NIHR Facilities and Services

The NIHR supports a number of initiatives to help researchers, including industry, to access health data, samples and to identify participants for research. We can also help you to analyse and store your research samples at our state-of-the-art facilities.

Access data, samples and analytical support for research

NIHR BioResource

The NIHR BioResource is a panel of over 100,000 highly characterised healthy volunteers and patients with common and rare diseases, who are willing to be approached to participate in research studies investigating the links between genes, the environment, health and disease.

The NIHR BioResource can help you identify and recruit individuals who are tailored to your clinical trial by enabling access to well characterised groups of individuals by genotype and or phenotype. Companies can also receive advice, support and feedback from key opinion leaders, clinicians and academics working in your field of research.

Industry partners can either apply to the NIHR BioResource through:

  • a collaboration with a Principal Investigator at one of the UK Biomedical Research Centres
  • a commercial agreement with the NIHR BioResource, which would include an initial setup study fee as well as costs associated with volunteers’ enrolment and sample collection/shipment.

A detailed cost for industry-led studies through commercial agreements can be found on the NIHR BioResource website.

For more information please visit the NIHR BioResource website.

The NIHR BioResource is a unique resource made possible by the strong links that exist in the UK between doctors and scientists in the NHS and at our universities. It’s because of collaborations such as this that we have learnt so much in such a short time about COVID-19.

Professor John Bradley, Chief Investigator of the NIHR BioResource.

UKCRC Tissue Directory

The UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) Tissue Directory is a free online resource that catalogues the different types of human sample resources across the UK (biobank, cohort, biorepository, clinical trial etc). It’s the only of its kind that covers all regions, sample types and disease areas.

The UKCRC Tissue Directory has characterized over 180 sample resources, hosting over 400 sample collections, covering 136 diseases and counting. Researchers can search the directory by gender, age, and disease, to either find banked samples or resources that can acquire bespoke collections.

For more information please visit the UKCRC Tissue Directory website.

Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)

CPRD provides a secure service that enables researchers to obtain high-quality, anonymised primary care records for many different types of health research such as outcomes research, epidemiology and randomised controlled trials. CPRD data and services can be highly tailored to meet your specific research needs.

Data costs are charged at a fixed rate depending upon which data sources are required and the complexity of linkage.

For more information please visit the CPRD website.

ScanMedicine

ScanMedicine is a comprehensive database of clinical trials and medical devices information, allowing users to understand what research is in progress in their area of interest and what new medicines, devices and diagnostics are on the horizon.

The free resource, developed by the NIHR Innovation Observatory (NIHRIO), collates information from 11 major health databases across the globe and presents up-to-date search results in an accessible format.

This intelligence can help users to better understand where the gaps are in healthcare research, to stimulate innovation and support decision making.

To use the service please visit the ScanMedicine website

Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) and the Dementia CRIS (D-CRIS)

CRIS and D-CRIS provide rapid access to pseudonymised mental health clinical records held in NHS Trust systems. This enables searching of structured and unstructured, free-form clinical data, supplemented by a range of text-mining apps. This allows authorised researchers to swiftly investigate hypotheses and define annonymised patient cohorts. Growing numbers of patients have additionally given pre-consent to be contacted about research projects from information in their records, allowing targeted recruitment for trials and observational studies.

A technical and academic team is available to support CRIS study design and database assembly, and with robust ethics and governance structures already in place, lead times from idea to analysis can be very short.

Access to CRIS is only through collaboration with authorised CRIS researchers.

For more information and to find out about how to collaborate with CRIS researchers visit the CRIS web pages on the Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre website.

HDR UK Innovation Gateway

Health Data Research UK, the national institute for health data science, unites the UK's health data to enable discoveries, enhancing health and care research endeavours through access to large scale data and advanced analytics. The HDR UK Innovation Gateway is your portal to health data and tools for research. With over 600 datasets listed, the Gateway can help you search and discover health datasets from across the UK, including exclusive datasets not available elsewhere.

The Gateway lists a broad range of health datasets in different disciplines from across the UK – including data related to COVID-19, emergency care, cardiovascular, and maternal health and beyond. Datasets cover primary care, secondary care, acute care, palliative care, biobanks, research cohorts and deeply phenotyped cohorts with new datasets being added all the time.

To find out more, visit the HDR Innovation Gateway website

NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative

The NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative (HIC) provides access to high quality, longitudinal NHS datasets for ethically approved research studies. Access to data is in five clinical areas:

  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Critical Care
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Renal transplantation

Access to data is available through collaboration with academics working at HIC centres. The NIHR HIC requires a number of formal checks prior to approval of data access.

For more information please visit the NIHR HIC website.

Sample storage and analytical services

MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre

The MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre offers a wide range of services from broad profiling untargeted assays through to targeted assays. These services are offered on a collaborative project basis or as a fee-for-service offering.

For more information visit the MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre website.

NIHR National Biosample Centre

The NIHR Biosample Centre provides a high quality, high capacity service for biomedical researchers engaged in studies that include the collection, processing, storage and analysis of biological samples from their volunteers and patients. The Biosample Centre operates on a fee for service basis for companies and can provide an end-to-end solution or flexible approach to your sampling needs.

For more information visit the NIHR Biosample Centre website.

Contact us

Interested in working with these collaborations? Contact the NIHR Office for Clinical Research Infrastrucuture: