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:
- Health service managers and commissioners
- 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
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.