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Clinical Studies - The NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) provides infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research to take place in the NHS. The CRN helps researchers to set up clinical studies quickly and effectively; supports the life-sciences industry to deliver their research programmes; provides health professionals with research training; and works with patients to ensure their needs are at the very centre of all research activity.

The NIHR CRN consists of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN) in England and its equivalents in the devolved nations. Through the NIHR CRN, researchers can have access to support at the planning, set-up and delivery phases of a study, including advice and support to overcome barriers to successful recruitment.

The NIHR CRN can support Portfolio studies by:

  • Central Portfolio Management System– a system through which researchers can apply for permission to run a clinical study in the NHS. Central Portfolio Management System– a system through which researchers can apply for permission to run a clinical study in the NHS. 
  • Funding research support posts in the NHS, and provide training, so that researchers have access to experienced “front-line” staff, who can carry out the additional practical activities required by their study such as obtaining patient consent for participation, carrying out extra tests, and collecting the clinical data required for the research.Funding research support posts in the NHS, and provide training, so that researchers have access to experienced “front-line” staff, who can carry out the additional practical activities required by their study such as obtaining patient consent for participation, carrying out extra tests, and collecting the clinical data required for the research.
  • Providing funding to meet the costs of using facilities such as scanners and x-rays that are needed in the course of the study, so that research activity adds value to patient care.Providing funding to meet the costs of using facilities such as scanners and x-rays that are needed in the course of the study, so that research activity adds value to patient care.
  • Providing practical help in identifying and recruiting patients onto Portfolio studies, so that researchers can be confident of completing the study on time, and on target. Providing practical help in identifying and recruiting patients onto Portfolio studies, so that researchers can be confident of completing the study on time, and on target. 

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The NIHR CRN Central Portfolio Management System

The Portfolio Management System NIHR CRN Portfolio captures research activity data and provides analysis tools to facilitate active management of current studies, and the feasibility of future studies run within the Clinical Research Network.

If your study involves the NHS or NHS patients we expect you to apply, where appropriate, for consideration for NIHR Clinical Research Network support in England, and/or its equivalents in the Devolved Administrations, and subsequent inclusion in the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio of studies - http://www.crn.nihr.ac.uk/can-help/funders-academics/nihrcrn-portfolio/

If your study is deemed eligible for consideration for NIHR Clinical Research Network support in England, and/or its equivalents in the Devolved Administrations, we expect you to:

  • Keep your study record on the CRN's Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS) up to date; and
  • Upload your recruitment data into CPMS on a monthly basis. 

Activity data from the NIHR CRN Portfolio is used to inform the allocation of NHS infrastructure for research (including NHS Support Costs) and supports the performance management of the Clinical Research Network.

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