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 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
Understanding which studies are eligible
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.
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.
- Eligibility for NIHR Clinical Research Network support
- Eligibility Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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 was removed from IRAS in early November 2020.
If your study is an English-led CTIMP and you are applying for HRA Approval through the HRA and MHRA’s combined review service, you must apply for CRN support through the new Non-commercial Portfolio Application service in CPMS.
The new Non-commercial Portfolio Application service: The following study types can now apply for CRN support via the new service, which allows investigators to apply earlier and receive an eligibility decision sooner to benefit from the full range of support that our study support service offers:
- English-led CTIMP (clinical trials of investigational medicinal products) studies which are led in England and going through the Health Research Authority (HRA) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) Combined Review Service, and;
- English-led studies that do not need, and therefore are not applying for, HRA Approval in the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS).
For info on how to use this service see the NIHR CRN Non-commercial Portfolio Application service webpage.
Studies that require HRA Approval but are not being progressed through combined review: These studies should continue to apply for NIHR CRN support by selecting ‘yes’ to question 5b of the IRAS Project Filter. This will ensure key information from your IRAS submission is automatically shared with us. This information, including the IRAS form, the study protocol and grant award letter(s), will be used to determine eligibility. You will be notified of the outcome, via email.
If you are unable to apply via either of these routes, contact your Local CRN for advice on how to proceed.
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 as soon as possible to access the Study Support Service. This is especially important if your study is taking place in a public health or social care setting.
Applying for research infrastructure support in other UK administrations
All studies should indicate, in question three 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.
Queries regarding access to research infrastructure support outside of England, including for studies that do not require HRA Approval, should be directed to the relevant national coordinating functions:
- Scotland: NHS Research Scotland (NRS)
- Wales: Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW)
- Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (NICRN)