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Deliver commercial clinical research in the NHS

Study Support Service for the life sciences industry

Access free support to help you to plan, place and perform commercial clinical research in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and wider health and care setting.

Continue reading to learn more about our support services,  or use the quick access buttons below to get started.

 If your study is non-commercial or collaboratively funded, please visit our Study Support Service for non-commercial research page.

I'm new to NIHR and I need advice

Fill out our simple contact form and request a chat with our friendly team.

I know what support I need from NIHR

Find out how to get started accessing our national tools and study support.

I'm already using NIHR  support

Use your account details to log in to our study support system (CPMS).

We are your research delivery partner in the UK

From acquiring patient feedback on your protocol, to feasibility and site selection, to monitoring performance, we can support you throughout your research journey. Our flexible package of support is available to all life science companies and Contract Research Organisations, regardless of location, study type, study size, or therapy area. The earlier you get in touch the more you will benefit from our support.  

There are three key areas where our Study Support Service can really have an impact on the success of your study: Plan, Place, Perform.


We provide a range of support to help you plan your clinical study or trial. All you need to get started is a study outline or draft protocol.

  • Expert advice and guidance to plan your research
    Personalised, one-to-one advice to help you understand the UK research landscape in your therapy area. Explore what support is available and connect with the right people.

  • Engage directly with patients to improve your trial design
    Meet your regulatory and ethical requirements with ease. We can organise and facilitate engagement activities with patients to obtain their perspective on your trial protocols, recruitment strategies and patient-facing materials.

  • Find out how feasible your study is in the UK
    Access NHS clinical experts to advise on the feasibility and deliverability of your protocol in the NHS or social care environment.
  • Discover our digital engagement tools
    Explore our range of digital tools and systems that can help promote your study to participants, and directly support recruitment.
  • Is your research inclusive?
    Read our guidance on improving inclusion of under-served groups in clinical research or talk to our team about our research targeting capabilities.
  • Research-ready site personnel
    Our dedicated, research-ready workforce of 10,000+ personnel is embedded throughout health and care services across England, all connected via our national network.
  • Good clinical practice training
    Get access to our Good Clinical Practice training, which is internationally recognised byTransCelerate. It’s free to NHS site personnel delivering your study.


We will help you to place your study more strategically to optimise study performance.

  • Identify sites for your study
    We use our national network to quickly gather expressions of interest from investigators at sites throughout the NHS, including primary care (general practice) and social care. You can still use this service if you have already identified some, but not all, of your sites.
  • Data driven site selection
    Our national, real-time, research activity data can then help you decide which sites offer the best recruitment potential.
  • Faster costing and contracting negotiations
    The UK’s unified approach to research costing and contracting can further support your clinical trial site selection strategy and minimise negotiation time during study set-up. You’ll need to inform us of all your selected study sites and we will connect them into the UK's interactive Costing Tool for you.


Once your study is approved, we’ll work with you to get your sites up and running and to stay on track.

  • Streamline your study set-up
    We know how important it is to get from approval to recruitment. Our national network will identify obstacles and share solutions, to help ensure multiple sites open as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Keep your research on track
    We will work with you to ensure your research project is making progress by monitoring study-wide performance and targeting additional support through our regional teams.

“Our first port of call when bringing the trial to the UK, after the protocol was approved by MHRA, was to work with NIHR to ensure rapid recruitment and enrollment…”
Wendy Talbott, Senior Director of Clinical Operations at Novavax

Working across the UK

We work collaboratively with our colleagues in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland to enable a smooth and quick research delivery experience across the UK.

Further help to access our services

Our Study Support Service Route Map and user guide has been co-created with our life science partners as a helpful guide to accessing and understanding our services.

Contact us

The earlier you get in touch the more you will benefit from our support.

Contact the Industry team

If your study is already part of the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio and you need support or help with investigators, site set-up, or recruitment issues, contact your local Industry Operations Manager for support.

 “Without NIHR support, I don’t believe that we would have been so far in our journey and be at this stage; ready for the study to go live in the next couple of months."
Jonathan Abraham, CEO and Co-founder, Healum

Patient Recruitment Centres

One collaboration, five sites, 100% dedicated to recruiting participants into large scale, late phase commercial clinical trials.