated Care Systems. The new Research Delivery Network aims to support NHS teams delivering research across the health and care system, and to strengthen the partnership with the national coordinating centre and the Department of Health and Social Care to provide increased regional involvement and perspectives in national decision-making. It is essential that we have a means of ensuring that research can be delivered equitably to all, to address geographical and other health disparities. Research is core to improving health and social care, and should be available and accessible across the country.”

NHS trusts, Integrated Care Boards, primary care organisations and other organisations providing support services to the NHS are eligible to apply to host a Regional Research Delivery Network. Organisations interested in hosting a Regional Research Delivery Network should complete a short, non-binding form, by 10:00 on 18 Oct 2022.

Only organisations that submit an expression of interest will be invited to submit an application.

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