Identifying research priorities

We work with a range of partners, including patients and the public, researchers, the Government, Health Authorities, charities and the James Lind Alliance (JLA) in identifying research priorities based on what matters to both patients and clinicians. 

Patient and public views help to inform the research that is important to the NHS and influence the way research is planned and carried out. Involving the public in research is important to us to help ensure that the research we fund is relevant, reliable and useful. Whether you are a member of the public, a health or public health service professional, or policy maker, we invite you to let us know what ideas you would like us to consider for research by making a research suggestion.

We identify important research questions in a number of ways and our work with the JLA Priority Setting Partnerships (PSPs) unites patients, carers and clinicians in identifying and prioritising the treatment uncertainties they agree are the most important for research. The JLA was created to ensure that research questions do not overlook the shared interests of patients, carers and clinicians. Another purpose of the JLA is to address the mismatch between what researchers want to research, and the practical information that is needed day-to-day by patients and health professionals. We fund the infrastructure of the JLA PSPs.

We respond to the research priorities set by the Government, for example on dementia, or identified by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally C Davies, for example on antimicrobial resistance, seeking the views of patients and others in research, health organisations and charities.

We are also informed by the research recommendations we extract from high quality research and guidelines including completed reviews from the Cochrane Library and guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

We engage with the people and organisations that know what research and evidence they need, setting up centres and units in response to areas of greatest priority including our:

We regularly confer with the many medical research charities and the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)


If you would like to get involved in identifying future research priorities contact:

NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre
University of Southampton
Alpha House, Enterprise Road
Southampton SO16 7NS

Tel:     +44 (0) 23 8059 5586
Fax:    +44 (0) 23 8059 5639