Your first step into delivering research

How the NIHR can support your first step into delivery research

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides researchers with the practical support they need to make clinical studies happen in the NHS, so that more research takes place across England, and more patients can take part. In 2020/21 the NIHR CRN helped 1,390,483 participants take part in portfolio studies in England.

The NIHR is committed to encouraging and supporting health and care professionals new to research. From resources to support engaging patients and colleagues in research, to developing your skills in delivering research studies, the NIHR have a number of resources and opportunities that can help you take your first step into research.


Engaging patients and the public in research

Do you have patients who may be interested in taking part in the research?  Our ‘Be Part of Research’ website enables patients and members of the public to find relevant ways to get involved to help improve patient care.

Associate PI Scheme 

The Associate Principal Investigator (PI) Scheme aims to develop doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who do not undertake research as part of their usual role, to help them become the PIs of the future. The scheme is open to those in the approved specialty areas, willing to make a significant contribution to the delivery of a study at a local level over a period of at least six months.

Initiatives from your speciality 

We support research being delivered through thirty specialty therapy areas. Each specialty is made up of expert clinical leaders and practitioners who work at both national and local levels to ensure that studies are delivered successfully.

Current opportunities for those new to research include:

Keep up to date on offers, initiatives and support available for those new to research in your specialty.

Working with Trainee Networks 

The NIHR Clinical Research Network works with and supports trainee networks to carry out high quality research. Trainee networks allow trainees opportunities to get involved in collaborative research in a meaningful way at a regional and national level.  Contact your Local Clinical Research Network to find out more about opportunities in your local area.

Specialist learning and support

Our research innovation projects and initiatives offer access to a variety of specialist resources to develop your career in research. Find out more about the support and resources available to early career researchers in the following specialist areas:

Learning and support

Develop your knowledge and skills through flexible courses, bite size learning, online communities and the latest in CPD.

Embedding a research culture

It’s important that everyone who is involved in the health and care of patients and the public is aware of the research that’s taking place around them. Get help to support your colleagues and  create a research culture that improves healthcare for all.

Related pages

External links

Get started with NIHR Learn

Do you want to lead health and care research? Find out how the NIHR Academy can support your career development and training.