Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft. To browse the NIHR site please use a modern, secure browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Plan and deliver research

The NIHR offers a number of services to help researchers funded by charities to plan, set up and deliver research in the NHS or in public health or social care settings.

Charities can become an NIHR non-commercial partner, which provides quicker access to our research delivery infrastructure in the NHS.

Plan research

We can support researchers you’ve funded (or those applying for funding) with study design, planning, placing, set-up and delivery.

Writing a grant application

The NIHR Research Support Service provides support to health and social care researchers across England on all aspects of developing and writing a grant application. Their free advice covers research design, research methods, identifying funding sources and involving patients and the public.

The service is available to any researchers writing applications to national, open, peer-reviewed funding streams, including those funded by charities.

 Access to Expertise

Our research infrastructure funds renowned experts in experimental medicine research, to support the design and delivery of experimental medicine studies.

We have a full range of experts available to work with charity partners, including clinicians, laboratory scientists, health economists, statisticians, methodologists, biomedical engineers and specialists in a range of therapeutic areas. This includes the NIHR Translational Research Collaborations (TRCs), which are ready-formed networks of the UK’s leading universities, NHS trusts and research centres which can support charities to carry out early phase translational research and tackle experimental medicine challenges in selected therapeutic themes.

We can connect your researchers with experts in our research infrastructure who can collaborate on your clinical and health research.

We help researchers plan and set up research in the NHS and the wider health and social care environment through our Study Support Service.

We provide a range of support to help you plan your study, so please encourage researchers you fund to engage with us as early as possible, so they can make the most of this support throughout the life cycle of their study. Find out more about how we can help you plan your research.

Deliver research

Your researchers can access the support, facilities and equipment we offer to deliver research you’ve funded.

Research Infrastructure

We fund research infrastructure to support researchers with the delivery of early stage experimental medicine research studies. Our funding goes towards purpose built facilities in the country’s leading NHS hospitals and universities and a skilled workforce of researchers and clinical trial support staff.

Study delivery 

Our Clinical Research Network (CRN) helps researchers deliver studies to recruitment time and target in the NHS and the wider health and social care environment.

Our Study Support Service is available for all studies that meet our eligibility criteria, regardless of location, study type, study size, therapy or research area. Our offer includes a range of practical services to support study placement, set-up, and delivery monitoring to enable recruitment to agreed time and target.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network is supporting a charity-funded study in patients with a high risk form of heart attack called non-ST elevation myocardial infarction acute coronary syndrome. The RapidNSTEMI study, funded by the British Heart Foundation, is investigating whether these patients benefit from immediate treatment to unblock the arteries around the heart, rather than the standard approach of treatment within 72 hours.


Having the RapidNSTEMI study on the NIHR Clinical Research Network portfolio is very attractive. The Local Clinical Research Network East Midlands assisted in both the costing and promotion of the study; for example, working out the cost of a trial or how to achieve the same output for less cost by not asking for ordinary service costs. It’s examples such as these which may seem obvious to them, but not always to us. This makes a big difference to overall costs.”

- Professor Anthony Gershlick, Chief Investigator, RapidNSTEMI study, Honorary Professor of Interventional Cardiology, University of Leicester

Become an NIHR non-commercial partner

We additionally offer a dedicated pathway to help charities access our support. Charities can become an  NIHR non-commercial partner, which provides quicker access to our research delivery infrastructure in the NHS, essential training and ISRCTN registration.

NIHR non-commercial partners have access to a suite of resources to help you and the researchers you fund to get the best from our services. Members of the Association of Medical Research Charities also benefit from the provision of Research Part B costs.

 Access data, patient cohorts or samples support

Our research infrastructure offers a number of initiatives to help researchers access health data, identify participants for research, and access, store and analyse research samples.

Add your study to the Be Part of Research website

In addition, you can support recruitment to our research studies by highlighting them to your clinical and patient experts, and we can do the same.

For example, our Be Part of Research website lists opportunities for patients to take part in the research we fund and support, as well as research funded by charities and other organisations.

You can help people that support your charity to access new treatments faster by recommending Be Part of Research opportunities to your supporters, members and patient advisory groups.

You can also add studies funded by your charity to the Be Part of Research website.

Monitor performance

We can share data, provide feedback and respond to queries on delivery of your research.

As part of our Study Support Service, we provide a range of support to help your researchers deliver studies on time and keep their performance on track. Find out more about how we can help studies perform at their best.