Royal College of General Practitioners and Clinical Research Network awards

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Commendation for Primary Care Researchers

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network is pleased to be able to announce the winners of the research awards run in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (the College). These awards, for members of the College, recognise research active NHS GPs and general practices that are demonstrating excellence and innovation in delivering NIHR research.

Dr Rachel Ann Spencer from Coventry received the First5® award and Claremont Medical Practice, Exmouth received the practice award.

Applicants were required to outline their contribution to NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio studies with particular weight being attached to:

  • the range and number of patients in NIHR Clinical Research Network studies;
  • how patients have been engaged and informed of new opportunities to participate in clinical research;
  • their contribution and innovative methods used in the successful delivery of clinical research studies.

On the award winners, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Clinical Innovation and Research Centre, Dr Imran Rafi said:

“We would like to congratulate not only the winners but all the practices and practitioners for leading the high quality activities needed to support and facilitate research in primary care and specifically in General Practice.”

Since its inception in 2006, the NIHR has significantly increased the scale of clinical research in the NHS, particularly through the NIHR Clinical Research Network. The enthusiastic engagement of NHS clinicians is an essential condition for sustaining and building on this success; particularly given the many competing demands on clinician time and resources.

NIHR Clinical Research Network, National Specialty Lead for Primary Care, Professor Philip Evans said:

"It is great to see another tranche of high quality applications for our SFB RCGP /NIHR CRN awards and as always it was difficult to make a final decision. The applications of both the practices and the First5 GPs were of the highest possible standard and demonstrated some great examples of innovation and outstanding research delivery.”

As part of the application process the applicants had to set out what activities they planned to carry out in the future to improve research delivery.

The awards will be presented during the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) Annual Conference on 6 October in Glasgow.




"There were innovative and dynamic examples of practices reconfiguring their clinical practice to increase recruitment; excellent examples of engagement with their patient groups, and firmly embedding research within the culture of their general practices.”

Associate Professor Philip Evans
National Specialty Lead for Primary Care
NIHR Clinical Research Network

Previous winners



  • General practice award - Bovey Tracey and Chudleigh Practice, Devon
  • First5® award - Dr Christopher Newark from Buckden and Little Paxton Surgery, Cambridgeshire

Highly Commended:

  • General practice award - Hoverton and Wroxham Medical Practice, Norwich
  • First5® award - Dr Timothy Bray, Beacon Medical Group




Highly Commended:

The awards were presented by the Network's National Specialty Lead for Primary Care, Associate Professor Philip Evans, during the RCGP Annual Conference on 6-8 October 2016 in Harrogate. Watch a video of the presentation.