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 Infection 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 Infection studies included in our national portfolio of research receives the right support to ensure they are delivered successfully in the NHS - to time and target.

The Infection Specialty oversees research relating to the pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. This means that we support a wide range of research studies such as those which look at HIV, pneumonia and meningitis

National Infection Clinical Specialty Leads

The Clinical Research Network is made up of 15 localities. Each one has at least one nominated local lead for Infection research. These clinicians lead research groups to promote and support infectious diseases and microbiology research within the NHS Trusts in their area.

At a national level the local leads come together to manage the national infectious diseases and microbiology research portfolio overall. This involves regularly reviewing the progress of studies, identifying barriers to recruitment, and coming up with solutions and strategies to help overcome those barriers.

Meet our Specialty group members

Key achievements of the CRN Infection Specialty include:

  • Continual increase in the recruitment of patients with or at risk of infections to studies and specifically to antimicrobial resistance research
  • Growth in the portfolio of infection studies including sexually transmitted infection, microbiology diagnostics and vaccines
  • Studies set up in readiness for activation in case of new pandemic infections
  • NHS patients now have more opportunities to access treatment advances because studies are available nationally

Supporting Early Career Researchers

Research is the innovation that brings better healthcare and treatments to patients in the NHS and it is part of the NIHR’s role to ensure the talent pool of research active clinicians continues to thrive. The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Infection Specialty Group is helping do just that by making it a focus for their work.

Find out more about this initiative


Infection Specialty Profile

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

Infection Specialty leaflet

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

The Infection Specialty supports investigators and other stakeholders planning new Infection, microbiology and genitourinary medicine research studies to ensure that those studies will address patients’ needs and can be successfully delivered in the NHS. We currently support research studies in the following areas:  

  • Studies of the development and treatment of acute and chronic infectious diseases such as: gastroenteritis, hepatitis, HIV, influenza, meningitis, pneumonia, septicaemia, sexually transmitted infections, skin and soft tissue infections, tuberculosis and urinary tract infections
  • Studies of the prevention, treatment and control of hospital-acquired infections such as: MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and CDD (Clostridium difficile disease)
  • Prevention of infections by vaccination particularly acute infectious diseases such as: childhood rashes, hepatitis, herpes viruses, influenza, meningitis and pneumonia
  • Studies in microbiology laboratories of infections,clinical infectious diseases including development of new diagnostic tests.

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

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