The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio of studies consists of clinical research studies that are eligible for support from the NIHR CRN in England. 

All high-quality research studies, eligible for NIHR CRN support in England, are included on the NIHR CRN Portfolio. NIHR CRN supported studies benefit from the following:

  • Access to the NIHR CRN Study Support Service - a standard national framework for supporting the planning, set-up and delivery of high quality clinical research in England
  • Provision of NHS support as defined by AcoRD and/or the equivalent of NHS Support in other settings (e.g. research carried out in social care, care homes, hospices, or public health settings)
  • Provision of Research Part B costs as defined by AcoRD (for studies funded by AMRC member charities only)
  • Access to relevant research delivery training, including Good Clinical Practice training
  • ISRCTN registration via the Central Portfolio Management System. Registration of non-commercial studies with  an interventional component is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care

NIHR CRN support is available to all studies, regardless of location, study type, study size, therapy or research area, provided they meet the Department of Health and Social Care established eligibility criteria.

Understanding which studies are eligible

The NIHR CRN eligibility criteria was expanded in January 2018 to include research taking place outside of traditional NHS settings. This change in policy was introduced to better reflect the environment and services that people access and live in today. This means that the NIHR can now support the delivery of funded health and care research taking place in settings such as care homes, hospices, schools, prisons, or other social care and public health environments.

Further information:

How to apply for NIHR CRN Support

** A Portfolio Application Form (PAF) is no longer required to apply for NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) support and will be removed from IRAS in early November. **

Applications to be considered for NIHR CRN support are made via the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS), or, where Health Research Authority Approval is not required, via the relevant Local Clinical Research Network.

Studies that require HRA Approval and submission through IRAS

If your study is taking place in the NHS then it is likely it will require Health Research Authority (HRA) approval. More information can be found on the HRA website.

To apply for NIHR CRN support users must select ‘yes’ to question 5b of the IRAS Project Filter. This will ensure key information from your IRAS submissions is automatically shared with us.

This information, including the IRAS form (the main research study application form), the  study protocol and grant award letter(s), will be used to determine eligibility. You will be notified of the outcome, via email.

Please note: we cannot make an eligibility decision until full funding has been secured and evidence of this has been provided.

If you are applying for NIHR CRN support, and have not already done so, you are advised to contact your local Clinical Research Network (LCRN) as soon as possible to access the NIHR CRN’s Early Contact and Engagement Service.

Studies that do not require HRA approval

Some studies, including those running outside traditional NHS settings eg. in care homes, hospices, schools, prisons, or other social care and public health environments, do not require HRA Approval. These studies will not be received automatically by us, for review.

To apply, please contact your local CRN who will work with you and submit a CRN application form, along with the study protocol, grant award letter(s) and evidence of the appropriate research approval(s) to us on your behalf.

Information from your submission will be used to determine eligibility and you will be notified of the outcome, via email.

Applying for research infrastructure support in other UK administrations

NHS/health and social care studies that require submission through IRAS

All studies should indicate, in question 3 of the IRAS Project filter, where the study is taking place. In addition, studies led from other UK administrations, which want to access NIHR CRN Support in England, should select ‘yes’ to question 5c. This will ensure your information is shared with all relevant national coordinating functions, including the NIHR CRN, for review.  

Studies that do not require submission through IRAS

To apply for research infrastructure support outside of England, please contact the relevant national coordinating functions:

Related pages


External links