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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 non-commercial partner of the NIHR, which provides quicker access to our research delivery infrastructure in the NHS.

We can offer researchers you’ve funded support with study design and help them plan, set up and deliver your research.

The NIHR Research Design 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.


Find out about our Research Design Service


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.

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


Contact us to find out more


The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) helps researchers plan and set up research in both the NHS and the wider health and social care environment.

We recommend that researchers you fund engage with us as early as possible to make the most of this support throughout the life cycle of their study. Our early contact and engagement service offers advice and guidance on a range of subjects, including our services, regulatory approvals, costings for studies and local intelligence to optimise delivery of your study.


Find out about the Early Contact and Engagement service


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

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.


Contact us to find out more


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.


Find out about our Study Support Service


The NIHR Clinical Research Network is supporting a charity-funded study in patients 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.

Professor Anthony Gershlick, Chief Investigator, RapidNSTEMI study“Having the RapidNSTEMI study on the NIHR Clinical Research Network portfolio is very attractive. There are three centres we have included in this study as a direct result of this.

"Having NIHR collaboration and support to guide and advise us makes such trials affordable, transparent in terms of research governance and frankly makes the trials doable. Their underpinning and support is invaluable.

“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

Read more


We additionally offer a dedicated pathway to help charities access our support. Charities can become an  non-commercial partner of the NIHR, 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.


Find out about becoming an NIHR non-commercial partner


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.


Find out about data, patient cohorts and samples


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 organisation.

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 website.


Visit Be Part of Research


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

As part of our Study Support Service, our Clinical Research Network provides Performance Monitoring of charity research studies we’re supporting, to help your researchers deliver studies on time and to target.


Find out about our performance monitoring