Our Support

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides researchers with the practical support they need to make clinical studies happen in the NHS. This support covers every stage of research, from set up to delivery.

We provide world-class health service infrastructure - research support staff such as clinical research nurses, and research support services such as pharmacy, pathology and radiology - to support organisations seeking to conduct clinical research in the NHS in England. Some of this research is funded by the NIHR, but most of it is funded by NHS non-commercial partners and industry. We also supported the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS through our study support service.

The CRN Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialty is one of over 30 specialties that bring together communities of clinical practice to provide national networks of research expertise. Our membership is made up of research-interested clinicians and practitioners at both national and local levels. Our role is to ensure that the ENT studies included in our national portfolio of research receive the right support to ensure they are delivered successfully in the NHS - to time and target.

The ENT Specialty supports a UK portfolio of research into the diagnosis, treatment, management and therapy of ENT disorders. Its remit includes the normal development, function and diseases of the ear, nose and throat and related aspects of hearing, balance, smell and speech.

National Ear, Nose and Throat Clinical Specialty Leads

Each of our 15 Local Clinical Research Networks has at least one nominated local Clinical Specialty Research Lead for ENT. These clinicians lead research groups to promote and support ENT research within the NHS trusts in their area.

At a national level the local leads come together to manage the national ENT clinical research portfolio. This involves regularly reviewing the progress of studies, identifying barriers to recruitment, and coming up with solutions and strategies to help overcome those barriers. Our National Specialty Group of clinical experts offer advice and support to commercial and non-commercial customers looking to conduct research in the NHS.

Meet our National Specialty Group Members

Key achievements of the CRN Ear, Nose and Throat Specialty include:

  • World leading in trials of novel drug therapies for hearing loss
  • Continual increase in the recruitment of ENT patients to all studies and specifically to Randomised Controlled Trials and intervention studies
  • Growth in the portfolio of ENT studies year on year covering the full spectrum of ENT diseases
  • NHS patients now have more opportunities to access treatment advances because studies are available nationally


Ear, Nose and Throat Specialty Profile

The ENT Specialty profile gives an overview of our offer to the Life Science industry.

Ear, Nose and Throat Specialty leaflet

The ENT Specialty leaflet gives an overview of the services we offer.

The ENT specialty supports a wide range of research studies, including studies involving Otology, Neurotology / Skull Base Surgery, Rhinology, Head and Neck including Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery, and Laryngology. Research interests also cover a broad spectrum of conditions, including otitis media, auditory neuroscience, head and neck cancer, rhinology, paediatric ENT and skull base surgery. We provide help and guidance for portfolio inclusion, encourage patient and public involvement, provide links into other ENT Networks, work with the life sciences industry and raise the profile of ENT research.

Our portfolio includes studies on:

  • Genetic factors involved in ENT diseases
  • Treatment and management of voice problems
  • Head and neck cancer research (in close liaison with the NIHR National Cancer Research Network)
  • Multisensory pathologies and sensory interactions
  • Brain plasticity, particularly with cochlear implants and hearing aids
  • Management and treatment of olfactory problems
  • ENT procedures and behaviour and the use of cognitive behavioural therapies
  • Diseases of the throat and other oral problems
  • The use of evoked responses in diagnosis and in threshold estimation
  • The nature of tinnitus and its management

You can find out more about ENT studies in your area through the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.

To find out more about the ENT studies in our portfolio, you can view a list of studies on the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database.