Where does your trust feature?

View the 2016/17 NIHR Research Activity League Table 

What does the League Table mean?

Watch our stakeholder videos 


Creating a successful research culture in the NHS

Watch a thought leadership interview with Professor Steve Robson, from Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust who is top of the league table for volume of research for the sixth year running.



What does the league table mean to the Pharmaceutical Industry? Watch our short video clips with colleagues from commercial organisations.

Read our latest blog providing an insight into commercial research activity on this years League Table and what it means


Healthcare Professionals

Watch a video interview with Dr Heather Lambert, a Consultant in Paediatrics, talking about the importance of research.


Welcome to the NIHR Research Activity League Table

What is the League Table?

Each year, the Research Activity League Table is published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN), to detail research activity across all NHS trusts in England. The table provides a picture of how much clinical research is happening, where, in what types of trusts, and involving how many patients.

Find out where your local NHS trust or clinical commissioning group (CCG) features on this year's NIHR Activity Research League Table.

This year (2016/17) the league table reveals that 65 per cent of NHS trusts across England increased their research activity during 2016/17, an 8 per cent increase on 2015/16. 

26 per cent of Clinical Commissioning Group* (CCG) regions across England have also seen an increase in research activity. 

This has given more than 665,000 participants access to better treatments and care during 2016/17, the highest number since records began.

*For the purposes of the league table data, individual GP practices have been grouped into their CCG region.

A personal message from Jonathan Sheffield, NIHR Clinical Research Network, Chief Executive Officer


“The increase in the number of clinical research participants last year and the improvements we are seeing in studies delivering to time and target are fantastic achievements that are contributing to better health and care outcomes in this country. Researchers can be more confident of being able to complete their studies, and more patients will benefit from new and better treatments becoming available.

“Overall, 65 per cent of trusts increased their research activity in 2016/17, demonstrating the growing appetite for research within the NHS. We must continue to invest in the opportunities that clinical research presents, by looking at more innovative ways of delivery and making better use of digital advancements in the health and care sector.”

Watch more videos from our stakeholders explaining what the league table means to them.

View the league table.


2016/17 league table headlines

Top of the league table for...

The number of studies:

  • The league table is topped in terms of number of studies by Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the sixth year running with the 528 studies delivered by the trust.

The biggest increase in research activity:

Commercial research activity

Research in the Community

CCG region commercial research


Additional top ten lists relating to trust types and volume of research

Top ten Mental Health Trusts
Top ten Ambulance Trusts
Top ten Care Trusts 


"It is critical that research is seen as core business in the NHS."     

Professor Steve Robson, Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust    

What does the league table mean to you?

Promoting, conducting and using clinical research to improve treatments for NHS patients in England is part of the NHS England Constitution – and a research-active NHS is a clear priority for patients.

Watch our stakeholder videos and hear from people from across the country about what the league table means to them.