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Study Support Service

Are you looking to run a study in an NHS, public health or social care setting?

We offer a range of support to help you plan, place and perform high quality research.

If your study meets the eligibility criteria for the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio - also known as the NIHR CRN Portfolio - we will work with you, research and development offices, funders and other stakeholders to deliver your study to time and target.

The ideal time to initiate this support is around the time your study has been shortlisted by a funder which will ensure you get the full range of relevant support for you and your study.

Each study is assessed to ensure it meets the Department of Health and Social Care’s Eligibility Criteria .

Once eligible and accepted onto the Portfolio, studies are required to adhere to the Terms and Conditions for NIHR Clinical Research Network support which reflect the principles of good practice in the management and conduct of health and social care research that are set out in the UK policy framework for health and social care research. Visit our NIHR CRN Portfolio page, and our Eligibility for NIHR CRN support page to learn more about applying for support, study eligibility and the terms and conditions associated with accessing support.

If your study is sponsored and funded by a life sciences company or other commercial organisation, visit our Study Support Service for industry page or contact our Industry team

You can also contact the Study Support helpdesk.

Study Support Service

Our Study Support Service can impact the success of your study in 3 key areas:


We provide expert advice and guidance to help you plan your research.


We identify study sites and highlight any challenges to your study delivery.


We help streamline your study set-up and keep your research performance on track.

Plan your study

Get personalised advice and guidance about what support is available, tailored to your specific study needs. You can access this support even before you have secured funding. Engaging early will increase your support options.

Accurately identify relevant funders for all resources related to your study activities

Department of Health and Social Care guidance outlines responsibilities for funding the range of research activities. We have specialists and a UK-wide tool to help apply this to your study activities.

Ensure your research is inclusive

Read our INCLUDE guidance on improving inclusion of under-served groups in clinical research.

Find out more about how we can help you plan your study or trial in health or care settings.

Place your study

We can gather expressions of interest to take part in your study from sites across England. You can discuss this with us anytime throughout the life cycle of your study.

Study delivery review

We undertake a study wide assessment to identify and highlight any challenges to study delivery, enabling a proactive approach to study set-up.

Find out more about how we can help you place your study to optimise performance.

Perform your study

We streamline your study set-up through our national network. We share a study-wide action plan to ensure multiple sites open as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Keep your research on track

Your allocated performance review lead will work with you to proactively monitor the progress of your study.

Find out more about how we work with you to keep your study on track.

Are you currently planning your research study?

Then NIHR’s Open Data Platform may be of benefit to you. The NIHR Open Data Platform (ODP) is the platform through which you can access the details of all the studies the NIHR supports including the number of participants recruited to each study. The data is captured via the NIHR Central Portfolio Management System and fed into ODP to enable easy viewing and analysis.

Understanding recruitment activity across the country can support researchers in optimising the design of their studies by providing key insights such as national and local recruitment trends, recruitment hotspots, and highlighting potential new research locations previously unconsidered.

To access ODP you will need to register. We have developed a series of short ‘how to’ training videos and frequently asked questions to get you started, including how to register. The videos are continuously updated in line with the development of ODP.

If you have any questions about ODP, please contact the NIHR Business Intelligence team on