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Influence our research

Become a peer reviewer

External peer reviewers help the NIHR at every stage of the research process. Our reviewers help to prioritise research topics, ensure we fund the best applications and help to shape the open access reports published by the NIHR Journals Library, and in doing so play a vital role in maintaining and improving the quality of our research.

Find out more about the role of NIHR external peer reviewers in our guidance and register your interest below.

For early career researchers who are NIHR Academy or Associate members, you may be interested in joining the NIHR Reviewer Development Scheme.

Three reasons to review for the NIHR

You will make a difference 

By reviewing for the NIHR, you will be making a significant contribution to the NHS, social care and public health by shaping the research we fund and improving practice.  Our funding programmes identify the   highest impact questions for health and social care, so the research you review will make a real difference.

You will gain insight into the research funding process 

As an External Peer Reviewer, you can develop valuable insight into best practice in health and social care research and the standards of successful applications for funding.

You can enhance your professional development

Reviewing research briefs, proposals and research outputs can be used as evidence of continuing professional development (CPD). We provide written confirmation of reviewing tasks that have been completed for inclusion in your CPD portfolio. For consultant grade medical reviewers, there is the additional attraction that peer review for NIHR is recognised in Clinical Excellence Award submissions.

Reviewing applications for NIHR helps me to feel like I am contributing to something bigger, helping NIHR to fund work that answers important questions to improve health and reduce inequalities. 
Dr. Brendan Collins

Our reviewer community

Our external peer reviewers are a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of expertise including:

  • Academics
  • Clinicians
  • Health service managers and commissioners
  • Practitioners
  • Public health and related professionals
  • Social care sector workers
  • Patients and the public
  • Anyone whose work has a potential impact on health and social care.

To demonstrate our gratitude to our reviewers and acknowledge the important work they do, the names of the past year's reviewers can be found on our reviewers list.

External peer reviewer registration form

Join our growing reviewer community for your chance to shape our research portfolio and improve public health, social care  and practice in the NHS - register now

Section 1
Section 2

Tell us about yourself

Please use the space below to tell us more about yourself, such as your research areas, published work, methodological expertise, and finally any interests or personal experiences that may be relevant.

Section 3


Please identify the areas in which you could most effectively review 'key' words or phrases (such as paediatric cardiology, service management, health economics, questionnaire design, obesity etc...)

Section 4

Areas of expertise

Please select any areas of expertise relevant to you
Section 5

How did you hear about us?

How did you hear about becoming an NIHR reviewer

Calls for research

I am interested in reviewing documents for the following call/s for research

Section 6

Confidentiality and Data protection

NIHR External Peer Reviewers are asked to abide by the NIHR Peer Reviewer Confidentiality Agreement. Please read the confidentiality document and tick the box below to commit to this agreement.

View the NIHR Peer Reviewer Confidentiality Agreement

We publish an annual list of reviewers who have completed a review for us during the past year. If you are asked to review, your contribution as a reviewer will be acknowledged on our website as a gesture of our appreciation. We will only list your name, and ensure that there is no indication of the reviewing task that you completed. If you would prefer us not to publish your details, please indicate this by ticking below:

By completing this registration form you are agreeing to your details being added to our management Information System (MIS/REALMS) database. Your personal information is held and used in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018). The Department of Health and Social Care, NIHR is the Data Controller under GDPR. Under GDPR, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you. You should be aware that information given to us might be shared with other DHSC NIHR bodies for the purposes of statistical analysis and other DHSC NIHR management purposes. We also reserve the right to share details of research applications with other approved research funding organisations outside the NIHR in order to coordinate research activity in the UK. Information collected from you will not be passed to any third party outside the NIHR except specifically as detailed above without your consent except where we are under a statutory obligation or entitled to do so by law. Applicants may be assured that DHSC NIHR is committed to protecting privacy and to processing all personal information in a manner that meets the requirements of GDPR. You can ask for your details to be removed from our database at any time. 

View the NIHR Privacy Policy

Identify research priorities

Identify evidence uncertanties

The James Lind Alliance (JLA) brings patients, carers and clinicians together in Priority Setting Partnerships(PSPs). These PSPs identify and prioritise evidence uncertainties, or unanswered questions, that they agree are the most important. The aim of this is to help ensure that those who fund health research are aware of what really matters to the people who need to use the research in their everyday lives.

If you are interested in setting up your own Priority Setting Partnership, or taking part in PSP surveys, visit at the JLA website for more information and advice. 

Suggest a research topic

Providing the most effective health and social care is a huge challenge. There are so many products and procedures in use, with more being developed all the time, but often there is little good evidence about what works and what doesn’t.

We commission and fund projects looking at the usefulness of new and existing tests, treatments and devices and at new and existing ways of doing things. We also look at how to improve public health to see what really works in practice.

To make good decisions about what research to fund we need a complete and balanced picture about which questions most urgently need answering.  Use the form below to make your research suggestions.

Suggest a research topic